I was keen to see what kind of a 5k time I could land, seeing as my speed has been much improved, and the Bazan Bay 5k course was apparently PB material. The week leading up to the 5k, I was actually in pretty miserable shape in terms of my health. Although I wouldn't classify myself as being sick, I was definitely fighting off being sick and was not 100%. Adding to this was the fact that I hadn't been sleeping very well at all. Typically I was getting to bed at around 10:30 pm, and then up at 4 am for good. I was feeling very stressed about my coaching job, as my Badminton Team was heading for the Provincials, and I was not only coaching but organizing the entire event. And although you may think, "it is only badminton," when you consider that I was the only person organizing the 16 teams of 16 people who were coming here for a top-level tournament for 3 days, it all added up to a fair bit of stress for me. In the end however, the tournament went well, both from my own team's performance (5th) and also from an organizational standpoint. I barely stayed healthy though, and for the second time in my life, I lost my voice for the better part of 3 days.
I only managed 2 days of running in the week prior to the 5k, but on race day, I was still feeling like I had the speed and the drive inside me.
I positioned myself on the start line, and once again, it was apparent that track athletes and triathletes filled the top portion of the field. It was also cool for me to see Simon Whitfield in the race as well.
As the race began, the pace was fierce, and I did my best to find my 5k pace. Only problem was, I really had no clue of what a proper 5k race pace was. I knew it was faster than my 10k pace, so all I did was gear it up a notch form that. I felt pretty good through 1k and was content with my position in the race. Simon Pearson was slightly ahead of me and Gary Duncan was slightly behind me, so I must have been where I should have been. At the 1k split, I was horrified to see my time of 3:15. I immediately thought of taking it back a little, but I still felt good, and thought it was only a 5k race, so I held the blistering pace. At this point, I was not really passing anyone but was simply holding my own and following master runner Lucy Smith. I thought about passing her before the 2k mark, but held off the urge, knowing that the pace was definitely more that what I - the Gordon Head ultrarunner - was used to. At the 2k split, I was at 6:44 and Lucy started to pull away from me. I remember wondering at this point why the hell I had chosen to wear a singlet. I was not warm, and by the time I was, the race would be over. My arms were actually numb, and I couldn't feel anything from my shoulders down. Dumb ass. I really only wore the singlet because it was lighter than the t-shirt, and I figured it would make 2 valuable seconds difference.
I now saw the top runners coming back at me (Simon Whitfield leading the way) and I knew that the turn around was coming up. My pace was slower along this stretch, and I now realized that my start was way too fast for me. No surprise. My race plan was to run "balls out", and hopefully hold it for 5k. I think my 3k split was around 11:00, and I had now rounded the turn-around and was trying to stride it out home. The race course was, in fact, perfect. Flat and boring. Perfect PB material. Basically this was like a glorified track event. And I don't do track.
I continued to struggle somewhat between 3 and 4k, but once I hit 4k I could hear Gary Duncan breathing on my back. I was determined not to let him beat me. If I was beat by him, then today really was not my best. I stayed ahead of him for the next 500m, only to have him and another master pass me. I then cushioned myself behind them, and then passed them both with 200m to go. The intent was to stay infront of them for good, but as we rounded the last corner, both of them surged by me, and I didn't have any gas left in the tank to keep up with them.
I crossed the finish line at 17:43. It was good for 52nd overall, 9th in my age group, and a PB for me at the 5k distance. Although these were all good things, it was a pretty poor run for me. The pacing was poor throughout, and I felt not very motivated on the flat course. I should have been able to go low 17's on this course if all was well, but today was just a mediocre day.
Next up for me is the Comox 1/2 Marathon on March 21. Hopefully it will be a good day.