I think this is the highest I've ever placed overall without getting any sort of age group award as I was 4th in my age group. This was a brutal race and I did ok I guess, but I wasn't really that pleased with my results. The temperature was 83 at race time, the whole race was in the sun and the humidity was ridiculously high too. I met up with Sam, Bill, Sean, Luis, and Joe Oviedo and did about a 3 mile warmup over most of the course. I was sweating pretty good by the time I had finished the warmup. I went into the race with a goal of breaking 16:30. I was within a couple seconds of that at the Astro's 5k and I thought this course might be a little easier because I didn't think the hills were quite as bad. At the end of the day, I think this was the harder race because of the weather and the hills were probably pretty comparable. I wanted to run about 5:20 in the first mile, pick it up to about 5:15 on the second mile which was flatter and then have a 5:20 3rd mile or whatever I had left.
The course started at the Wortham center on the edge of downtown by Memorial drive and was just a straight out and back course with no turns. When the gun went off, it seemed like a ton of guys who had no business being near the front really took off, but I passed most of them in the first 1/2 or 3/4 mile. I got into a groove and was running with Joe and Sam. I had finished ahead of them at the Astros 5k, but I knew they were gunning for me today. My garmin told me I finished mile 1 in about 5:24 and then I passed the spot where they were calling out times for mile one 4 or 5 seconds later. I was feeling pretty good at this point and I think I was in about 8th or 9th place. Luis was pacing Sean and they were well ahead of everyone and Bill was in 3rd place. Junior Mitchell and Jose Lara were up there near Bill and Joe Flores and a high school guy were still ahead of me and Joe was right with me. After mile 1, I thought that I probably could catch everybody between Bill and me and finish 3rd overall since Luis was planning on just pacing Sean through 2 miles.
I picked up the pace because i thought I was a little too slow. I passed Joe Flores and the high schooler and wanted to start going after Jose Lara. I hit the turn around point and I think I was up to 6th place behind Sean, Luis, Bill, Junior, and Jose, but things started going downhill from there. I quit making up ground and Joe Oviedo and the high schooler caught up and passed me back. I stayed with them and let them push the pace so I could relax a little. My garmin said I hit mile 2 in 5:25 so I was on pace. I felt ready to stop at this point and started to give up mentally. Instead of thinking about catching guys ahead of me, I was just hoping to hang with the guys right ahead of me and have enough to outkick them at the end of the race. I stayed close to them until a little before 2.5, but then I started falling back and I knew I wouldn't be able to catch up. My Garmin said I did mile 3 in 5:43, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't quite that slow because I would have had to run about a 25 second last 1/10th of a mile to hit my finishing time and I know that didn't happen. Right near the end of the race I heard somebody getting close and Joe Flores almost caught up to me with about 30 meters to go, but I had a little left to outkick him into the finish and get 7th.
I know that I missed some running and workouts and probably lost a little bit of fitness, but I need to figure out how to run tougher in hot conditions. Sean ran sub 15 and Bill was in the 15:40's which are awesome times and even more impressive in those weather conditions. My next race will be the July 4th 5k so hopefully I'll be able to improve some then. Even though I wasn't really that happy with the race, I did stay under 17:00 so I have been under 17:00 for every 5k that I have run this year which is a big improvement compared to last year.