This weekend is the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick 5K, which is once again a race I signed up for in hopes of beating a personal record. (24:09, as I'll tell anyone, as evidenced by my beery boasting in a taproom in Gulfport, Miss.)
Going into last year's attempts, I had a lot of thoughts about whether I'd achieve it or whether I'd come up short. The thoughts varied from day to day, but the ones that were right were those that predicted I'd flunk my test.
I haven't thought very hard about it at all this year, however. The race crept up on me a little bit, mostly because I decided to train for a half marathon and hope for a bonus of a 5K PR, a strategy that's worked better than my one 5K-specific training plan.
In fact, I haven't done any practice 5Ks. I'm not sure what effect that will have on my race, but I know it's had a positive effect on my psyche: I spent a lot of last year's practice 5Ks scolding and berating myself.
All of this is to say, I'm not sure what to expect out of myself on Sunday.
After a 40-minute tempo run on Wednesday, I feel more confident that I can start strong and not run out of gas midway through (like last year).
But is that strong start enough to break my PR? I don't know, because I've done all tempo runs and some of my intervals by feel, instead of by MapMyRun.
This year, though, I don't think it matters. I'll go on a slow, easy shakeout run today; stay off my feet for most of tomorrow (and probably hydrate well, because I'll actually be working during prime boozing hours); and head out to a flat course that ends in free beer on Sunday.
There, if nothing else, it looks like I'll beat the rain, which is forecast to arrive in the afternoon, justifying a lazy Sunday twofold.