Just a quick race wrap up of this morning's Centerpoint Challenge 5K. My goal was to beat my PR of 21:35 attained at the MetroFitness Turkey Burner 5K last fall. I knew if I was going to do it it would have to be soon, before the sweltering heat and humidity descends upon Alabama.
The race was held on a flat course in a neighborhood I run through on occasion. I warmed up for about 10 minutes prior to the start and then positioned myself at the line because of all the young kids up front. The gun went off and I found myself out front all alone, which was surprising. That didn't last long, however, as Paul Bonds quickly passed me once and for all. About the time he did I looked down and noticed my watch hadn't started. Cr@p! I started it up and tried to focus.
My breathing was labored, mostly because of the gunk I've had in my lungs the past few weeks. My chest was also tight from the pace. Despite these issues I was still able to keep Paul within my sights. I didn't expect to catch him and grew comfortable with the thought I might even place 2nd overall. That lasted until about the mile 2 mark, when a young kid passed me like I was standing still.
I rounded the last corner and caught a glimpse of the clock, surprised to see it hadn't turned 20 minutes yet. Damn, I thought. It's short. I picked up the pace and finished 3rd overall with a time of 19:56. My corrected time for the full 5K would have been around 20:37 based on my average pace of 6:38. Considering that's almost a minute faster than my last PR, I'm pretty happy. Also, I placed 1st for the Masters division. I won't let it go to my head since most of my competition was running the 10K, but it's still a nice achievement. I've never placed first before in any category.