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CATS Victory for Victims 5K - Run5k

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Van Nuys, California
United States
Dignity Health/Center for Assault Treatment Svcs
70F / 21C
Total Time = 20m 4s
Overall Rank = 5/824
Age Group = M 55-59
Age Group Rank = 1/22
Pre-race routine:

Been rehabbing right upper leg and hip injuries since the end of December. Finally got back to pain-free running less than two weeks before this race. (Then, naturally, I managed to strain the hamstring in the other leg four days before the race, but--mercifully--the strain healed up within two days.)

I've done either the 5K or the 10K at this event many times over the last 11's a well-organized race benefitting a good organization and it is in my neighborhood. Since splitting with my wife a year ago, I actually ended up living within a mile of the site, so walked to the start as a warmup (and to burn a few more calories).
Event warmup:

Did some gentle stretches aimed at opening up my right hip and loosening up my left hammie. Got in a decent warmup, but held it to less than 0.25 mile so as not to risk aggravating anything.

Got up on the start line and looked around and realized that (much as the results from last year's race, which was when I was in Boston, suggested) I was probably going to be in the top half dozen runners and resigned myself to setting up right on the starting line.
  • 20m 4s
  • 5 kms
  • 04m 01s  min/km

I was, indeed, in the top 3-5 throughout the race. Three teenagers went out ahead of me...I caught one of them mid-race. The eventual winner started behind me in the pack and passed me after about a mile. I thought I was in 3rd overall heading into the final half mile, but I'd forgotten about one of the kids (who ended up 2nd). And much to my surprise, an African guy blew right past me a couple yards from the I ended up 5th overall...which I think is my highest placement in a 5K. A little disappointed that I just missed a sub-20 time--last time out on this course (2015) I ran 19:30, which is a PR, but they changed the layout so that it starts on a chewed-up grass field...I'm sure that cost everyone seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Not wreck my hamstring the last week of December. And rehabbing the root cause of that injury--a strained TFL muscle in my right hip--really prevented me from doing any speedwork for most of this year. I was happy, though, to be one of only 5 runners in the event to average under 6:30/mile and to (unusually for me) negative split the race.
Post race
Warm down:

Stretched and walked around.

Got my age winner medal from Olympic legend Rafer Johnson, who is always at this race to perform that service (and serve as "official starter").

(ETA: Didn't even occur to me until more than 24 hours after the race that I didn't just win my age group, I was first among everyone 35 and older...not too shabby given that I'll be 57 in 2 1/2 weeks!)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of speedwork due to three months of injury rehab.

Event comments:

This is a staple on the local "run/walk" scene. Some years it gets a good number of fast runners, but it moved from Sunday to Saturday as of last year and that seems to have depressed the participation by very competitive runners. There have always been hundreds of walkers in the race, but my unusual 5th place overall finish and AG win are indicative of a lack of quality at the top now.

Last updated: 2017-04-12 12:00 AM
00:20:04 | 05 kms | 04m 01s  min/km
Age Group: 1/22
Overall: 5/824
Performance: Average
3.09 miles per Garmin FR25. Mile splits: 1 - 6:36.7, 2 - 6:27.8, 3 - 6:29.3, 0.09 - 0:32.0 (5:45)
Course: Fast flat loop around a man-made lake, mostly on multi-use path, but starting and finishing on grass.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2017-04-22 7:57 PM

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Northridge, California
Subject: CATS Victory for Victims 5K
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