The Tuckahoe Challenge. I’ve done it when it was a 1-miler followed by a 5-miler, although it was a 2 & 5 before that. The 5-miler is now a 5K. Because my back has hurt when I’ve tried to do track speedwork, I decided to skip the 1 mile and just do the 5K. As an old guy, it was just $10.

The course is similar to the old 5-miler, except when you get just past 2, you go around a cone and back. In other words, you skip the short but steep hills.

Beautiful day, sunny, and not hot. I was nervous about this. I “raced” the Bronxville 2.5 in May and a VCTC 5K shortly thereafter, but they were both let’s-see-how-it-feels events with little prep. Now I’ve been training for awhile, albeit with little speedwork, and have become more confident and stronger with seemingly effortless runs getting relatively quick. So this was a way to test where I am in all of this.

Where I am is 20:15 for 5K. That’s a 6:32 pace. (My TomTom clocks in at 3.08 miles.)

Without a sense of pace, I went out a little faster than I wanted to. At about the 1/2 mile, I decided to just relax and hold the pace. Through 1 in 6:28 on a flat stretch into a slight headwind (which I didn’t mind because I knew it’d be behind us on the way back). By 1 1/2, I was with the first woman and the first three men were well away. Then the search for the cone around which we would run. I see the guys heading south and then see the cone. I turn right before the first woman, but she’s ahead of me shortly thereafter and for the duration. This was good in that I had someone to watch. And using buildings as markers, i.e., once I get there I’m that much closer to the finish.

I see the flashing lights of the police car near the finish. I see the clock begins with “20”. She picks it up a bit, but I continue through.

Never in great distress. Not that I could go much faster. Just held my form and held the pace pretty well. No aches or pains, especially in the back. I would have been satisfied with anything sub-21 and hoped to be able to hold 6:30. The first was not a problem, and I was close to the second. So, all in all, a good result and positive sign.