(Results 4/2/11) Doing this race was poor judgment. The night before the race, we happened to be looking at upcoming races, and noticed that there was one the following day in Smithfield -- a RI town in which we had not yet run. Also, it was a new race, so we figured no one else would have found out about it. Might as well show up and run a 7-minute pace 5k and pick up $50, right?
On the starting line, I saw TH, as I expected, and I decided to let her go and just run for second (first place = shoes; second place = cash). She ran well, in third place overall at certain times during the race. Unfortunately for me, some other legit people also showed up, so I found myself running a 6:05 first mile just to hang with second place (IN). Luckily this slowed to a 6:20 second mile and 6:30 third mile, but I threw in a kick at the end just to make sure all that fast running paid off! It turns out that the woman I was running with (IN) is an ultramarathoner; she told me after the race that she has no kick. Not surprising for a person who does a 50-mile race one weekend and a 5k the next! That's an impressive range.
All in all, doing this race was a very poor choice. I had done a track workout the day before, and the whole point of a track workout is to stress the body and then recover, in order to improve. A 19:30 5k is not burning up the road, but it's certainly not recovery pace, either. I had been having calf pain, and while I didn't feel it during the warm-up or during the race, I felt it afterwards.
The experience taught me that I shouldn't do a race unless I am planning to go all-out and really race it, that when I have a goal race, I should focus on it and not let small road races distract me from that long-term goal. I hope that I can remember this in the future!
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