The course was a cruel one, starting off downhill, veering sharply uphill, then flat, then down, then flat, then a loooonnng up, and finishing off with a false flat. I started fast and pulled ahead of the group I usually run with. Right away I could feel the 3.5 hour ride I did the day before in my legs... mental note to not do that the day before the real 10k! But I decided that since it was only a 5k, I'd practice visiting the "pain cave" that I usually avoid while running.
I was immediately out of my comfort zone as the road pitched uphill, but I remembered Kiki's advice of just saying "tick tick tick tick" in my head, and that kept my feet going and leg speed up as I went uphill. I was also wearing Jason's garmin, and I could see my pace dropping... so as I rounded the corner and the road leveled out I made sure I increased my effort again to up my pace.
I was doing a good job of running a faster pace than I usually do, and was by myself ahead of my clinic group (granted, some chose the 10k distance so should be running a bit slower anyway). When I hit the long uphill I really had to dig, but again Kiki's advice came back - I work above threshold in the pool with no problems, so why am I afraid to do that running? True dat. So I ran above my threshold, and really there were no problems.
I crossed the finish line in 32:16 (should I really admit how slow I am?), and 32 was my goal so I was happy. Besides the heavy quads from riding both Saturday and Sunday, I felt pretty good. Several minutes off my PR time from about 13 years ago, but I think I'll get there again within a year. That's right, I'm throwing down the hammer and saying that in one year's time, I'll be running as fast as I ever have. Gak! Next up, the real 10k on May 1st.