I ran my fastest 5K ever this morning (23:24 / 7:35 per mile), but I'm paying for it with a redoubling of the hacking, phlegm-y cough that I've been fighting for a week. I couldn't have ordered a nicer morning for a race - 45, sunny, and still. There must have been 400-500 people at the Valentine's Run this morning, so the start was a little sketchy. We thinned out by the first mile, which I hit in 7:15. I was pretty stoked at that point, because I knew the crowded start had slowed me down at _least_ 15 seconds, and I would have been on pace for a really good race. The illness and week away from the gym caught up to me pretty quick, though, and my second mile was 7:45. My breathing was starting to get really ragged at this point, which I knew wasn't a good sign. I caught one of my former students (hey Carmi) at mile 2.2 or so, said hi, and used her to pace myself to the finish. She had more left in the tank, though, and finished around :30-:45 ahead of me.
All in all, I feel like I have a lot of potential to go faster - I just need to spend more time going faster on the treadmill (and come to the starting line healthy). I can hit 21:00 this summer, and run a sub-20 next Spring.