I have to admit something - I'm a happy turtle right now. This past week, I've done two 5K distances in under 33 minutes. Today was my last little jog before the Possum Ridge 5K in Kentucky, which I think of as a "rust prevention" run. I took a few laps easy but I made some of them challenging.
I did the first three laps at a 11:14 pace. For those keeping score, that was about my PB pace less than two months ago.
I took a meandering route to the middle school track which took another three laps. When I got to the track, some guy had just started jogging and was about 30 feet ahead of me. I thought: "Okay, I'll pace this turkey." This is exciting to me ... because I have no idea what this guy was going to do and his calves were disturbingly beefy. He might have gained a few yards on me in that first lap. Now, at 1.75 miles in, I had run the last mile in 11:10.
I caught back up to being 30 feet behind in the second lap on the track. He would check his six every now and then, and I would look all nonchalant and anti-melodramatic. Then on the next lap I decided to go faster. It's still hard for me to decide this, especially in the middle of a run, but I did and I put in two laps that averaged to a 10:20 pace. So I passed him and felt like a cub scout earning a merit badge. To be even less mature, a different jogger was going to pass me in the last 100 yards of my mile on the track and I decided to go even faster. I exited the track as "the winner", and started to jog home. At 2.75 miles in, I had run the last mile in 10:38.
After a half mile, I somehow had the mental wherewithall to demand another pace increase. I did that quarter mile at a cool 6.0 miles per hour. Then I told myself I had to beat that, so I did with a pace of 6.5 miles per hour. My run ended at 3.75 miles, I had run the last mile in 10:11.