I raced at Sundodger today in the men's open race. Coaches put us in the open so we understand this meet doesn't matter, it's more of a tune-up. Most of the top guys didn't race, just tempoed, but I used it to gauge where my fitness is. I haven't raced much in the last year or so, so I felt this would be a good chance to break some of the rust loose.
The start was crazy, lots of bodies everywhere. I went through the mile in about 60th in 5:00, and had to fight to protect my space. I hate having to do that, but oh well. I focused on maintaining pace and quickly started to pick people off. Lead group was within sight here and there, I wondered if I could make up the ground.
Second mile in 5:00 as well, people were starting to come back. I felt good. I zoned out and the 3rd mile came by in 5:04, I was in about 20th and there was a large pack about 30 yards ahead. I focused on catching them. I caught the leader of that pack before mile 4, he tried to hang with me so I surged on a slight downhill and he dropped. Reached 4 miles in 20:10, a personal best, meaning a 5:06 for that mile.
That pack was my last contact with any other runners, the leaders were out of sight. Monitoring myself, I was shocked at how good I felt. I knew I could hold pace at least through 10k and probably further, but without any targets in sight, I just focused on maintaining pace and not letting the guys behind me think they could come back on me. Ran the last .97 in 4:59, crossing the line in 25:09.
This is a blazing fast course, but I was shocked at how good I felt, kinda like I was tempoing. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to how things go the rest of the season.