Me and 5K's have a little bit of history.
The first time I ran one, it kicked my ass.
Actually, I kicked my own ass.
My original plan was to start slow, and build. In reality, I started way too fast, and finished way too slow.
That was then, this is now, and I can now claim victory against the 5K.
Sunday, February 11th was the San Dieguito Half Marathon/5K. I had a few friends who were doing the half, but I opted for the 5K. I heard it was a challenging 5K due to hills, and I welcomed the challenge.
It was a misty morning, and nice and cool - high 50's - perfect running weather. I did plenty of warm up, and ended up catching up with fellow teammates Greg Kurras and Mary Shvodian. It helped raise my energy level, which was good, because I honestly wasn't that pumped for it. My warm up was kinda sluggish, and I honestly didn't feel like running.
There was the official "3....2....1..... GO!" and off we went.
I was determined to stick with my original plan of starting at a moderate pace, and finish strong. I did just that. Greg and I did the first 3/4 of a mile or so. We were passed by a few people, but having been there before, I opted not to create friendly comeptition.
Then I started to pick it up. I got in my little trance. I started to focus. I got my little metronomic rhythym. Then all the sudden...
tick, tick, tick
I was passing people. One by one, tick by tick. I was starting to get encouraged. As the minutes went on, I was passing more people, and then finally I got to the bottom of the hill started at mile 2.25. It was definitely a respectable hill to finish the race in. I started the ascent, and the ticks kept coming..
As I saw the finish line, I started strategizing where to drop the hammer. I was about 100 -150m out, and then I picked it up. I saw about 3 people in front of me, and thought "there is no way I can pass them in this limited space". I felt like Macca chasing down Stadler (only of extremely small proportions). I picked it up even more. I got in my typical "long stride look like I am about to bust a gut "form.
And I passed them all. I came tearing past the finish line, barely able to stop in the 50m allotment for slowing down.
I waited for Greg Kurras at the finish, and we hung out for a while afterwards, grabbing all the free stuff we could. We were enjoying our chili under the pavillion, and they started with awards ceremony. I thought "there is no way that I won my age division, but I'd be curious to see what the winning time was". When I heard the times of people who won previous age divisions, I thought of the saying "no way in hell". But then they announced the Men's 25-29 age group. The #2 person had a 21:52.
I said to myself "wait, I thought I got better than that". and then BAM "And #1 - RYAN DENNER!"
I know it's a long post, but this was multiple victories for me:
* I actually came in first place in a race! I don't care if it wasn't the fastest 5K out there, a win is a win!
* I stuck with the plan! Start slow/moderate and build. It seemed to have worked wonders.
* I was able to take off a full 2 minutes off my thanskgiving day 5K on a harder course!
* I won by 1 second!!
* I did it all in aviators and a de soto trucker hat!
What is the significance of the aviators and a de soto trucker hat?
I was partly motivated by a post on slowtwitch.com forums:
"At Alcatraz I was going out on the run, trying to beat the band to catch my wife who had about a minute on me by then. I am about a 1/2 mile away from the transition area and here comes this buff looking dude. He is prety much flying. Bare in mind, this guy is a 1/2 mile from the finish line and I am a 1/2 mile into the run. So basically he has a 7 mile lead on me. The dude is the same age as me. It was Emilio DeSoto of DeSoto Sports. He is wearing one of those gawd-awful, dorky "DeSoto" trucker caps. Those must be cool in California. Anyway. "
Who does that? Who wears aviators? Who wears a trucker hat? What triathlon company makes a trucker hat?
De Soto Triathlon company, and its president have inspired me!'
Thank you emilio!