My unexpected fastest 5K

I pretty much got talked into running a 5K this morning and I'm so glad I did. Despite the heat and humidity and being unfamiliar with the course, I once again posted a personal best at 22:42, a 7:19 pace. I beat my previous 5K best from June by 21 seconds. The course, which was described on the brochure as "relatively flat," was one of the hillier courses I've ran. Rolling hills would've been a better description. The first mile wasn't too bad since it was mostly downhill. My first mile was 6:30, which seemed way too fast. I slowed down between miles 1 and 2 so I could save something for the end, and because of the hills involved. The last mile was brutal and seemed so slow, so I was more than pleased when I got near the finish line and realized I'd finally have a sub 23-minute 5K. (Click here for the results.)

The thing that made today so different is that I forgot my GPS watch. And I also forgot my sunglasses, which have been part of me the last few races. So I was completely off my normal race day routine, but in the end I'm so glad I didn't have a watch on me. Like a run several weeks ago, I felt free and I didn't feel obligated to try and stick to a certain pace. I just went for it.

To add even more excitement, I "won" my age group ... but I happened to be the only runner in the field of about 85 in the 25-29 age bracket. Had it been 20-29, I still would've won my age group.

So all in all, I'm glad I was convinced to run today. I missed my speed/endurance group run this week, so this definitely made up for it. I'm still planning to get my long run in tomorrow, but may cut back a bit if this blistering heat continues.

I'd also like to give a shout out to Jill, my future ex-co-worker who talked me into doing this race. It's been great doing this races with you, and don't worry, I'll come back for some of these. Another co-worker would get a shout out, but she failed to show up ... just like she did for the Academy Mile.