Wouldn't you know the first really, really cold day of the fall was the same day as this race.
This used to be the annual fun run for the high school where the boys competed. I've made it a regular thing for me whenever it didn't interfere too much with a big race I might be training for. This year it only interfered a little bit and while Rehoboth will be fun, it's not a race I'm keying on at all. My schedule had eight miles for Saturday, so of course I could run a fast-ish 5K in the middle of it.
It's a small race, too, which means I didn't have to show up early for parking or anything other than time for an easy mile to warm up. Where I am in training (and my latest comeback) right now, I expected (hoped?) to run just under 8 minute pace. If I could do that for the first two miles, then I'd see if there was anything in the tank for number 3. My warm up overlapped the national anthem, so I missed that. I might have felt badly about that if it hadn't also been 30 degrees. I was wearing tights, double shirts, double gloves, and a headband. My ears didn't used to get so cold. I used to have hair that covered them most of the time.
I looked ahead and thought I counted a dozen or so runners ahead of me. About what I figured, based on the competition in previous years. I decided top ten was my target for the day, but with 2-1/2 miles to go, there wasn't too much to base that on. But it's good to have a goal, right? Making the next turn put us on a nearly half mile section of road that was fortunately not too busy on a Saturday morning. There's no sidewalk on this road and they had us on the right side of it, with the traffic if there had been any. No real issues with it except the dusting of snow we had, on top of the leaves that were on the ground made for some slippery footing. I took advantage of the no traffic thing and ran in the car lane. I passed one guy a little younger than me I thought, and then one of the high school kids. I'll call him Big Hair because he had a huge mess of it. He was also a pretty loud strider, too, because I could hear him close behind me most of the race. Guess that helped keep me focused.
Mile 1 came in at 7:24. Faster than I'd expected, but it felt about right so I tried to hold the pace there. They had a table with water set up shortly after that but it didn't look like anyone ahead of me had taken any. I'm always a little surprised with 5K water stops. Someone later said all the cups were iced over. Brr.
This is a twisty sort of race course, through the neighborhood streets. 100% flat, which is nice for me anyway. No hills and only two days of speed work in my training so far. I could hear Big Hair behind me and the students watching the course were cheering for him, but his steps seemed to be farther back, so I didn't check. I was still feeling pretty strong, too. Mile 2 was 7:25.
Normally I stick around this one for the awards, which take forever since they wait for all the walkers and then do 20-30 AGs, but Mrs. Dave had lots of plans for the afternoon, so I booked it home.
So, on to Rehoboth.