"I'll take a PB if it's there, but anything under 20 minutes will be fine," I said to my chiropractor a couple of days before the St Patrick's race. "You know you'll just end up going for the PB," he said.
He knows me well. This is my 3rd time at this race, though I chose the 5k this time, prefering my next 10k on a flatter course. Top 10 looked possible on the strength of last year's times.
I got into the St Patrick's spirit a little for the first time ever, my green top being right for the +1 temperature. There were some great costumes, like the guy above in 100% green. My favourite was the "Guiness Batman" (no picture unfortunately).
The 10k race started first - might be the first time I've watched a race start before mine. Putting myself in the front row, I noticed a few shirts with "UCAC" on them - University of Calgary Athletics Club. No win today...
Previous PB was 19:48, so I set my garmin to pace me between 3:55 and 4:03, to get me within reach.
A splendid dog-marshall.
At 1.5k, and a downhill section, the 2 leading ladies drew level with me, so I joined them and the guy I'd passed just before.
Even though I always study the course map beforehand, I didn't notice the other 3 moving from my left to my right and then I somehow mistook where the marshall was standing, and kept going straight on until the middle of the junction when one of the ladies said "turn right?" almost as if I were the only one going the right way. I must have leant over at quite an angle seeing where my hand is in front of the camera lens. "Glad someone knows the way!" I said. No response from the others, strong silent types..
Around the corner on the lead down to the turnaround, all 3 of them slowed down enough for my watch to bleep "pace low", so I moved ahead and into the top 10.
"I dropped them!"
Back up the hill, and joined by some of the 10k runners made me feel a touch slow in comparison. Learning to read my condition in during a 5k and a 10k has taken a while. I let my pace drop a touch here as I felt my lungs trying to breathe in more air than they could expand to. It also helps if you know the PB is already in the bag - I passed the 4 k sign around 15:35, and the rest was a finish-friendly downhill. Exciting for me to know, though by now that great dog was bored to sleep.
I believe I was the first 5k runner wearing green to come into view at the top of the hill, easy to spot.
First km quickest, the .03 is probably down to my Mr Bean moment.
My age group "podium" got me a nice beer glass. A nice change, and although I look quite frazzled in this photo, I'm loving 2012 after a curtain-raiser like this :)
Here's the headcam video!