Sunday, March 7, 2010


Wx – lows 40s, slight wind, very sunny

The Van Metre 5 Miler boasted some fast times in 2009, so I decided to put it on my schedule in 2010. My 5 mile PR is “soft” (25:12) and I knew that it was due to fall assuming I got in the right race. My goal was to run 24:45. Workouts indicated I could hit this time (or faster?) and I’ve run more over the past 3-4 months than I ever have during a stretch like this in my life. I’ve only raced once since the New Year (8:41 for 3k) so I was anxious to see where I stood.

The “G” word was issued by the starter and 600 runners poured down the street. I tucked behind a Potomac River Runner in an attempt to shield myself from the headwind and relax during the first mile. The pace seemed “right”, but after a quarter mile, teammate Dirk surged ahead on my left. This surprised me since Dirk indicated he was going to go out reserved. We must have been slow. Three Ethiopians darted by on my right. I took the bait and followed suit. There was an uphill just before the mile and all of a sudden I found myself in first place. I could hear Dirk and pro runner Demesse Tefera (28:31 at Healthy Kidney 10K) chomping on my heals. I hit the first mile in 5:03 and immediately thought this wasn’t going to be the day. I threw in a surge and began to press ahead. Dirk and Tefera followed…then stormed down the hill past me. I stuck to their coattails and told myself over and over that I was in shape. We hit mile 2 in 9:50 and I realized we were now back on pace. I struggled to keep a lasso around 1 & 2 and I found myself falling back ever so slightly. By mile 3 (14:45) I was about 10 seconds back, but I knew now I was at least going to run a good time…unless I fell apart. I tried again and again to open up my stride and make a final push during the next 10 minutes, but it felt as if I was running all out. Ahead of me, Dirk and Tefera were slugging it out and getting further and further away. Taking a page out of Running Within, I leaned forward and told myself over and over again “you can go faster, you can go can go faster”. I passed mile 4 in 19:45 and then ran it in.

I finished 3rd ($100) with a time of 24:47. I PR’d by 25 seconds and was quite happy with the effort considering the fact we’re still early in the season and the fact we had less than ideal weather conditions. My one regret is not going with teammate Dirk (who ended up outkicking the 63 minute half marathoner Tefera!!) after we passed mile one. I seem to drift in his wake during workouts and I should be able to go with him when he goes. Granted, I am no match for him, but perhaps I could have squeaked out a few more seconds by pushing myself a little bit more around mile 2. All that said, today was a very good day. Most importantly, running 4:58s for 5, should make running 5:05s for 10 feel easy once I am tapered and once the weather is sunny and warm.

This 5-miler jump started my racing season. Next up is the Shamrock 5k in Baltimore, followed by the Raleigh Relays (track 5,000m) and then the big dance - Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.

Splits - 5:03, 9:50 (4:47), 14:45 (4:55), 19:45 (5:00), 24:47 (5:02 last mile)


Andy said...

That's awesome that you believing in yourself pushed you so far. I'm going to work on that more.

DM said...

Awesome race, man. And a great report.

KLIM said...

Thanks guys. I was "in it" but had to keep telling myself to run for the clock so that I wouldn't fall asleep. Also, it's hard to get yourself to "go" with 6-8 mins left in the race...even know he are capable of pushing yourself at that point.

Upon re-reading this comment, I am not sure what I mean.

Chris Vames Sloane said...

Well done, Jake. It feels good to get out there and race after all that snow doesn't it?

KLIM said...

Fo sho