Had a really fun time at the local turkey trot. It was surprisingly competitive. I tucked in behind a couple guys at the start, and the pace was pretty slow at first. 2:40 first half. Picked up to 5:16 at the mile. Then a few of the college guys ratcheted up the pace. Came through 2 in 10:16 for 5:00. That felt terrible. The pace increase was so gradual I didn't notice at first, and I thought I was just feeling like crap because I'm in worse shape than I thought. Negative thoughts.
I started to lose touch with the lead pack, and didn't fight too hard since I knew 5:00 pace was too much. Well, I'd hoped it wouldn't feel too hard, but my body told me otherwise. I came through 3 in 10:28 for a 5:12. Lead pack was breaking up and some of the stragglers weren't quite out of reach. Told myself to just run a strong 4th mile and I could probably pick a few of them off in the 5th.
4 miles came in 20:40 for another 5:12. Happy to see no drop in pace. Surprisingly I started feeling a lot better in that mile. I had 4 guys who were all catchable. Caught them all before we entered the stadium for the finish, but unfortunately I struggled to shift gears. 2 of them got me before the line. 25:49 for a 5:09 final mile.