Ok, so I didn’t break the 25 minute mark, but my first run of the year came close.
The annual gathering of resolution runners on the first day of the year was warmer than usual. It was my seventh year running the five klick, kick-of-the-year-in-the-right-way run. The temps were hovering right around zero Celsius, and the roads were only a little slick, but otherwise quite good for a mid-morning run.
I got to the start at the front of the pack, with only a few dozen people in front of me. A common complaint of this particular race is that the self-seeded starting corral tends to bottleneck a little bit thanks to a narrow exit and an abundance of casual runners, and getting a good start relies on being in the first hundred or so through the big red archway.
We launched, and I kicked it into gear.
For the first five hundred meters or so I dodged through the crowds and weaved past some of the slower (already walking?) folks, opening up as we entered into the neighbourhood streets. Then I loosed it, and for a good klick and a half I was running at a sub-5 (min/km) pace.
I wasn’t taking my usual 10:1 (run:walk) intervals that I hold to for most training, so by the time the first beep of the watch teased me with that, I ignored it but was holding a good pace and passing the 2 klick mark.
I couldn’t hold it though. By three and a half I was huffing hard, and I dropped to about a 5:15, fighting the urge to slow up even more. I rounded the last stretch bend just barely passed twenty-five minutes, and entered the icy home stretch with my eye on the clock creeping towards twenty-six.
But, bam, past the line, a stop of the watch and to my surprise: 25 and change. A personal best and a great start to 2015.