Two years ago I ran the Camarillo-Somis Pleasant Valley Lions Club 5K in 17:34 without any "speed" training. I managed to win the race that year (well, as I recall, after the guy right ahead of me took a wrong turn lol). Last year I wasn't running in September as a result of my vitrectomy surgery to correct a detached retina. After running 20 miles last Saturday, 18.5 miles a week prior to that preceded by a 17 miler on September 2nd, I figured it would be good to ditch the long run this weekend to work on a little speed with a 5K race.
This course is pretty much pancake flat. A nice, low-key local race run by really nice people at the Lions Club who also put on a pancake breakfast and have in my opinion an enormous number of raffle prizes for such a relatively small race. In fact, I won lunch for two at Ola's Mexican Restaurant in Camarillo in the raffle!
However, I did not treat this race particularly seriously. Yesterday I ran 10 miles around town, which I would not do the day before a "serious" competitive 5K. But I wanted to keep the mileage up.
Additionally, and for the first time ever in my 19 year running career, I worked out at the gym at 7:20 a.m. for 20 minutes, prior to the 8 a.m. start time of the race. My gym was literally across the street from the race and I wanted to get a workout in. I had planned to work out after the race, but figured, ah, what the heck, let's get this done now so I can get home to the kids sooner after the race. The workout was not particularly hard, but no doubt not something you should do immediately before a 5K.
I actually felt pretty solid the entire race...no aches or pains..and ran a solid 18:19 for 3rd place overall. Similar to my last 5K on the 4th of July, the combined ages of the two guys ahead of me were less than my age...ha! I almost ran down the kid in front of me...woulda had him with another quarter of mile...he kept looking behind him, which told me he was starting to hurt).
Decent race conditions. Sunny, maybe 70 degrees, no wind, flat. My only beef is that I felt like I was easily running sub-18 minutes. The wind in my sails deflated slightly when I saw the 18:19 time, but all things considered, I'm happy. I cut 12 seconds off my last 5K time and averaged about 5:55 per mile. Decent enough for someone close to turning 50 who stupidly does a gym workout before a 5K.
As you can see from the unique awards imprinted on tiles above, the race organizers do a really nice jobb. That was a really nice touch. Thanks again, Pleasant Valley Lions Club, for putting on such a runner-friendly local race! Learn more about the club at www.pvlions.org.