Today I ran only the second 5K race ever for me, and probably the first one that counts since the first was the Breast Cancer 5K and I ran with a co-worker, encouraging her for the first couple of miles.
This 5K was a low-key race organized by the Atlanta Track Club. Small but almost all serious (and really serious) runners. MOB and I got up early and jogged over to the start area which was about a mile away. I ran into a guy I knew from the Galloway Time Improvement Group, but anyone else from my old running groups was most likely doing their long run today in training for their fall marathons.
I feel pretty good about my time, I would have placed second or third in the age group below me with a 25:56 finish but was way behind in my own age group and also in the next age group which I will be joining in November. There goes that idea that when I joined the new age group, I'd have a better chance of placing. I should have never got older - that was a bad idea.
I was right at an 8:20 pace on each mile split. It was a moderately hilly course and the last mile was tough. Maybe I'm just looking for excuses but sometimes I really start to believe that I must have some kind of heat-induced asthma issue. I'm sure the person I was following over the course of that last mile enjoyed my wheezing, gasping, groaning and spitting. Yeah, she'll be wearing headphones in her next race.
It was tempting, but no stopping and no walking.
There was one old guy at the start that I overheard telling someone that he signed up just to walk the course. He was tall, thin, and frail looking. As we looped back around and came back on the course, I passed him just as he was coming up on the mile marker. The course clean up truck was driving a several yards behind him. The dedicated volunteer at the one-mile mark started calling out the times as the old guy was still about 15 yards away, "18.31, 18.32, 18.33..." The old guy shook his head and called out to him, "c'mon, you're gonna make me want to turn around and go back now..." If I hadn't been so tired, I would have started calling "7.31, 7.32, 7.33..." - I mean if you're going to call out times to someone at that point, why not try to make them feel good about it?