Thursday, July 04, 2013

New Stuff

The whole gang - just before the start    thanks to Marsha Clifford for the photo
Those of us who've been around awhile are well aware that the Half-Marathon is the new Marathon. Those who've been around even longer know that 5K is the new 10K. Believe it or not, 10K's used to be one of the more common race distances. Now I'm here to tell you that 21 minutes is the new 20 minutes for a 5K goal.

There was a time - not all that long ago - when two (count them, 2) 5K's in a row at sub 20 minutes were the goal. Even sub 39 minutes for the 10K was doable. As recently as 2006 I was still doing 39 and change. There were some 41's in 2007 and 2008. It looks like the last time I broke 20 minutes in the 5K was at this race (the Medina Twin Sizzler) in 2010. In fact, as far as I can tell, my last sub 21 was that year as well.

Not that I'm obsessed with numbers in general or specifically with race times. I'm much too far gone for any of that. Pilots say that any landing that you walk away from is a good one, so I've been going along those lines with my 'any race that you finish in vertical fashion is a good one'... But dad-gum it if I would really, really like to have a good race once in a while.

Well, it happened. At today's Medina Twin Sizzler 5K, I decided to concentrate on, and only do the 5K. For one thing, I've never done well at the 10K. For another, more important thing however, Veronica and the Grandkids are visiting, and I wanted to get back home relatively early so as to spend time with them. So I figured it's best to not even worry about that second race this time. Recent speedwork and tempo running haven't hurt, and it all turned out as well as could be expected.

It was warm and extremely humid. The Medina square was alive with activity. The whole gang was there. There was, as usual, a good sized bunch of runners at the start. The first mile was down, then up for a 6:44. The second was also hilly, but slower, for a 7:08. The final 1.1 miles - mostly downhill - were 6:55, for a finish time of 20:49 by my watch. That was also good for first in my ancient age group.

Now the question must be asked: can I knock a minute off this time for my next 5K? And then do two in a row for a sub-40 10K?


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