Woke up super early Sunday morning to be at a race on the other side of Cleveland by 7AM. It was a 5-miler, organized by my brother, through the streets of Painesville (the neghboring town of where I grew up). It's been 2+ months since I've run mile repeats or 800's or any sort of consistent tempo running. Nonetheless, my plan was to go out running 6:00 min/mile pace and see how it felt. About 1/4 mile into the race I was in 5th place. The leader/eventual winner established what looked to be about a 5:30 pace and didn't look back. He was smokin'! I sat comfortably behind #2, 3 and 4 waiting to see how the race for second would shape up. Mile 1 (5:58) was no sweat. A long downhill and equally long uphill defined mile 2 (6:21). By mile 3 I was in 3rd place and holding 6:00 min/mile pace with relative ease (despite coming off a hill). I never fell off pace but had a hard time finding that extra gear at the end. Finished 3rd overall with a time of 30:21 (6:04 min/mile).
Talked with the 4th place finisher following the race and was surprised to find out he was just a 22 year old "kid" working towards a Boston qualifier. He was throwing questions at me left and right and I was happy to share with him what has worked for me. Kinda made me wish I would have said a few words to him out on the course as I pulled even with him. Some runners are so hardcore though... say two words to them and they chew your head off. This kid would have loved some encouragement. He's local so it's possible I'll see him again. I hope so.