On the same weekend as friends of mine were in both the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run in Virginia, as well as the Florida Keys 100 Mile Run, I had a race of my own to look forward to: The Dennis P. McHugh 5K in Piermont, NY. Yeah, I know, life is tough, but someone's gotta make these sacrifices. (:
I intended to run this as hard as possible to conduct a fitness test on myself and that's what I did. The test results were a tad disappointing, but not surprising. Two months ago I could have run this course at least two minutes faster. Since I didn't run a 5K two months ago, however, I technically have a bittersweet PR of 29:11 net (official time was 29:37). (previous PR 29:47)
One interesting aspect of this race is I believe I came in higher in the field than any race I've ever done - my position of 291st place out of 531 corresponds to the 55% percentile - which is getting pretty close to the top half. *that* has me quite excited.
The first mile of the course is gently rolling out-and-back on the streets of piermont before turning right onto the completely flat mile-long pier from which the city gets its name. I was cruising along at about a 9:00 average pace feeling a bit winded from the hills and looking forward to the flat stretch. My mind was wondering if I could sustain the pace through the race.
By the time I completed mile 2 I was slowing down noticeably, and really had to concentrate to keep my pace below 10 minutes per mile. Going back down the pier I could see almost everyone else in the race and, being competitive by nature, it's always encouraging to me to see all the thin athletic-looking people minutes back of me after a mere 2.5 miles. I was, however, deteriorating and spending most of my time thinking about the finish line.
By the time mile 3 was wrapped up I was in a world of hurt and a finishing kick seemed impossible. It was all I could do to maintain the pace I was at. When I finally did cross the finish line (under 30 minutes, thankfully), I was dizzy and needed something to lean on. Average pace (based on official time) was 9:30, which for a 300lb man, isn't too shabby, honestly.
So, despite my disappointment in my time, I can honestly say that I left everything I had out on that course and I'm proud of that. I attribute my time to inconsistent training and weight gain since the Caumsett 50K, which is something I need to reverse before Dam Wakely Damn on July 18.