I came into the race ready to see what I could do. I was told the course had a couple of hills that would add at least 8 seconds to my time. That didn't discourage me because I was convinced that my added fitness would supercede all of the disadvantages.
I was encouraged by Sean to get to the race on time because he told me "This is why we train!". Meaning we train hard as heck for these moments so don't just piss them away. So Sean, Luis, and I warmed up for bit. Met up with Sam and Geoff to finish off the warm up. By the time the warm up was done we were definitely heated up and ready to go. The temp was 83 with 90% humidity. And that was in the shade. I ended up doing about 6 strides and stretching a bit before lining up.
When I lined up I had set up my new Garmin and I thought I was ready to go for the race. Uh oh, I forgot to change the display to show my mile splits. So I accidentally pressed the start button and my watched started. We were 30 seconds away from start time and I was still jabbing away at my watch. I eventually stopped my watched and was trying get the display right again when the gun went off. It was hilarious. For the first 1-2 minutes I'm just looking down at my watch trying to set it up all over again. There must have been other guys looking at me thinking "What the heck is Bill doing?". Looking back up I finally realize if I don't pay attention this race could get away from me. So I just said "Forget it" and run it cold turkey without the Garmin. Looking up I saw Junior Mitchell and Jose Lara ahead of me and Sean and Luis further up ahead. Right then and there I had to make tactical decision. Should I try to run ahead of Junior and Jose this early in the race or should I just coast behind those guys for the 1st mile? I decided to run ahead because I really didn't want these guys dictating my race so I pushed ahead. Junior picked up the pace as well but eventually he let me run by and then he drafted behind me for a while. Early on in the race it felt like I could catch Sean and Luis before the first mile marker. So I had another decision to make. Should I just be aggressive and just run by how I feel or should I keep my distance behind Sean and Luis and run the same pace? This time I decided to be less aggressive and decided to maintain my current pace. I have to admit, not knowing my pace really, really bothered me. I didn't know if I was running too fast or too slow. At a certain point in the race I just had to make peace with myself and just run the race that was in front of me.
Finally I had some semblance of where I was at time-wise at the mile 3 marker. The girl called out 15:19 so I knew I better high tail it for the last .1 because that would make the difference between a 15:4x and a 15:5x. I finished the last .1in 28 seconds for a 15:47 finish. There are several things we know for certain. Death and taxes. Add a couple more to that list. Bill running 15:4x and Bill finishing 2nd overall to one of my training partners(That's 4 times in a row now) :)
I ended up finishing 2nd to Sean who ran an awesome 14:54. Insane. Luis ended up pacing Sean through 2 in 9:38. So Luis did his job. Sean told me that this race was much more impressive than the Heights race where I PR'ed. I believe him too. Between the oppressive heat, the crazy hills, and Garminless run, I'd say it was a strong run.
After the race I had the chance to hang out with Junior Mitchell. He's a pretty cool guy. I found out a few things about him I didn't know before, like he's from Trinidad and that he used to be a sub 4 minute miler. If you've seen him race you could tell he has some crazy speed when he needs it. He had a little tweak in his calf coming in to this race so he kind of kept it under wraps and coasted to a 16:25. He told me I did a negative split in the race. Seeing how the race unfolded, I probably did.
Well anyway I ended up learning something about myself during the race. Garmin or no Garmin I can still run a pretty similar race.
- The results to the 2009 Dad's Day 5k can be found here
- 4 out the top 10 finishers were Kenyan Way guys (Geoff & Sam being the other 2)