The last couple short road races I've done have involved wrong turns, so despite running below the required 6:26 pace in both events, I still haven't completed a 5K in under 20 minutes.
The prudent thing to do on Saturday would be to go out at a roughly 6:20 pace, giving myself a little cushion and allowing me to comfortably finish under 20 minutes. I'm not planning on being prudent, though. I want to give myself a shot at a sub-19-minute 5K, which requires a 6:06 pace. So I'm going to head out at 6 minutes flat and just see if I can hold on. Here's an elevation profile of the course:
|Note the large hill in the middle!|
This makes it look worse than it really is. The only hill of consequence is the large one in the middle, and it's short enough that it's over fairly quickly. Then you have a nice downhill to rest, and then a flat mile where you try not to slow down. There is a steep little uphill at the start / finish line that somehow doesn't show up in the elevation profile, but I find it to be more troubling at the beginning of the race than at the end.
I think being familiar with the course will be a real plus, and assuming the weather cooperates, I should have a shot at a PR. Currently the forecast is for a windy morning, but a perfect 45 degrees at race time. Most of the course is sheltered from the wind so I don't think the wind will be much of an issue. Looking good! Details of today's workout are below.