First, I will go through the race report, then I will give my performance report. A smaller race, the Radburn 5K race is a benefit to raise money for the Radburn Elementary School. This was the first year I have done it. The race is held in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and Maura and I lived in Fair Lawn and enjoyed our time there and walked a lot of the same areas that the race covered. I really enjoyed the race. It was a great atmosphere and there were a lot of volunteers and families participating, enjoying the DJ, and hanging out socializing. Roughly 5 minutes after being there, a good college friend of my wife's that she hasn't seen in years came up and we ended up spending pretty much the whole pre-race and post race with hime and his family. It was a great surprise and fun to catch up.
The race was well directed before the start and when the gun went off, about 200ish people got out onto the course. The course was flat and fast. Also, it was probably one of the best marked courses I have been on. There were a lot of directional cones, volunteers, signs, etc. I never felt like I didn't know where to go. When the finish line came around, there were a lot of spectators, cheers, and volunteers there to immediately take my chip and direct runners through the chute and to awaiting refreshments. Post race, there were bananas, bagels, water, and the standard post race items for runners. The DJ provided lots of music, dances, and games for the kids. It was really a great atmosphere and I think if it continues to be run this well, it will grow. My only suggestion for the race would be a little bit more organization for the awards ceremony at the end. It was a bit of a mess, but I cannot complain too much, I have never had to be in charge of one.
Now on to my performance. I wasn't sure what to expect today. I haven't raced since the middle of March and I really have gotten a bulk of training in since. I was hoping for a good race, knowing that it was a bit flatter than some races. Today was really about seeing where my speed was. My only issue was that yesterday I hit a Communion buffet pretty hard and pre-race, my guts were not too happy. I was quite nervous where I would be once the gun went off. This was also my second race since developing a real warm up. In the past I would simply do a couple strides and not warm up well. Starting last race, this is my go to warm up:
3-5 minutes slow jog
2-3 minutes medium level run
5-10 sprints and/or power skip strides.
For the second race in a row, I felt great to start. I was loose and fluid and did not feel my effort at all. The first mile I ticked off in 6:15. The second mile was 6:20. I finished it up in 19:20 over the 5K course. With that finish, it means I ran the last 1.1 miles in 6:45. That equates to a 6:08/mile pace. I am very happy with that. Also, I took possession of 2nd place overall at about 7:00 into the race and was never challenged the rest of the way. The only dude in front of me was in my age group, so I was second in my age group as well.
This is my highest finish ever in a race. Even more important than my pace however, the speed is coming back into these old legs. I have about 6 1/2 weeks before my main race and I will get in some really key speed sessions as well as some distance and hill work. Knock on wood, I am headed in exactly the right direction.