This would have been a nice group to start out with, but I figured my best bet was to start out easy, unfortunately, I didn't want to accept that 5:30 pace would likely be the fastest pace that felt easy. On the other hand, I didn't think I should start with the group hitting 39's. So I just kept to no-man's land, not feeling good. 1 guy did drop off the pack about a mile in and I got motivated for a lap to catch up. I passed him and was catching the group right as they made a lead change and picked up the pace further (or so it seemed). Would have been nice to have others dropping off.
Slowed slightly the rest of the way, making my way into the 41's and a 42. Not pleasant, and didn't have a good head as I was convincing myself the lap counter was wrong (incorrectly). At least I broke 17, but slowest time since college freshmen. I have a built-in excuse but I guess I shouldn't be expecting to be in good shape when I haven't been in almost a year. Time to prepare for more trials, not just a few weeks of good training.