Thought for the Day

Monday, May 20, 2002

Heart & Sole 5K

This race was my 5K PR attempt on Saturday. It's a flat loop through a suburban neighborhood. It was a very boring place to run compared to most of the races I've done lately. There seemed to be a couple hundred runners there, but there was a 5K and a 10K. I haven't seen the official results posted yet, so what you see here is unofficial. The 5K and the 10K were run simultaneously on the same course. The 10K was just two laps instead of one.
I started close to the front, but not in the first line. Then some little boys crowded in front of me. Oh well, I think the only way to avoid this is to take a position on the line, and while I'm improving, I know I'm not an "elite" runner.
My objective in the first mile was to go under 7 minutes. I was sure I could do that, but I was not sure exactly what the pace should feel like. I went out hard, and I felt like I was doing well, but people were passing me, almost from the first block. After a while, I settled in a little bit, breathing hard but comfortably enough to keep it up, and not so many people were flying by.
I hit the first mile in 6:35.
I tried not to be shocked, and to hold onto that pace. I knew I slowed down some over the next mile, and people continued to pass. I think the ratio of people I passed to people who passed me in this race was about 10 to 1. I only passed about three people the whole time, and many of the people who passed me were running the 10K.
I did the second mile in 7:17, 13:52 for two miles.
I really felt like I picked it up on the third mile, but it turned out to be exactly the pace Doc recommended, 7:40, 21:31 for three miles.
It was quite discouraging to have people passing me on their way to the second lap for the 10K while I was finishing the 5K, but I was done in about 51 more seconds.
total: 22:22
That's my watch time, since I don't have the official time yet.
Well, I got my PR. Like Doc advises, I went out fast and tried to hold on.
This was kind of an odd experience. I did what I wanted to do in the race, but I didn't come away satisfied. It was good to run the first mile well under seven minutes, but it didn't seem like I was achieving that much because I was getting passed continuously. It was good to get a 5K PR, but because of the way the race was set up, it almost felt like I was dropping out early.
I didn't run anything close to consistent splits. I have issues to work out with my blood sugar.
I'm sure I can do better, but I won't try again real soon. The next two 5Ks I do will be dog and owner races, the Dog's Best Friend and the Mutt Strut. I'm going to try to bring my 10K time under 45 before I try to PR again in a 5K.

Based on some old numbers for my previous PR, these were Doc's original recommendations:

> 1st mile 7:15 (know you are ok at this speed)
race split: 6:34
> 2nd mile 7:30 (think positive and maintain)
7:17
> 3rd mile 7:40 (life will be wonderful shortly)
7:40 :-)
> .1 :44 (let the partying begin)
:51 :-(
>
> total 23:09

Then, after some review, he said this:

> Ok, after you run your sub 23's this weekend, why don't we start
> looking at sub 22:30's and work our way down?

Let's work down from 22:22!

Thanks again for your help, Doc. I'll let you know when I'm back in the hunt. I'll do some track work, but aiming for 10Ks for a little while.

Epilogue:

Okay,
My official time was 22:23. I had to correct my PR, darn it.
Then the other details are that I was 25th overall out of 205 runners and walkers in the 5K. Oh, and what's this? I was third in my age group?
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, the Bionic Man, Geronimo "Rucking Fox" Nairn, has won a medal in a race shorter than a half marathon! I take back all of the bad things I felt about this race before, because right now, I'm really thrilled.
I guess I've learned another lesson about racing: Hang around after the race at least until you're sure you're not in the medals. I'm sure it's better to get a medal on the day of the race instead of later in the mail.

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