Don't ever play pool with me.
Our Tri Team did a "5k run for time" workout tonight. It was very well-organized. Leader Leah marked out a 5k out-and-back course along the L.A. river trail, with mile markers and inspirational chalk-notes along the path. Everyone was assigned a number, we were body-marked, and we had an official timer to clock us. There were about 25 of us, and we all had to sign up with our individual goal time. I wasn't sure what to go with. I haven't been running very frequently over the past month, and before that most of my runs were untimed hill runs at a presumably slower-than-normal pace. I figured I'd start with my standard 10-minute-mile baseline, then knock it down to 9:30s. I put down 28:30 as my goal.
The path is pretty narrow, so we tried to seed ourselves at the start line. Remember Steve?
He came up to me and asked what my pace was, because he never times himself. I told him I'd probably go out a little fast for the first mile, about 9 minutes, then slow up and average about 9:30. But I warned him: DO NOT PACE OFF OF ME. Do not sight on me during a swim because I can't swim a straight line to save my life, and don't pace me in a run because I am wildly inconsisent. But you think a guy with a swim cap over his nose is gonna listen? Instead, he stayed in my line.
We took off at what seemed like a brisk but not unreasonable pace. I checked my watch at the 1 mile mark: 6:57. I was hoping for 9:00 and came up with sub-7:00?! (although to be fair, Steve was ahead of me for much of the first mile so I blame him.) I pulled ahead for a while and then figured I had plenty of time in the bank so I could ease up after the turn-around and still hit my goal time. Unfortunately, Steve pulled up next to me. Now then, I had nothing to prove, I didn't have to beat him. But I didn't have to get left in his dust either. So I drafted behind him as long as I could and wheezed my way through the last mile.
After everybody finished, I was looking over Koach Konrad's
shoulder (he's a triathlon trainer) as he was reading the clipboard showing everybody's goals and actual times. We've met eachother several times in the group but he doesn't know me by name. He started laughing: "wow, we've got some bad sandbaggers here! Look at this guy: he puts down a goal of 28:30 and pulls out a 23:59!" Um, yeah, that was me. I think we had some 21s and 22s in there, but at least they knew that's what they'd run.
A sub-24 minute 5k is great for me. I just have no sense of timing or where I stand with my training. But I guess that's why we're doing these workouts, right?
In a few weeks we're going to do a 10k. I'm thinking... 90 minutes?