I hadn’t even posted to my running group about this race as I didn’t have high expectations, I was hoping to just get under 20 minutes, maybe 19:40 was the fastest I had thought about. The weather was perfect, around 65 degrees and not humid, it almost felt cool as I did my 1 mile warm up. I lined up and say hi to several of the runners that I hadn’t seen for a while, my last 5K was back in December and I had only ran a 5 miler in January and a half in March so wasn’t race ready. The race was the Run for the Stars for a local dance group, oddly enough I set my post THR PR at this same race in Nov 2012.
The gun went off and just over 300 runners set off, I had position myself in the second row and as usual get caught in a fast start as everyone rushes out. I saw Anders ahead of me and decided to tuck in behind him as I knew he’s just a little quicker than me and he settled into a nice pace allowing several others to still rush by. I looked down at my watch and at that time we were on a 6:10 pace for the mile. I kept behind him and could see about a dozen runners ahead of me but felt like I could go faster, I looked down at my watch and now it was on a 6:40 pace so I pulled out and overtook Anders, hoping I wouldn’t regret it around mile 2 when I usually tire. I passed a couple more runners and could now see Scott and James ahead of me so decided to try to keep close to them. I passed the mile mark and my watch was around the 6:10 mark, a little too fast for me but I kept going.
As we went past the half way point a grabbed a cup of water and took a short drink and carried on. By the time the 2 mile mark approached I could feel myself tiring a little which is when I usually slow down. I decided to keep pushing to keep in touch with the 2 ahead of me as the watch showed around 6:12. By now I was thinking I will break 20, maybe close to the 19:40 target, I hadn’t really done the math as I didn’t expect too much. James passed Scott and so did I as we continued around the same pace. I was certainly tired but was able to keep going, I think the 55 miles the week before and an easy week leading up to this helped me, as well as the Monday night interval runs with the iRun group in Miami. As we rounded the lake I still felt good and we could now see the lead girl just ahead. As we approached the 3 mile mark James kicked into top gear and I followed and was able to pass the girl on the run in. I couldn’t believe the clock as we rounded the final corner, it was reading 18:40 as I continued my sprint crossing the line in 18:47. I had beat my PR and under 19 minutes, something I thought possible 2 years ago before I got injured and had to rest for a year but didn’t think it was possible now at 55.
The reason I included AGPR and PG in the title is it’s important to set realistic goals, an Age Group Personal Record or a Personal Goal. For me I only really took up running after my hip replacement just over 4 years ago so a PR at this age is probably a little easier for me than someone whose been running for a long time. I’m sure at some stage I will have to set other goals but for now maybe 18:30 is possible, you never know. After the race I rode my ElliptiGo bike for 2 hours and did our usual Sunday morning Tri and will do Yoga in an hour or so. It’s good to cross train and rest to help you achieve your goals.