layton classic 5k this morning -- one final feedback point before top of utah next weekend. the race was very well organized and the course was legit.
i warmed up with james and andrew (recently moved here from new hampshire). they both ran the 10k. we ran the full 5k course for our warm up to check things out and make sure i knew where all of the turns were (i've made a few wrong turns in my day).
my legs were feeling good from the beginning, and i went out hard. there was one woman who was right on my heels through the first half of the race, so i was pushing the pace more than usual. we reached hill #1 about 1.5 miles in. it was short, but it stung -- a mean grade for the middle of a 5k race. i pushed up the hill as hard as i could, knowing i would have a good half mile or so of straight road to recover. it took me forever to get my breathing back under control (although it was never really under control). the second woman dropped back by about 15 seconds on this section. the last half mile went along a bike path through the park -- a few turns and another short but steep hill were the challenges here. once up the hill, the finish line came into view and i kicked it in.
i am happy with the 18:24 -- it's 4 seconds off my PR (on an honest course) and it's my best race post stress fracture. it's also exactly the same time that i ran a week out from top of utah last year. it's not comparable, however, seeing as the race i ran last year was net downhill and had a few issues with wrong turns and traffic stops. i guess it's best to compare it to my other times on courses of similar difficulty such as draper days -- 18:38 this year and 18:31 last year before running 2:54 at des news.
i guess this race could actually be a PR effort given the difficulty of the course, but i'm not sure i should say that. the last thing i want to do is inflate my time or my fitness levels, as i have a specific goal in mind for top of utah and today was a gauge of whether or not i am ready for that. i've over-estimated my abilities in the past, which has led to some big disappointments. my confidence is not terribly strong, seeing as my summer training was interrupted and TOU will be my first marathon this year. i typically run 3-4 marathons a year -- one in the spring (where i usually lay an egg), one in the summer (to build up to the fall) and then the "key race" in the fall. my typical training and racing have not been there this year, but there is nothing that can be changed about that -- sometimes things just don't play out as planned. i have been very fortunate to come back relatively quickly from this injury, and i was able to get a solid 6 weeks of training in without any setbacks. i'm so glad that i am healthy and have the opportunity to run next week. i'm excited, but i am also very nervous. the outcome of today's race helped boost my confidence a bit, but i'm still unsure of what i can expect. one thing i do know -- it's my first and possibly my only marathon this year, so i'm putting everything i have into top of utah next weekend.