It's funny, leading up to the starting line, this race was nothing more than a cool way to finish off a memorable running year. So I didn't train much for the distance, I didn't carbo load, I didn't even worry about what time I went to bed or got up.
Jelly and I signed up for this about a month ago. I remembered my last 5K in a hot hot July day and remembered how I finished it badly (heat related head wooziness). R and two other friends came to run the race and we gathered at the historic Distillery District with its cobblestones. It was sunny, the wind was light and it was barely cold. Perfect running weather.
My so-called game plan was to take it easy. Throw down a 4:30 half marathon pace for the first few kilometres, and see how I felt. We started, I punched my Garmin and we were off. It felt good, fast even. I had only run once earlier this week, so I'd plenty of fresh legs. By the time we were 400 metres in, I was surprised that I was not far off from the front. The guys at the very front were not blazing away and I knew that none of the serious speedsters were out there today. After 1K, I calmed myself down and just settled into a 4:30 pace. We hit the out and back and I was surprised that I was in about the first dozen or so runners. Huh? This run barely qualifies as a tempo run.
Oh well, at this point, my major worry was breathing, as the congestion from my cold i've been recovering was demanding, well, a way out. I hit the 3.5K and I remember wanting it to be over, but I knew it was all in my head. The marathon, I told myself. This 5K is piddly compared with the marathon. And in the final kilometre, instead of slowing down, I speeded up, and finished the race, and my last few strides of 2006, on a cobblestone road, hitting my Garmin which said I'd done the distance in 21:53.
I walked back to greet Jelly, and saw that she was well below the 30 minute mark, so I ran about 50 metres with her, telling her to push it!
So that's it, race No. 7 and the final run of the year.