In short - I hit my goal! 29 second PR feels great.
Warm up was worrisome. I ran about a quarter mile and then pain from my ankle to the area around the top of my fibula. It's so hard to explain (definitely not shin splints, I've had those before). I stretched and massaged for a few minutes and then tried to run again. After 4-5 steps, the pain got increasingly worse and so I stopped again. More massaging and stretching, longer break. I found that if I ran in a circle counter-clockwise the pain was very mild, so that's what I did for about 5 minutes. Luckily no one was around! I ran on the grass and that seemed to help too. So I was finally able to finish a 2 mile warm-up. I decided that if it was still acting up during strides, I would not race.
Once I put on my racing flats and ran to the start line, there was no pain. I'm wondering if the shoes I warmed up in are the problem - the last three times I have worn them, the pain developed. But could it be something more?
Okay, so now the race recap. Before the race, Corbin (Davis XC Coach) informed me that I might have some good competition this morning - Morgan Haws from BYU was there (PR 5000m 16:14, 10000m 33:39, All-American, etc). I was hoping that she would be close and we could work together!
I went out a little fast (those high schoolers really like to gun it off the start). I finally eased into a good pace by the half mile and Morgan was right there with me. Mile 1 - 5:31. Not bad. We ran together through mile 2 - 5:35. We were both running a steady hard pace, working together. It was great. I made it to about 2.7 miles with her, then she threw in a surge. She made it look so easy! I didn't have that extra effort in me. Mile 3 - 5:40. I pushed it through the finish about 5 seconds behind Morgan with a time of 17:25.
I am very happy with my performance. Part of me is disappointed that I couldn't push a little harder to stay with Morgan, but I have to put it in perspective. I ran hard, ran a new PR, and felt strong while I was racing. Hard to beat that.
Cooldown with Allie and James (Fiddy). I wanted to get 12 in for the day, so 6.9 miles. Talked with Corbin and Janae (other Davis XC Coach) for a while. They have 70-80 kids on their team! That's awesome, and overwhelming. Janae is 8 months pregnant, about 5' tall, and her stomach is sticking out about a foot and a half! She is so cute.
Anyway, great local race. I definitely recommend it for a fast time. The course is very flat, with several turns (making tangents very important).