Leading up to this race, I'd been enjoying some nice long runs and rides in my training. I had a solid 12-mile trail run the previous weekend and felt awesome, a few bike rides on the trainer and a few other workouts peppered in the schedule. The odd thing this past week was seemed like a relatively benign 5-mile run I made on Wednesday. After this training run which I used to try to establish what my lactic acid threshold heart rate (LTHR) was, in an effort to learn to train a little smarter, my calves were angry with me for running on pavement, apparently. Even Saturday morning, I was still really stiff. I jogged around a bit, stretched and did everything I could imagine to loosed up. There was a lot of uncertainty of Friday how I'd approach this race but after some jogging and stretching I was feeling loose enough to resume my pursuit of the 20-minute goal for this race, still a little nervous.
The "Classic" part of the Conshohocken Classic 5K is lost on me. This is the first annual 5K that Bryn Mawr Running put on here but I look forward to do it again next year but I don't get what makes it classic yet, whatever. It's a nice loop around our neighborhood and downhill on the route the St. Patrick's Parade will take through town. If you're not familiar with Conshohocken, it's like most PA towns: Kinda hilly. It would be a little more challenging to tackle than our last road 5K. The course was a point-to-point with a loop in the middle, ending about 2 blocks from our apartment. It was windy but sunny and we were excited.
I don't normally line up at the front of the pack but after sizing up the field, I lined up at about the 4th row. well behind the guys in their school track tanks. With the start I sprinted up the immediate hill with the lead pack, dodging a few folks that had no business being anywhere near the front (no offense, except to the guy wearing a Flyers jersey with "Crosby Sux" written in electrical tape on it). I realized really fast I was 5th or 6th and as we crested the hill and turned downhill, I caught my breath a little and cruised as quickly as I could downhill while recovering as much as possible.
|I'm in there somewhere.|
|Thanks, Times Herald, for my only race picture (that's me under the flag).|
I didn't regain my lost positions and the race timer was probably in sight before I noticed it but when I did look up about 30 yards away, I watched it tick from 00:19:59 to 00:20:00. I might have uttered a very audible "SHIT" and look around to see how inappropriate that might have been then quietly turned in a PR and hit the deck to catch my breath. My official chip time was 20:109 and 11th overall, 3rd in AG. My Garmin data also showed 20:09 which I thought to be longer than my chip time but only 3.04 miles.
It's dumb to be frustrated with a distance PR (by about 40 seconds) on a harder course. Nevertheless, there I was, complaining to Kristen about being so close to my goal and missing it. If anything's certain, I ran a heck of a race and there's not a doubt I crush my next 5K and the 20-minute mark. As of now, it looks like it will be the Yeungling Lager Jogger in a few weeks in Pottsville, PA... apparently a hillier course. As my friend Kelly would say, honeybadger don't care.