Last nite was the RWJ Strides for Strokes 5k, or as my oldest son calls it, the "Pizza Run". One of our local pizza joints has been a sponsor of the run for years, and drops off pizza, my best guess maybe 100 plain, after the race for the runners & their families.
It was a decent nite, and the humidity that has been with us for the better part of a week, subsided. I've run this race in the past in oppressive July heat & humidity.
I finally broke thru the 24min mark! I've run 3 other 5k's this season, and hovered just over the 24min.
I was surprised at my 1st mile time, as I was stuck back in foot traffic for about a 1/2 mile. When I hit the 1st mile mark, I was 7:09. I'm sure a lot of that had to do with a nice downhill. I thought that I had taken it easy for the start, because I have the tendency to start fast, and pay for it at the end. I stayed true to form!
The 2nd mile included a nice uphill (the same one I had the cop behind me last week). At the 2nd mile, I was at 15:09 (8:00/mile). I knew that would be slower, though I tried my best to attack the hill portion. I felt I did better on this stretch than in the past. I have faded big time on the hill, getting passed by numerous runners, but this time it was me doing the passing! That is a great feeling. Nice to be the hunter, instead of the hunted.
The last 1.1 miles included a large downhill and an immediate uphill along the lake. I have as much trouble with steep downhills, as I do going uphill. I ran the final 1.1 miles in 8:13, for my best time in a 5k at 23:22.
I was telling my wife when we got home, and I checked the site for my exact time, that I am running better today, weeks shy of 42, than I did in my mid 30's.
I finally met Shoreturtle (Charlie) http://www.shoreturtle.com/blog/ .What a great guy. He had offered to pace me to break the 24min barrier. I didn't take him up on the offer, but I knew if I kept him in my sights during the run, I would accomplish that goal. Charlie finish a minute and change ahead of me at 22:10.
Charlie also introduce me to a running buddy of his, Bill & a blogger called Traveling Belgian http://thetravelingbelgian.blogspot.com/, I believe her name was Ann.
Bill, I found out, lives in the neighborhood across from me.
It's great to meet new people at these runs, and very accomplished runners, who you can push you to improve. That's one thing I've noticed, running alone, in a group atmosphere, you tend to push yourself more, than just doing it alone. I will definitely be taking Charlie up on his offer to do some long training runs together, when I get into my marathon training.
After the race, man my oldest son put away 3 slices of pizza, on top of eating a good dinner. Anyone who has kids, knows how picky they can be about eating, or not eating. He plowed thru the pizza, and wanted to stop at Carvel for ice cream on the way home!
It was great to have the wife & boys at this run. They are great at cheering myself and the other runners on.
If you live close by, I highly recommend you add this run to your to do list. It's a great time, with great pizza, and for a great cause!