Deja. Flippin'. Vu. That's how I felt about last night's 5k.
Yes, I won my age group again as I did last year. Yes, I set a PR by a whopping 2 seconds. However, I did not make the progress (i.e. run sub-19) I had hoped.
6:34 -- say what the #&$@!?
I was shocked when I saw my split as I approached mile 3. Sure, it was tough, and maybe I slipped slightly off pace. But no way did I feel like I slipped off pace by 30+ whole seconds. Same thing happened last year. Here my splits from last year's race.
I asked around and many runners had the same experience -- a strangely slow 3rd mile. For this reason, call me crazy, but I am convinced the course's mile markers are off. Are they off and the total distance is right? Or is the course long? I am not sure.
As a whole, my training with FIRST is progressing (at least, so I thought).
- Last week's 17 miler was my best long run in several weeks at 7:30 avg pace.
- I am hitting all the tempo runs at the pace prescribed by the FIRST plan for a 2:59 workout. This week I nailed a 4-mile 6:28 tempo pace workout at very nearly even splits.
- I am only slightly off by a few seconds from hitting the targets on the speed intervals (typically ranging in the mid 5:00's for pace)
I may do the Viking Sunset 5k at the end of the month. Maybe this will tell me if the Joliet course is long or that I am just not able to hold the third mile of a 5k.
No time to worry about that now. Time to get to bed early for a very early solo 20-miler tomorrow. I am going to experiment with Waterfall Glen. Can you believe I've lived in the Chicago area for 2+ years and never run it? I hope to beat the heat at 6AM on the shaded path.