What a difference the weather makes. Last race 78 with 90% humidity. Today 54 with 70% humidity. Really wanted to break 25 in a 5k this year and this was my last best chance to do it.
Day started at 3am when I woke up and realized the AC i turned on at 11 because it was too hot was still running. Had to go outside and throw the breaker so it would turn off. Then got back in bed and woke up at 4:45. Not the best night of sleep, but since I slept well yesterday I wasn't too concerned. Got out of bed around 5:30 and ate breakfast, then tried to fix the Heat pump again, but the blower just didn't want to turn off. Gave up around 7 and got ready for the race.
Got there nice and early and it felt cold, picked up the race packet and chip and dropped it off at the car. It was 30 minutes to race start and I was cold so decided to do my warmup. ran 1.5 miles and then back to the car to drop off the sweat shirt and then back to the start to do my strides. A bunch of people were now headed to the start so I joined in. Was expecting Cindy to just show up right before the gun as usual, and was not disappointed. With about 3 minutes to the gun I see her walking over.
We were fairly close to the front so I was hoping for a nice clean start, but as usual of late there were a bunch of people sprinting out at the gun, then at about a half mile they just died. I was trying to find some clear road and had to run around a bunch before I could find a good spot and then got into my rhythm. I felt like I was running a bit slower than last time, but when we hit the one mile marker the guy yelled 7:45, a bit fast, but I felt good, still I decided to dial it back a bit since I didn't want to die at the end. A couple people ran by me and I fell in their draft. I ran up next to one guy who was constantly checking his garmin and asked how we were doing. 7:52 pace he said. Then he said, "I'm an 8:20 runner so it's a bit fast for me". I told him I just wanted to get under an 8 minute pace so it was perfect for me. I lost him at the next hill. Mile 2 was harder than 1, but I still felt good and was running strong on the hills. Passed mile 2 at 15:55, so an 8:10 pace, but still under 8 for the 2 miles. I had been following two pre high school girls for a while and at this point, one of them just stopped dead in her tracks and told her friend to go on without her. I ended up running next to her and she started talking to me about how her nose was running and her eyes would water when the wind blowed. It was a nice distraction, but then someone she knew flew by us and she went off with her. A few other people passed me on this downhill part, but I knew there was an uphill coming so I just kept my pace steady. We turned into the Lenovo parking lot and started going up. It wasn't steep, but it was a long gradual uphill. Those people that just passed were now getting passed by me. I caught up to one guy just as the hill was ending and went by him. I guess he wasn't happy about it as he looked at me and then passed me back, ok with me, I'll just sit back here in your draft for a while. When we hit the final turn and passed the 3 mile marker it was right on 24:00 for an 8:05 mile 3 and 8 minute / mile. With just .1 to go I sprinted by my draft partner and managed to stay ahead of him to the finish and a 24:39 ( watch time, 24:44 official time ), 5K. That's about 40 seconds faster than two weeks ago and a new PR. But the best part of it was that when I as done I still felt good where as last week I was about to pass out. Did my 1.5 mile cool down and just hung out and people watched for a while until they posted the results.