November 24, 2017 - Nice cool morning for the Greensburg Turkey Trot 5k. Perfect day for a new PR.
I've been running the Greensburg Turkey Trot as a tradition for a lot of years to make peace with the meals that will come later in the day. With the training consistency i've made a priorty over the past 2 years, I was excited to see what the day would bring. The course is nice but hilly in spots. The first mile starts with a nice downhill section then transitions to relatively flat for the remainder of the first mile. Over the years, I've learned to keep a close watch on my gps to make sure I don't get caught up in the excitement of the race and the downhill/flat conditions and burn myself out too early. My pace for the first mile was a little faster than I anticipated, but it felt easy and my breathing was calm. Shortly after the first mile, the route turns onto Cribbs Street and the hills begin. My exposure to hills with trail running and during my regular road training prepared me well for the hills that were on the course. I made it a point to not look at my watch to check pace/HR but to rather run on feel. The second mile finished on a relatively flat section and I had recovered from the increased effort on the hills. I was excited and optimistic with the energy I had left for the last mile. Within the last mile, there is a gradual climb for the first thrid of the mile followed by a nice downhill section on Pittsburgh Street then the final part of the race is a gradual climb to the finish line on Pennsylvania Ave. Two years ago I learned a hard lesson about opening up too much on the downhill section and had nothing left for the final climb to the finish. I kept this in mind and held back just enough to have the energy remaining to get me up the last few hills. I made my turn onto Pennsylvania Ave and was excited to see the finish line. Finished the race in 23:29 which was a PR for my 5K and got me 4th place in the Mens 40-44 age group out of a total of 46. I beat my time from last year by 1 minute and 35 seconds. I'm looking forward to continuing my training through the winter and maybe finding a flat local 5k to set another PR.