I ran the 5 Km race that is tied to one of our local marathons today. It is a route I have run a few times in the past. Until late last night, I was not sure if I was going to try for a PR or not.
I had a friend that might have run with me. If he did, then I would have run with him and not worried about my time. Instead, he had to back out and I decided to go for it.
My previous PR (26:10) was run with a pace of 5:14 per kilometer (8:26 per mile). I wanted to hit 5:06 per kilometer today (8:13 per mile). That would have given me a final time of 25:30. My splits were as follows:
The first one was slow due to the crowd. It was not a big crowd**, but I started at the back of the pack. I was not entirely sure on the start time. The official paperwork said 6:45, but when I registered yesterday I was told emphatically it would start at 7:00. At 6:45 I was standing in the back of the starting line pack still warming up when the announcements started for the start of the race. I was stuck in the back and it took me almost 3 blocks to get free. I did not feel bad about the start being slow. That was probably a help.
The second kilometer was faster than my desired pace and made up most of my lost time. Three and four were perfectly boring, but almost the right pace. I felt good going into the last kilometer and was pleased with my performance up to then.
The last kilometer was run well…I thought. I did not notice any slow down and was really only looking to stay on pace and not make up any time. I would have been pleased with shaving 20 seconds off my PR instead of 40 like was planned. Knowing that today was going to be a long day, I intentionally did not try to kill myself on the last kilometer. I just wanted to hold my pace. And I thought I did. But, obviously, I fell off of my pace time and added 29 seconds to my planned pace for that kilometer.
The final result is that, though I got a PR by 1 second, I know I could have done much better. I am disgusted with myself for slowing down so much. I was not dying. I could not have run much faster, but I could have done better than I did. I just can’t believe that I slowed down that much when I have been getting so good with my pacing lately.
*When adding all the times there is a discrepency by 1 second. That is because I did not figure in all the tenths and hundredths of a second.
**I believe there were two factors that caused the crowd to be small. There were only about 60 runners. First is the fact that we started 15 minutes earlier than what we were told yesterday at registration. Second is that the marathon went off at 6:00. The better runners were in that race.