After returning from our first camping trip (with children) and only moments prior to toeing the line I had enough wherewithal to draft out a rough race plan. Based on my recent mile, the McMillan Calculator predicted a 5,000m time of 17:17. I was hoping to run something faster, ideally closer to 17:00 but settled on sub 17:10... for no reason other than an unfounded belief that I was entitled to run faster. My pace/km was 3:26.
I chatted with the eventual winner (and perpetual superstar) Lucy Smith just before the start and knew that she was aiming to hold 3:25s with the thought being able to slip under 17:00 if the conditions were right. Sure, why not I thought. I was completely surprised then when instead of a moderate 81”-82” opening 400m, we cruised through in 78”. At that moment I knew I had to either, a) run with it and accept the result that fate would deliver or b) slow down. I choose poorly.
We spilt the opening kilometre in 3:23 the whole time alternating 400s as there was a wickedly strong wind on the backstretch. We continued this pattern through 2,400m, after which all I could do was squeak out a weak apology between gasps and wait for the inevitable.
The train wreck was excruciating. Despite trying to hold my form (the usual smooth stride and relaxed shoulders) it felt as if I was running uphill, into the wind with wet sneakers. In the end I crossed the line in the predicted 17:17 but couldn’t help but think of the possibility that existed had I run a smart race. Still, the result was far better than my first 5,000m in May (17:40) and a further improvement over the 17:24 run in June.
The carnage: 3:23, 3:24, 3:28, 3:35 & 3:27
Enough of this, back to vacation for a couple more weeks...
Training: VTS #8: 5,000m, 17:17.0, 3:27/km, 5:34/mi, 2nd OA