I finally ran an in-person race!!! It felt so good to warm-up, get on that starting line and let her rip!
The Mean & Green 5 miler is a cross-country style race run on grass and dirt. I've run a handful of races on this course and this was probably the best I've felt.
I managed to run a 31:18 and negative split the last few miles.
The highlight of the whole day was the fact so many people recognized me and knew me by name. And during the whole race, there was a constant "go Jason!!" To be honest, I don't remember feeling something like this since my high school days. I loved it!
I felt super relaxed at the start and spent the last few minutes before the gun going off joking around with Scott. My only goal going into this race was to run with Scott and hang onto him. I hadn't done any speed work, or many miles for that matter, going into this so it was all a big mystery.
During that opening stretch, I spent some time looking around to figure out who was there and where everyone was. I noticed a couple high school and college aged kids take off and could tell they were moving at a decent clip. I hung back and stayed reserved and relaxed. The start of this race is up a hill so I knew I needed to just chill and let the speed come naturally.
During that first mile, there was separation between the front 2, myself and the next 2 guys, one of which was Scott. I let the 3rd place runner dictate the pace the first mile and just sat back and enjoyed the view.
When I approached the mile mark, Natalie, Paisley and Adam were standing on the fence cheering me on! I loved seeing their smiling faces and saying "Go Daddy!!" As I went by, I patted them on the head and kept on going.
I was feeling really good and like I was barely moving so I decided to turn it into a race. This course has a lot of blind corners and straight aways so one of my favorite things to do is surge around the corners and open up my stride before the runners behind me can see where I am at. Then once they come around the corner, the gap they thought they had is now even bigger! I spent much of the 2nd mile doing this and by the 3 mile mark, I had about a 20-30 second lead.
As the race went on, I continued to turn the crank and increase my speed and gap the field.
All in all, I ended up closing the gap on 2nd place by about 20 seconds and opened up the gap on 4th place by almost a minute.
I kicked it in the final turn and finished strong. 3rd Overall, 31:18. If it wasn't for the 1st/2nd place guys who came in from Puerto Rico, I would have won the race. But, it's all good.
Here are my splits for the day:
Up next: Holloway Half Marathon, February 6th. (Going for the course record!)