So I'd been planning since Christopher Martins to run the Frosty 5K, but then I started backing off the idea based on the feedback I was getting from people around me...
I also was determined to get that last spin in the set in and what I had left was Have Mercy, a 2 hour compilation of some of the 'best' (hardest) sets from spinervals 1-8. Acceleration sets ? Both the 4 second on, 4 second off variety (joy!) and the 10/10 second variety (rainbows and unicorns). Sprints, tempo builds, plyometric squats. You name it.
I'd had one too many beers on New Year's Eve so I was not hungover but I was a little under the spell, definitely dehydrated. I was no longer doing the 5K. I was 'maybe' doing the 5k.
I had to go there, back it down to a maybe. Have Mercy is a hard spin and if I was going to do it right I could not have the certainty of a race- which started an hour and ten minutes after the spin finished- hanging over my head.
There were a few points during the spin where I really had to dig deep to go at the effort level that Coach Troy was demanding, largely because of the Hardcore 100 the day before. I really felt like this was one the best day of the challenge for me because I really had to go to a higher effort level, and I did. My legs were pretty toasty when I got done.
I hopped off the bike, downed some Recoverite, put on my racing kit, and the family headed to Guilford.
I got to the 5K ten minutes before it was supposed to start, registered, and then benefited from a 10-minute delay in the start...
I could tell I was pretty drained. But I was listening to Evanescence and trying to amp myself up for whatever I was worth. I lined up alongside the Guilford Cross-Country team kids, thinking I might benefit from their initial pace.
Finally the race started and right away it was obvious who the race winner was going to be. I latched onto his wake and ran my ass off for as long as I could, until about the first turn, after which he started to separate easily. No surprise as he was going to run in the 16s. I was not. I was back and forth with the kids and all of the sudden a woman went by me.
Like I was standing still.
Then JT (running as Juan Tolberto) went by my. Again like I was standing still. I kind of thought I must be running like, well, shit. But I didn't go into a hole at that point like I have in the past. I tried to minimize the damage as much as possible, watching JTs back, but I felt like I settled in really well, went up over the bridge, down to the turnaround, and headed back.
We humped our way over the same bridge going back and I pushed the downside as much as possible, worried I was going to be run down. But that never happened. Not only did no one catch me, but I managed to reel in one guy at the Fairgrounds.
Back after the turn I heard someone call out the time- 17:30. I had half a minute to run maybe hundred meters. Not really sure.
I ran my ass off, but then I saw the clock turn over to 18:00 and oh well, I wasn't there. I ended up running an 18:06. And while I was bummed that I ran over 18:00, let's face it, I started the day with a really hard workout, and had done another hard workout the day before.
After the race I shared some music with Kerry Arsenault, talked to several friends, and hung out long enough to pick up my and Juan's trophies. I had a chance to push myself to just a crazy level, see friends, and hey, beat 119 other guys in my ten year age group.
Not the worst way to start the New Year.