I felt good this morning. I jogged the course and was planning on doing some strides. I had been vaguely aware of being a little behind schedule and then I spent too long trying to find a bathroom. Suddenly there was only time for two strides before they started singing the national anthem. I topped off my poor preparation by drinking a whole can of Red Bull less than 5 minutes before the gun.
The race was not as competitive as I had expected and I got a big lead almost right away. The Red Bull was not really agreeing with me and I briefly slowed down to give my lower esophageal sphincter time to release a loud belch. The whole thing seemed pretty pathetic, but the worst was yet to come. A cop was directing traffic in one of the intersections and pointed to the left. I assumed that meant I was to turn left and I did. Something did not feel right and, as already described, I had jogged the route beforehand. Apparently, he had yelled at me thqt I was going the wrong way, but I was running with music and did not hear him.
I had gone less than a 100 yards off course, by the time I realized my mistake and turned around, which does not seem like much in ultra-terms, but even in this slow 5K it was enough to set me back to fourth place.
So apart from a bad warm-up, gastric distension and getting off course, my PR attempt was faring pretty well. I did claw my way back to 1st place and finished in 16:57. I even got a ridiculously nice award. There is one more 5K next week, before the ultra season begins with Chippewa on the 28th. The winning streak is now at 9 races, which has got to be a personal record (and world record for extreme sandbagging). It may get to 10 next week but that's probably as far at it will go.