One of those races

Every year I seem to do a race that is really badly marked and ends up being really short or really long. I don't have a Garmin so I can't back this up but yesterday's It's Better Than Mentor 5 miler seemed to fall in the latter category. Someone did mention that the race started further back than previous years even though it finished in the same spot. I know my pace really well from consistent interval and tempo workouts down to a few seconds either way, and knew right away something was off when I hit the mile mark in 6:18, running all alone in third place. Two youngsters already had a big gap at me by this point. I went out in a very conservative 6:05 back on my Labor Day race when it was really hot and humid and this felt much more aggressive. It got stranger as we veered off the roads and hit a dirt trail where I came up to the 2 mile mark in 13:45! WTF? I did lose a little ground in the second mile when I missed a marker and had to back track a bit but at most that was maybe 20 seconds (As a side point they could have had a few more volunteers on the course to guide people). Coming off the dirt trail I hit a normal bike path and a pretty big climb leading to the 3 mile marker and suddenly I was at 19:05. So I'm supposed to believe I did a hilly mile in 5:20 right after a flat 7:00 minutes plus mile. In any case, I felt like my effort was pretty consistent throughout and I felt very strong on the hills and trail segments. My overall time was 31:26 (6:17 pace) for 3rd overall and first in my age group. I ran alone the whole times as the top two guys were way ahead of me and 4th place was more than 2 minutes behind me. I'll file this under a good strength workout since I certainly got that and will have to wait and see how my 5K goes in 2 weeks to get a really good gauge of where I'm at fitness wise.

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