I have been wanting to sign up for a 5k for the past few months so I could attempt to break 20 minutes, a goal I've had since last year. The Greensboro Gobbler presented itself so Hannah and I signed up the day before. Now I had done zero speed work since my marathon (didn't really do speed work for that either), so I was a little concerned about actually making it under 20 minutes. My plan was to go all out and just push the entire time and see what happens. I felt like the past 5k attempt almost a year ago was to planned out and my plan ended up backfiring on me.
The morning came with sub-freezing temps but some bright sun. I was decked out in tights, gloves, beanie, and two long sleeve shirts, which kept me comfortable in the 22 degree temperatures. Not really my ideal wardrobe for setting a PR. Hannah and I warmed up for the last 15 minutes before the run and my legs felt good. I took a spot at the front as to not get stuck in traffic and soon we were off. I put on the gas and by the first turn I was starting to feel like I may have gone out to fast as I was starting to get passed a bit more. I focused on the shoulders of the guy in front of me and just tried to hold on. I crossed the first mile marker in 5:58! This was obviously a bit too fast for me and I kept hoping I could at least use the fast start to my advantage and run a typical 6:30 for me to get to the 2nd mile marker by 12:30, a split I felt I must get to keep the goal alive. The course was a bit more uphill at this point and I made an effort to keep pushing. My breathing was heavy but my legs kept rolling and by the time I made it to the 2nd mile marker I split at 12:31. I knew the goal was in play still, but I could see that the course was about to go up some major hills. I hit the hill and pushed harder and passed 4 people on the first pitch. As the first hill flattened out I was passed back by two, but the last .3 miles were uphill as well and I made a push again. I was inhaling and exhaling on each step and just put my head down and pushed. I hit the 3 mile marker and I was at 19:04. I knew that I would get sub 20 now and I began to back off, but someone tried to pass me and I couldn't let that happened. I put the hammer down, passed 3 people in the last 100 meters and crossed the line in 19:42!
I had made my goal and came in 34th place overall and 4th in my age group. I was pumped, but I immediately headed back to the finish line to see Hannah come in who was also trying to PR. Her goal was to run 23 minutes flat, which would be a PR by 30 seconds. It happens though that she came in well before that and crossed the line 21:31 for an almost 2 minute PR at the 5k! She also ended up taking 1st in her age group! I've got one talented wife! She is hoping to take that speed into her half marathon next weekend for another PR.