Ran the Brian Diemer 5K in Cutlerville, MI (Grand Rapids area) yesterday and I lowered my masters PR from 17:18 to 16:57.60! This was one of those days where everything clicked. Fast, flat USATF-certified course, tough competition (I was 27th Overall and 7th master — 9 of us broke 17!) and perfect weather (heavy rains last night lowered the temperatures from upper 80s to about 70 at race time). Outside of the Crim 10 miler, this may be the most competitive road race in Michigan. As the gun went off, I almost felt out of my league. I felt like I was running hard, but people were just shooting out ahead of me and by me. Luckily, I trusted in my pace because it felt ‘right’ and I hit the mile in 5:33 feeling very relaxed. I knew then that I was on PR pace, so I just kept passing people who were dying ahead of me. I hit 2 miles in 11:03 and still felt good so I knew I would PR barring a major blow up, so I just went for broke. Up ahead I could see a fast masters guy I knew from Michigan who ran 16:49 at Carlsbad earlier this year and he looked like he was struggling a bit, so I told myself if you can catch up, you’ll probably break 17. I caught him with about 600 to go and then he passed me again, but I dug deep and pulled away by a second or two in the last 200. This was the strongest kick I have had all year. Just one of those magical days that we all live for as runners!
Note: The official results that were posted yesterday had me listed as 16:57.60, but they’ve been posted online with everyone rounded up so now I’m at 16:58. No worries! I’m just glad I didn’t run 16:59.6. It would have really sucked to run 17:00 on the nose.