On Saturday I went out and ran my 2nd 5K of 2011 at the Lafayette Oatmeal Festival known as the Quicker Quaker 5K. Senor Clark and I carpooled down to represent the FOCO Ultra Contingent. It was an awesome day to run into ultra friends and meet new ones. After getting the race bibs I ran into Bill F who was running with his son and will be prepping for his 1st 100M at Rocky Raccoon in a month. Shortly after I met George Z. George, Nick and I ran the "hilly" course to warmup for the ensuing intensity effort.
My goal for the day was to go sub 18. On Thursday I did another round of 4x1 mile with a 400M b/t efforts: 3 @ 5:49, 1@ 5:46 followed by 4x200M at 35 seconds each. Friday I was flat as a pancake...the addition of the 200's had me feeling lead legged so I put in an easy hour and called it good. Wasn't sure what to expect for Saturday.
Once the gun went off I thankfully had fully digested the residual pancake from the day before. As usual I cranked out the first mile 5-7 seconds faster than I should have. Shortly after, Aaron K glided by with words of encouragement. I tempered the pace and tried to keep the heart rate stable on the "climbs." Shortly after mile 2 I passed George who went out like a bullet. Nearing the 3 mile I began reeling Aaron in. One last turn and then it was a straight shot to the finish. I kicked it into highgear and passed Aaron on the final corner and started seeing the finish line banner getting larger and larger...
Big mistake! I pushed the zoom button 200M too early and though the banner was getting closer and closer I was beginning to drastically slow and the 3 people I passed on the initial takeoff came floating by as I was significantly sinking...
For the second week in a row I had a blast racing a distance I am thoroughly unaccustomed to. I crushed my goal by 3 seconds- finishing in 17:57, 28th overall. It has been great feedback to see how well the track workouts compare to my average race pace. On Saturday I ran 5:47 pace...just as one could have predicted from the Thursday workout bout. Nick and Aaron ran smart races while George and I could have improved our first mile.
After the race it was an ultra cool down as I had the chance to meet and share some miles with Scott Jurek, Joe Grant, and Bob Sweeney. The 7 of us put in another 7.6 to cap off a great day of balmy January racing and running. In addition to my goals for the year I would also like to go sub 17 for the 5K. Don't worry...trails and ultras make me tick...I'm simply expanding the ways to enjoy and challenge myself with running a more diverse schedule of races...
Speaking of which, here's the schedule for 2011 through June:
February: Red Hot 50K+
March: Salida Marathon
April: currently working on entry/logistics for AR 50M
May: CP 50M and Pocatello 50M
June: Western States 100M
Amongst the ultras will be some more short and sweet local events.