I started at the very front and was passed by only a few. It was a strong start, finishing the first mile in 7:01 - the opposite of what my coach recommended. I had confidence that didn't exist previously, without questions that popped up before (Am I ready? If I push too hard will I re-injure my Achilles or aggravate my hip?) The one question I did have was whether I'd be able to maintain the pace I started, knowing I started fast. Obviously I didn't, but I did far better than I thought I'd do. I can attribute that to (a) my strength training over the past few months; and (b) having my wife waiting for me at the finish line. Having a second straight third place finish in my age group blew me away.
The next race is April 25th, The Run for the Trees 5K in Winter Park, Florida. I ran this race in 2008 with my son when he was seven years old, so there's some history here. It's a point-to-point with a slight downhill angle. Given my lack of sleep the week before the Wounded Warrior / Lone Sailor 5K (averaging 4 hours of sleep a night thanks to end of quarter activities at work), I'll be looking for some aggressive improvement with an average per mile pace of 6:55/mi. If I accomplish that feat, we'll be approaching OVERALL PR territory (PR for 3 miles was a 6:18/mi. pace in high school for football).
The month of April will see a focus on getting a better feel for pace while also continuing strength and mobility work for my hips. The key to reaching my goal will also be consistency. I cannot miss workouts - whether strength workouts or runs. To achieve my goal, the plan will include: (a) lower body workouts at home to compliment what I'm doing with my trainers; (b) getting my 6-pack, which means a focus on core strength and nutrition; (c) 20 pull ups; (d) 100 push ups; and (e) not missing a single workout (if a planned workout needs to be missed in the morning, it MUST be made up later the same day). That should get me to 6:55 per mile by end of April.
BOSTON OR BUST!!