1 PM: 2 mile shakeout, 14:52, Bethesda
8:45 PM: Twilight 8k, 25:52, PR
Mile splits: 5:11.6, 5:18.2 (10:29.8), 5:12.0 (15:41.9), 5:20.6 (21:02.4), 4:49.9 (25:52.3) - last segment equivalent to a 4:58 mile.
I took the Metro out to Rockville and got there aroung 7 PM, checked in, and walked the first 2 miles of the course. Then warmed up for 3 miles on the last section of the course. Then did about a mile worth of drills and striders. Cooled down for a couple of miles after the race with a couple of the guys from DC Road Runners, Joe and Mark. It is pretty funny: I have met three guys from DCRR and of these three Joe went to Cornell (where I did my postdoc), Mark went to Utah (grad school for me) and Monte went to Tulsa (my undergrad).
A couple of people told me that this course was fast. But I assure you that it is not. It is a tough course. It starts and finishes at the same place and there are two significant hills, as you can see from my 2nd and 4th miles splits and there are other rolling hills in between. HOWEVER, I will concede that it is a good, and possibly fastish, race. The reasons for this are:
1. It is held at 8:45 pm and so it is cool (relatively). I still doused my head with water at every station.
2. The competition is amazing! The winning time was 23 something and this was for a measly $350 and it only went 5 deep in prize money. Yet I was never in danger of being in "no man's land". I was surrounded by people the whole race. I recognized a dude that I had run with at Broad Street 10 miler in Philly. So I keyed off him for the first few miles.
3. The last mile is a slight down hill. So, even thought the first 4 miles are tough, if you have budgeted your effort correctly you can really cruise on the last mile. I was really happy with the way I paced in this race. Before seeing the course I had designs on going sub 26. But once I warmed up I told myself that my best result will come if I can manage a sub 5 for the last mile, and this is what I did.
My philosophy is that you should always be pleased with a PR.... and indeed I feel pretty good about this one. The McMillan calculator equates this to a 15:42 5k, which seems to be about right given my performances of late. So, I still contend that I am in 15:30 5k shape, and maybe on a flat 8k course this would have been true.