Just finished my 5k race this morning and I won first place. It's the first time I've won a race!!!!!!!
I finished in 19:12 which beats my previous PR by :06. It was a difficult course with multiple hills. I'm really looking forward to finding a flat 5k as I'm confident I can do something in 18:30 range. Within the next year, I think I can go sub 18:00.
I ran in the zero dropped Nike Free 3.0's and they were awesome. I know it's hard to compare one race to another but I ran 19:18 in my Evo's and it required a harder effort. In this race, I ran with 5-10% less effort and finished faster. Is it the shoes and/or did the shoes have an issue? I'm not sure to be honest (I need to think about this longer). I was really relaxed and didn't run to PR but just decided to use this race as a good tempo run. When I finished the race, I wasn't winded or tired. I feel like I should do another run right now but I'm a much smarter runner today so I will not run again today.
In thinking about comparing my 5k in Evo's vs. 5k in zero dropped Nike Free 3.0's, the race today was more difficult than the last 5k in the Evo's. I also had more lift or energy return from the Free vs. Evo. I ran with less effort. I did maintain a quick, light stride and landed forefoot just like in the Evo.
I beat 2 college cross country runners and had a great discussion with them afterwards. During the race, I just settled in behind both of them as they shot out of the gate at a 5:20 pace so I settled in at a 5:35 pace and hit the mile 1 mark at 5:58 and I felt great so I took a conservative approach and kept a :15 - :20 distance and continued until the 2.4 mile mark, then I decided the hell with the time, I'm going to try to win my first race so I closed the gap to about :05 sec. and at the 2.6 mile mark, I had a lot of pop left so I pushed a 5:40 pace again and opened up a gap but then another runner (same age as me, 41 yrs. old) who was apparently in fourth place put in a major kick and was within :05 sec. of me with 400 meters left so I decided to go all out and took my pace down to 5:00 and opened up a :15 - :20 gap as that gentlemen ran out of gas. I also noticed with respect to the college runners that they had a HUGE stride, big looping stride and heel striked each time in major marshmallow shoes. I'm not making a judgement but saying it was interesting as a settled in behind them and I think the could run incredibly faster if they tightened up their form and technique.
What a great experience. The swag was awesome for first place: free pair of shoes from a local running store (LOL, it's that ironic but I can get something and have them zero dropped); awesome bags of coffee, and $50 gift certificate. The race was to support Women of the Congo which is a great cause and the cause certainly trumped the race. The race was a bi-product. I was humbled to run in a race for such a great cause.
This continues my journey as I need to digest having such a great running experience in shoes albeit zero dropped shoes that are very flexible.