2013 Firecracker 5 Mile

942650_487785611290069_398626750_nThis was my second Firecracker 5 mile race.  I ran last year to help pace Amber.  I failed by letting her go out too fast.  This year she was not able to run due to injury.  If not for her I would not have done this race.  My goal was to make her proud and to run in her place.  I wanted to put forth the effort and performance that I knew she was capable of had she not been injured.

It was an early morning…or a late night depending on how you look at it.  I was not well rested but there are things in life that are more important than running and I didn’t care that I was not well rested.  Yes, it likely impacted my performance but I do not believe it was by a significant amount.

On race morning Amber and the kids (except Cassie — she was missed) and I made our way to the race.  We went to the start ot find absolutely no one else there yet!  I guess I just like being a bit early to races!

I went out for a warmup and, without a doubt, my legs loosened up.  Taking a lesson from my experience at the BAA 10k I knew that I shouldn’t be alarmed that my legs felt heavy.  I did a few pick-ups and returned to the start.

Just as the race was about to start I looked off to Amber.  The look on her face was what I needed to see before this race started.  I won’t describe it here but it meant a lot to me.  I took off up the first hill not worrying much about anything at all.  I ran by feel and I felt OK.  I was pushing the pace — of course I was — I was racing!  I kept thinking about how I want to do well in Amber’s place.  Shortly after the first mile I hit an even steeper hill.  Yes, I’ve run this race, but I didn’t remember much of the course.  My first mile was a 6:25 (ahead of my goal of 6:30!).  My second mile was also good.  Something happened on the third and fourth miles and I can’t explain it.  My pace dropped off but I know my effort was just as high.  In fact, for the fourth mile, my effort was certainly higher than the third!  I can’t claim that seeing the 6:45+ paces for those miles did not discourage me a bit.  I felt like I was failing.  I focused.  Something magical happened and I ran a 6:05 for the last mile which pulled me back into my goal range for this race (magic…or was mile 4 mismarked???).

As I approached the finish I saw my peeps!  I got to “high” five the littles as I sprinted to the finish.

I’m satisfied with the results of the race.  I enjoyed pushing myself!  I managed to secure a 3rd place award for my age group.  I didn’t realize this until after we left the race (which is too bad, it would have been nice for the kids to see my get my award).

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Approximate splits:

1 6:26
2 6:36
3 6:45
4 6:47
5 6:04 (whoah)

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