Prep week for a sub-25 5K

Like a Boss.

In preparing for this weekend’s 5K, I can’t help but think back to my first 5K, my very first race. It was in November (’08), in San Diego, so it was warm and sunny. My ex-boyfriend (we broke up a few weeks before the race) signed up with me to encourage me to finish the race.

I didn’t know anything about running. I went to the Road Runner Sports in San Diego because a friend completed a training program with them and it came highly recommended. I don’t remember a lot, but if you’ve been to that store, you can understand- its huge and overwhelming. I do remember the sales associate asked how many miles per week I ran, and I laughed out loud. ‘Ummmm 5? Maybe. If its a good week

So there I am, at my first race. I didn’t have any race day rituals. Basically just parked and walked over to start. I even wore all cotton (gasp!)

I just wanted to finish in a better than 10-minute pace. I stopped to walk at the turn around. I finished in 30:30, and was so upset because I was slower than a 10-minute pace (it was actually slightly faster than a 10:00). That actually makes me laugh, your time on your first race doesn’t matter. I didn’t realize there was an extra 0.1 mile (I probably walked it, thinking I had passed the finish line when I saw the 3-mile marker). But at the time, I thought 30+ minutes was horrible (maybe the ex being an easy sub-18-minute 5Ker had something to do with it…).

So how do you train for a sub-25 5K?

The way I’ve been “training” (let’s admit I’m using that term loosely) is as follows-

I run about 20-35 miles/week (across 3-5 runs). One long/slow run (usually Sat AM), 1-2 fast pace (track workout/ tempo/ hilly/ intervals/ whatever; “fast” pace is a 8:30 or better for me), 1-2 super easy shorter run.

Rather than training for a certain distance, I have been keeping a steady base, and I noticed I was getting stronger again, and faster. Holding a 8:15 seems hard, but do-able (a year ago, that would have been an all-out mile for me). But something made me think- I need a legitimate 5-K speed (and 10-K for that matter… maybe in May). And I thought about it- and I feel holding 8’s would be hard, but do-able. And in all honesty, I could probably run faster than a 25-minute pace… but I’ll get back to you about that on Monday (after my 5K).

So my game plan for Sunday is to: Warm-up by jogging to the start line from Dan’s (about a mile). By the way, this will be my first time ever warming up before a race. I generally just scrap the first mile or so of the race as a warm-up. Other new things-

I plan to line up near the front.

Say what?!

I know. I know. Crazy! But I don’t want to spend the first mile elbowing past the first-timers (me, circa 2008). I glanced at the finishing times for last year, and 24:45 was the #25 female, of about 600 racers, #120 overall. So, don’t get me wrong… I don’t plan to be front row, ready to trip Paul (Dan’s friend who freaking wins 5K’s all the time- with 15-16 minute times), but I do plan to be near the front, so it is easier for me. Dan is planning to run even faster. He might be second-row.

And it looks like weather is going to be gross- 40 degrees and raining. Wish me luck! I will definitely need it! Sunday at 2pm.

now, shameless NCAA tournament plug- Go NC State!… And San Diego State! (my grad school-alma mater)

[Yes, I will be carb-loading with cupcakes today and tomorrow… What? Who says it has to be a long race to stuff your face 😉 ]

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Marathon Prepping

It feels more real that I am running a marathon this weekend now that I am carb loading.

So here are my other “Week of” the marathon preparations that are necessary:

in order of importance

1. Call, text, email, facebook your running partner(s) every time you think about:
a) the marathon, b) travel plans/hotel/getting there, c) outfits, d) future races, e) food, f) your taper runs

2. Tell everyone you know you are running a marathon.
Even though they will likely still ask you Tuesday ‘What did you do this weekend?’ with a blank look on their face

3. Check the race website every 15 minutes to see if there are any updates.
Even though there aren’t any updates

4. Check the weather forecast at least daily.

5. Hydrate. Drink Nuun. Freak out that you have no voice.
And feel everyone around you’s relief about your loss of voice, since all you want to do is talk about your freaking marathon!

6. Go to Fleet Feet (or your local running store) several times this week, for several reasons-
a. Runners love to hear about your marathon
b. You might need gloves
c. You might need arm warmers
d. You might need some more GU
e. You forgot to get Nuun the last time you were there
f. You might want to look at buying an ENTIRE extra outfit, just in case the weather forecast suddenly changes

7. Pack your whole closet of running gear and clothes

8. Carb-load.
For me, that began with 3 sandwiches at lunch and crackers. I plan to grab donuts on the way home (thanks Dan and Dave for the gift cards!), Pizza tonight, then grabbing some French pastries.

9. Try to find time to squeeze in a few runs on the treadmill between running to the store, running out to get Pizza/Donuts, and checking all the aforementioned websites.
Pray that you don’t go too fast and mess up four months of training. And curse the treadmill.

10. Music Playlist.
Okay, that should be higher…

Oh yeah, and have fun. Relax. Go out on a date.

Okay, no seriously, I am not too stressed. It is just a 26 mile training run for Allison and I, to prepare for our upcoming Ultra. <— Which when I said to her (completely joking), she was like “you know, I’ve been thinking, maybe I could do an ultra…” But it’s just a training run. In cute clothes. And with a bunch of new friends. It’s our new running group 🙂

3 days…