I was a little nervous coming into this race because after my run on Tuesday I came right home, stretched, and then sat in a recliner for a few hours studying for exams. When I finally got up, my left hamstring was a little sore. I really noticed it the next day. Everytime I extend my knee and flex my hip (lengthen the HS), I could feel it pull a little. I wasn't too worried about running because I never duplicate that motion when I run. Only when I walk. I ran yesterday and it did not bother my while I ran. When I got home I sat on an ice pack and then got a massage later. Holy cow, I nearly cried. My left glutes did not want to be touched. But I told her to work it out and that I would keep the sobbing to a minimum. Got home and iced again. It sucks getting old.
When I woke up this morning, I felt good. We drove down to the race and started to walk to registration. Wingman was walking a little faster than I was and when I tried to keep up (bigger step required here) I could feel the HS. I prayed to the hamstring gods to let me get through this race without any issues. We picked up our race numbers and timing chips and made our way to the race start. After a very light warmup, I felt OK. I assumed my spot on Main Street for the start and begged one more time for some cooperation from the HS.
The gun went off and I started running. With each step of my left leg, my HS reminded me who was boss. I didn't want to listen and it turned into a heavyweight battle. I could hear the fight announcer in my head "Ladies and Gentlemen, in this corner, hailing from the Ischial tuberosity and fibular head - Biiiiiiiiceeeep Femmmoooorrris!!!! And this this corner, hailing from Long Island New York, The Hero of the Stupid!!!! (that would be me). Let's get ready to rumble!!" Finally after a few minutes I was able to deliver the knockout blow and the HS cooperated from that point on.
I made my way down Main Street like I was shot out of a cannon. I knew I could not hold that pace for too long and quickly settled into a running pace that felt easier to maintain. For some reason I did not bother looking for my Tony in this race. But I knew I wanted to stay ahead of the double wide jogging stroller with the two kids inside. If I could not beat them, I was going to toss my sneakers into the river and never run again. The weather was warm and pretty humid out. I wore a short sleeve running shirt and shorts, but I started to get hot very quickly. It was windy but it did nothing to cool me off. I just decided to keep my focus on the PR. When I got to the 1 mile marker I looked at my split time and realized that I went out too fast and was going to give a lot of time back between miles 2 and 3. Doesn't look good for a PR today. I made my way down to the first small circle to turn around. This is the first good place where you can see who is behind you and roughly how far behind they are. I was able to see Wingman and we flashed our "gang sign" to each other. He was looking pretty good.
I made my way back up the road and then turned down to run towards 105. They have an aid station setup for water. I've never used it in the past, but today I had no choice. I grabbed a cup and poured it down the back of my neck. I needed to try and cool off. I made my way to the 2nd turn around and was able to get another look at Wingman. Once again, a flashing of the "gang sign" was exchanged and I was feeling bad at this point. Got to mile 2 and I was ~20 seconds slower per mile. Definitely not going to PR today. I calculated what I needed to do the last 1.1 miles in and I knew it was not possible. I did try to dig deep though in the last 1/2 mile. I passed Pipi Longstockings and turned back onto Main Street.
I did run pretty hard down Main Street and made the turn towards the finishing shoot. No way I could sprint here. I didn't want to upset the HS since I beat it into submission earlier. I finished the race about 55 seconds slower than my PR. Oh well, I have two more 5k's this fall/winter in which to go for it. I think it's possible this year.