5k in downtown Toronto. Big race with lots of goodies... technical shirt, a pair of gloves, and beer and chili at the finish! Not bad.
First, a big peeve of mine... why do people who are slow (or even walking) insist on being right up at the front for the start!? It's a chip timed race, if you're not going to be finishing in at least sub 25, you shouldn't be rubbing elbows with the guy in the singlet that weighs 110 pounds soaking wet. I had to seed myself further to the front than I maybe should have been just to be in front of some people who clearly weren't going to be fast... grumble!
At the start line, they announce that the course is short due to construction, so I'm already a bit cheesed... in the end it probably wasn't short by more than 50m, if that, but it put me in the mindset that this one wouldn't really count. (Update - per the organizer, it was actually perfect, they moved the start line back to account for the other change! So it counts!)
I started well, kept my pace within myself. It starts downhill, then immediately has a noticeable uphill, so I just kept things even and close to target pace. As expected, my Garmin lost its mind once we got into the tall buildings - but there were no kilometer markers! I had no idea what my pace was, I felt OK but just had to hope I was still on pace.
At the turn-around I was at 10:10... so sub-20 was looking like a tough task.
I tried to pick up the pace a bit, and thought I had done so for a bit. Still, it was tough to tell, Garmin was hosed and no kilometer markers, I was just running with what I had and hoping it was good enough.
Somewhere near the end I looked at the Garmin again and the distance said 4.5km, and almost exactly 18:00... if that were actually accurate, I only needed to hold 4:00/km pace to the end and I'd have my sub-20!
I tried my hardest to get a finishing kick going, but by this point the fatigue had really built up, and the finish is on an uphill... I realized pretty far from the line that I had further to go than I figured, and once the clock hit 20:00 I knew it was gone. I trudged to the line for a 20:30.
In the end, Garmin showed 5.15km... I think it's wrong though, it went crazy a few times.
Drank my beer, ate my chili, drank another smaller beer and headed for home.
20:30 (chip), 70th/1546 overall, 27/219 M30-39
It's a personal best, but still 30 seconds off my goal... I just don't seem to have the mustard to find that little extra for sub-20. I thought being a bit lighter and doing much more speedwork (intervals especially) would have really helped, but I'm only marginally faster than last year at best.
So back to the drawing board, need to figure out what training I can do to find 30 seconds! It might just take the right day when everything goes perfect from the time I wake up... but I will get there! It's just 30 seconds, that's just one commercial.