My official goal was to beat my time last year, so I wanted to get under 24 minutes. In my heart and in my mind, I had a goal of sub 23 minutes. I got both!!!
I ran 22:27. I learned my lesson from all the years past. Stop trying to be generous and considerate by going back in the line to where I think my pace would place me. I was at the starting line and only about 3 people deep. I was actually a full stride over the starting line, but this race is hardly keeping official time. No chips or anything like that. There were over 10,000 in the field with a lot of walkers. As a matter of fact, even though I was at the front of the field, there were people walking after 250m into the race. There is no reason for these people to be anywhere near the front.
There was one stretch with a lot of sun in your face, but the wind was to your back. That's an even trade.
I started out very comfortable and just a bit off my training pace (7:30). My first mile was 7:14. I stopped at the first water break. Literally, I stopped and drank my water. I wanted to make sure that I got it down without spilling it all over myself and of course get most of the water in my mouth. That is the point after all.
Second mile time was 14:37, so my second split was 7:23. Considering I stopped for about 10 seconds, that's good. I was really keeping good pace.
Most of the last mile was pretty tough for me. I skipped the mile 2 water stop in hopes of keeping a good time. I'm not sure if it was dehydration or just the faster pace, but I started cramping with half a mile to go. I wanted to stop and just give up, but I could see the Citrus Bowl and knew that I was close.
I didn't even look at the clock when I hit the actual 3 mile split, but according to the math keeping things even, I had to have run around a 7:05 last mile.
My pace was 7:14 according to the calculator. Crazy considering that was what my first mile split was.
I about keeled over from the pain in my right side by the time I got to the line. I was hurting, but I was able to push through it.
This is my new over 30 PR. I took over a minute and a half off my 5k time from last year. Let's see if I can shave off another minute and a half for next year. I think I will run a little more outside this season, but I will start doing more lifting and speedwork now that I am past my target race. My next goal is to get under 20 minutes even if it takes me a year to do.