Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Westfield Pizza Extravaganza, 5k, Westfield, NJ, 7/27/16

It was hot. 92 degrees as I drove over to Westfield. I stepped out of my car and it was incredibly humid. I was not terribly rushed, for once in my life, so I sat in my car a bit before starting my warm up.  I had run a 7 mile tempo with Kirsten in the morning. I didn't have high expectations, but I knew I was planning to try my best.   

The last 5K I ran was at Teterboro, which is pancake flat and on the tarmac of an airport. Teterboro was hot, but not as hot as this race. This race also has some hills that roll through it, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

I ran Teterboro all wrong, but on purpose. I wanted to got out really hard to see how it felt to just push from the start.  I faded in Mile 2 and 3 there, but I still ran a PR in 19:40.  My average pace was 6:19.

At Westfield I wanted to pace better using my average pace from Teterboro as my starting pace with a hope that I could negative split at then end if I could hold it. I had forgotten how hilly Westfield feels when running hard.  Maybe I was just tired from the morning, but it felt hilly to me. I tried hard to get my pace down to 6:19, but I just could not hold it comfortably.  I stopped looking at my watch when the first incline had me much slower than I hoped to be and ran by feel.  I pushed my pace on the descents. I tried to stay in control on the inclines.  M1 6:23

I was running hard, but I knew I had one more gear to dig into. I also knew that shift would not last me 2 full miles, but I hoped it could last me one. I tried to slowly pass anyone I could or stay with anyone moving a little faster than I would move if running alone. I felt great, really strong in some ways, but getting tired. M2 6:23

There was one younger girl in front me. I was going to try to reel her in. I had over a mile to do it. I was ready to go. I shifted to whatever I had left and made up some ground. I had a chance. The last mile felt like the longest mile of my life.  My legs were feeling like jello. Someone call out her name and warned her I was coming up from behind her. She responded strong. I was running so hard I could no longer see my watch. I had no idea how fast I was moving and had no time to figure it out. M3 6:11

The race is big and the crowd is loud. The finish of this race feels like a big event. The spectators are corralled off from the course. As we turn towards the finish, the crowd cheers. It is truly a lot of fun.  

I see the clock. It reads 19:36…19:37… 19:38…. I think “I know That’s not right!”  I can’t see my watch because my vision is so blurred. I feel great! I finish behind the girl I chased, and immediately and uncontrollably YELL at her “Thank you! That was awesome! I don’t know why I am yelling! I am sorry!”  Last 0.1 = 5:50 pace.

At some point I stop my watch and look down and it says 19:55. I believe that time seem accurate. I ask a few people if the finish like clock was off and I am told “Yes!” but in the wrong direction. Those people may have been failing to consider gun vs chip time. 

I scroll through my watch and see I started 3 second after the gun (b/c I hit start at the gun and then lap at the start). I discovered that I also hit “Lap” when I reached the finish line and then “Stop” after I finished yelling like a crazy person at the girl. There was a 15 second lap between those splits.  

No Way! There was a 15 second gap!!!  The finish line clock was correct!  I wasn't sure what I ran but it was going to be really close to a new PR. offers 
which allows you to pull up your race results immediately. But of course my phone won’t allow me to log on to the internet when I needed to. Something was not working and I could not figure it out.  So I jog my cool down and then I try again. I get online and I am thrilled.  

19:36 (New 5k PR) (6:18 pace)
1st in AG

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