Saturday: I do the JMU Dukes Homecoming "5K" Run. Brutal course, teeny field, no mile marks, no splits, very low-key. I crushed it, finishing 7th outta 66. Raced the whole way, never looked at my watch, just focused on being controlled, working every climb, steady on the flats, open it up on the downs. After the initial shake-down of a torrid start on a fairly steep uphill, there are two guys within striking distance: one maybe 30 meters up and the other maybe 60 meters at, say, Mile 1. I work my way up to the first kid by the end of a sweeping flat curve, then dust him on a fairly long downhill. The next kid I get on a sharp uphill before, say, Mile 2. From there, I start the long surge to the end, just like the old days. Just like the old days, the mantra is "CHP. CHP. CHP." (Chest up, hips forward, push off.) The final half-mile is flat, and I tie up just a little bit the final 300 or so.
I hit my watch at the finish. 21:00.
Wow. With this effort, I know this course is way longer than 3.1 miles. After a 10-min. warm-down, I find the young kid who is the RD (he refs basketball with us) and ask him how long the course really is.
His answer: It's 3.4 miles. (Traditional course. Sees all of campus that they want to show off, hard to change it now that it's been going on for many years blahblahblah).
Using a Runner's World conversion tool, I ran ... 19:09. Yeah, 6:10 minutes per mile pace. 19:09. That's 18 seconds faster than I went last July in a 5K that's very accurate with a much larger field, hence plenty of people to key off of when you are gassed at the end.
MAN, was that fun :)
Sunday: Planning to do an easy 2-hour run/walk, wake at 6:30 a.m. without time to get in said 2 hours before church, so opted instead for taking the online basketball ref test. Cranked the 100-question, true-false test in an hour. Needing a 70 to ref varsity and an 80 for post-season eligibility. Instant result: 88! Sweet! Church at 8:30 a.m. with a seriously moving ceremony, then groceries. Expecting to pump out a quick 25-minute run before taking Ben to lacrosse practice in C-ville, then rush back in time to head off to Strasburg for a ref meeting. Get home to find a voicemail from the lax guy saying practice is moved from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., so Heidi cuts me loose to head off for a long run ... so I drive to JMU and do 2 hours very gently of 9 mins. run/1 min. walk. Legs felt awful at the start, then totally peachy by the end.
Monday (aka one amazing way to cap a pretty neato three days): On my 25-minute jaunt before work, I find a $20 bill!
A 19:09 5km, a 2-hr. run/walk and a little extra green. Not a bad three days at all.