Anthem 5K Race Report

Official Results:

Avg Pace Per Mile: 6:27

Division (M 30-34) Place: 33rd out of 436
Gender Place: 166th out of 3316
Overall Place: 185th out of 7800

My ultimate goal this season is Ironman in August. So doing a 5K this early in the year, when I’ve done very little speed work, isn’t ideal. That being said, I was hoping to run a sub-20 minute race. I’ve never broken the 20 minute mark and I was confident that this was the year.
I thought that I was going to be smart and use the “Virtual Partner” feature on my Garmin watch to make sure I stayed on pace. I set the pace to 6:25 minutes per mile, which would equal a 5K time of 19:57. I would just be able to look down at my watch and see how many seconds ahead or behind this pace I was…pretty simple.
I started out feeling good. The weather was in the high 30’s and sunny – perfect! I started near the front, but still had to do some people-dodging during the first 1/4 mile or so. I glanced at my watch once things cleared out and I was 3 seconds ahead of pace. I stretched this out to 6 seconds by the end of the first mile. So far, so good.
My breathing picked up a bit going up the hill in the second mile, but even after the short climb, I was still 3 seconds ahead of my goal pace. My breathing settled a bit and I started to feel the burn in my legs as I finished up mile 2.
I made the last turn onto Main Street and knew that I still had a sprint finish left in me. Just before kicking it up for the finished, I took one last look at my watch…still 5 seconds ahead of pace. I was going to get my sub-20 minute time!
I put my head down and sprinted the last 1/4 mile to the finish, never taking another look at my watch. I stopped my watch as I crossed the line. I looked down…20:03??!!? What the hell? How could that be? I was several seconds ahead of my pace and I knew that I didn’t slow down at the end.
I quickly scrolled though my watch and saw that the overall distance was 3.16…and not 3.10 – which is what I based my 6:25/mile goal pace on. I knew that I had run all the tangents and hadn’t moved around the road too much passing people early in the race. So was the race long or did my GPS just act up? Probably a little of both.
I’ve know that GPS watches are not accurate, but I had too much confidence in mine on Saturday and it burned me. Could I have run 4 seconds faster and met my goal? Sure. But I thought I was doing what I need to do based on the pace my watch said I was running. 
The Garmin told me that my average pace was 6:21/mile for the race, which would translate to 5K time of 19:43…well under 20 minutes. 
Sprinting to the finish as my form falls apart….at least I’m not heel-striking!
I’m not really sure what I should have done different. Last year I didn’t use the “Virtual Partner”, but I hit my lap button at every mile marker and knew that I needed to run 6:25’s or better (which I didn’t do). Maybe that’s a better strategy since the course mileage I based on those markers.
I was disappointed for a little while, but I’m over it. Bottom line is this was still a 5K PR for me and I’m faster and feeling better than I ever have. Next up is the Rodes City Run 10K in two weeks…can I break 42 minutes???

Be sure and visit all of my sponsor’s websites. I sought out these companies because the provide great products and services. I’ll have some posts coming up soon discussing what each company has to offer runners/triathletes…you may be surprised!

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