Although the weather was questionable with a 30% chance of thunderstorms, I decided to head up to the Boulder Reservoir for the Racing Underground Stroke & Stride. I got there and found a small crowd, but went ahead and signed up. The wind was a non-issue and the water conditions would be great as long as there was no lightening. In short order the lifeguard staff did see some lightening and the start was delayed to 6:20 and then the swim was canceled after another lightening strike. I was a little disappointed, but not as disappointed as my wife would have been if I were hit by lightening during the swim.
Racing Underground decided to go ahead and put on the 5K only and credit all one day racers with $10 towards a future event. I put away all of my swim gear and grabbed my Garmin 305 and stretched out a little bit. It was overcast and the course is pretty flat. The course was modified for the firefighters, and started and finished on the grass rather than the road.
I got out to a pretty fast start and finished the first mile in 7:43. My heart rate was creeping up, but at an average of 167, I didn’t think I would blow up. I realized that I had gone out to fast and was starting to get passed by people who paced better than I did. I still finished the second mile in 8:13 and was starting to feel like I could punch through my long standing 5K goal of 25 minutes. My average heart rate had climbed to 175 and I needed to hang on for another mile. Mile 3 was brutal and I was officially spent. My pace had slowed to 8:28/mile while my heart rate climbed to an average of 176 (max 181). I was quickly eating into my cushion. As soon as I was in sight of the finish line, I really turned it up. I covered the last 120 meters in 33 seconds to finish the race in 24:51.
I was totally spent. I actually had a guy ask if I was OK. I was thrilled with the race. It was still a back of the pack finished, but some of my speed work and strength training is finally starting to pay off. I treated myself to a Normatec MVP recovery flush at All Sports Recovery before heading home.