My tempo pace felt the same as it always does - comfortably hard - and it was actually pretty windy around the back side, so I was surprised to hit the .25 split almost 10 seconds ahead of where I usually do. I heard, "too fast, slow down!" float back to me as I passed, so I relaxed the pace. It started to feel hard where it always does - about halfway through - and I was thrilled to bits when Jessica (who had only done a 1M tempo because she's working back from injury) jumped in to join me. And then it started to rain again.
This wasn't normal rain. This was a torrential downpour that instantly flooded the track and, after about 2 minutes, caused the lacrosse game on the field to shut down. We were dodging huge puddles and I was soaked to the skin. As we were approaching the 2M mark, I asked her, "Do we stop?" - pretty desperately hoping for a yes at that point. But we kept going. I couldn't hear my 2M & 2.25M splits over the rain and wind, so it wasn't until about the 2.5M mark that I started doing the math and realized I was running right around my 5K PR pace. I tried to pick it up again but the wind, rain, and people wandering around the track made it a mess. When I went past George at the 3M mark, I didn't hear the split he called again, but just tried desperately to haul ass to the 5K line. And here's what happened:
Ignore the distances, the Garmin isn't correct at the track, but I was lapping it at every mile mark, and then lapped it again when I hit the 5K mark. I tied my 5K PR - down to the second. Who does that?
My first reaction was to be incredibly pissed. Major props to Jessica, who let me rant and rave about 1 second (and who dragged me around the track 6 times in the rain!) I feel like I'm in much better shape that I was a month ago when I set this PR. And when I set the PR, on a really hilly course, that time included 30ish seconds of stopping to stretch, so this actually means I'm in WORSE shape. I think I would've been happy with even one second faster! Frustration.
But once I got home and dried off and had time to think about it, sanity returned. I wasn't running at race pace, I was running at comfortably hard tempo pace, and it felt easier than normal until it started to pour. Plus all the added factors of a tight calf, running a tough 6x800 workout two days ago, etc. I was even more irritated to have run a positive-split tempo, but I realized that I probably would've negative split it if it hadn't started to rain like crazy (halfway through mile 2 - the graph on Garmin Connect is awesome, you can see my pace drop a bit at the exact place where the wind became insane and I started having to dodge and dance through puddles). So it sits well with me, today. And it's actually faster than the 5K tempo on the interval chart that I'm stalking to try and pick a 13.1 goal, so you might even call me pleased.
Speaking of getting home, here's what I looked like when I sloshed in the front door (wearing my AMAZING new GasCap visor that I won from Dash!!).
I bust mine. To kick yours.