14th Place Overall, 6th AG (30-39), 18:12
There is such a choice of turkey trotting these days. It now seems to start a couple of weekends out and then on the day itself every small town in Colorado seems to be putting one on. It seems everyone likes the idea of creating a caloric deficit before the feasting begins.
I chose Boulder again this year for a few reasons. I like the cause (they raised about $9K and over 970lbs of food) for the community food share and I ran 18:17 there last year when I was training for CIM and felt in pretty good shape. That year I'd also ran the 10k in Longmont as I did a couple of weeks ago and was quicker there as well by a handful of seconds. This would be a good test to see if I could come close to that time without all the long miles and big training block. My big fear was repeating the calf injury I picked up in the race last year which meant sitting out CIM completely. I was wearing the same pair of shoes so had a bit of anxiety going in. I was hoping all the track work and foot stability strengthening was going to pay off.
The weather was good. A light wind but nothing much to complain about. I hate courses that are measured incorrectly so always glad to go along to a Boulder Road Runners event as I can be sure it's certified and marked properly. If I hear of another person telling me they set their 5k or 10k PR in such and such triathlon I'm going to freak out, but that's a story for another time...
The race started fast and I was surprised how close to the front I was and had to have a quick look around to see if I was making a big mistake with the pace. Normally the lead guys just disappear ahead in Boulder races so it was slightly weird only having a dozen folks ahead. Everything was feeling good so I just went with it and tried to relax through the first mile. One woman passed me near the mile marker and Colleen De Reuck came through as well. I'd finished close to her last year and wanted to see if I could stick with her pace. We went through mile 1 in 5.35 and started to climb the gradual hill back onto the second mile. I knew Colleen had just run an amazing 2:39 in Indianapolis a couple of weeks back to qualify for the Olympic Trials at age 49. She didn't look tired!
I was getting gapped and starting to feel a bit in no-mans land. While passing my spectating Mother and Felix each lap gave me such a boost it was starting to become a game of how long I could hold on. Mile 2 came with a 5:56 split and I couldn't even do the simple math to calculate a sub 18min finish. That's usually a good sign for me that I'm working hard enough and not wanting to concentrate on other things. Coming into the track I laid it all out there in the last 300m and closed the gap to Colleen to 2 seconds at the finish and tied with the runner ahead of me on time.
In the end very happy with 18:12. Turns out it's my fastest altitude 5k (by 1 sec) since 2004. Probably would have ended with a better time if I had run a little slower on the first mile but to be honest, my best 5k's have always come from going out a little fast. Wendy had a fantastic day in her first race since giving birth 3 months ago. I was expecting her to run round in the high 28-29 range and she smoked it in 22:30 or so. So excited to see her get her running legs back and what she might want to shoot for next year.
Races that finish on tracks are just plain awesome. I wish there were more of them. I'd love to see a compilation of finishes at local 5k's because the sprints must be fantastic. I saw half a dozen alone at this race that would make any YouTube highlight reel.