This past Sunday I ran my first 5k since November, and only my second since 2007. I was a bit nervous going in since I really wanted to beat my PR with an A+ goal of breaking 20 minutes. But, since I haven't been training for a short, fast race I didn't really know what to expect.
As anyone who has run any of the Shamrock races can tell you the second mile is a steady climb up Broadway with a nice increase in grade for the last .2 of a mile or so. My strategy was to run the first mile to get into a groove and find my pace, keep it steady but not push too hard in mile two, then try to hold on in the third mile.
Once I was underway it took me a while to settle into a groove but once I did I felt comfortably uncomfortable and figured I could hold on, or at least try to, for the next couple miles.
The first mile came in at 6:10, then I turned onto Broadway and started the steady climb up to the mile two marker. My pace stayed fairly steady for mile two but I did feel myself start to slow a bit. I knew that pushing hard at this point would kill me in mile three so I just tried to hang on and keep moving forward. Mile two: 6:47.
Once I made the turn and started mile three the course was flat for a couple of blocks and so was I. Ever so slowly I increased my turnover and picked up the pace as we encountered four or five glorious blocks of decline. The crummy thing about the mile long climb is that the downhill lasts for less than a quarter mile as the course makes it's way back down to the waterfront. After we made the turn onto Naito I kept the pace strong and when I hit the 2.5 mile mark I picked up the pace just a bit. Once we passed the three mile mark I pushed it to the throw-up threshold and crossed the finish line at 19:36 (6:18 pace).