the results (& soreness) are in!

The results from my 5K were officially posted today- 24:24 (7:52 average pace).

Not too bad, #4 in my age/gender. The “winner” of my age group was 21 or something. That will not be happening any time soon (if ever).

So how do I feel today? Honestly better than Monday. I was so sore yesterday and just couldn’t wait to get home and make sweet romance with my foam roller 😉

Mentally, I was exhausted Monday. I think that’s more March Madness hangover.

I completed my goal of a sub-25 5K, but based on other runs, I didn’t feel like it was the best, and I want faster. I mean, who doesn’t want faster right? But I feel capable of a faster race given better weather. I think the cold rain affected everyone. I think I am capable of shaving 30 seconds off that time for a sub-24, not that I’m not proud of my 24:24! I’m so proud of it, but I’m also capable if a little faster so I want to try that 🙂

Cheers! And happy running!

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my 5K PR during a tournament of underdogs

aka ‘I hope San Diego State beats you too

So today’s 5K sucked. It was really hard. Dan and I joked about not even going.

We started off the day a little later than usual, and headed to Cirque de Vol’s Align and Shine yoga. Which was an amazing start to the day. But it just kept getting colder and colder, and the rain started falling around 1pm (and kept falling harder). We started with a ~mile jog to the start. Then desperately tried to stay warm and dry not soaking wet until the start of the race at 2pm. I was looking Dan under the tiny packet pick-up tent (which had about 100 people under it). Suddenly, the wind picked up and dumped a gallon of water on my right shoulder. I quickly huddled under the tent next to some guys who were rocking Florida Gulf Coast University shirts (This made me happy- as FGCU was a strong underdog and took out Georgetown, officially killing my slightly red NCAA bracket). I made conversation with them until I saw Dan. He found an empty awning by the start, and we made our way there.

A woman came up to me and said “We look like purple condoms. Big, purple condoms.” I replied “You can stand under here with us” 🙂

Finally, at 1:55pm, people started heading toward the start line. I had satellites on my watch (which excited me). I left Dan with a pat on the butt (he was trying to break 20-minutes, which put him much closer to the start than I cared to be). I made my way to the middle of the pack. The weather was 38 degrees, and pouring down rain. We were all soaked to the core, just by standing out there for about 5 minutes.

At 1:59pm, Paul (Dan’s friend), and other various legit runners stripped off their sweats and jumped to the start line. And we were off at 2pm!

The anxiety and nerves rushed me. I felt strong for the first couple minutes, weaving through some of the people. Then, started to question my pace. [Given the weather conditions, it was impossible to check my garmin constantly). The thought occurred to me that I was going at an all-out pace, so I dropped back a little. Then, started focusing on a person-by-person target (in lieu of a “pace”). I kept picking people up, slowly. I overheard a guy saying we were going a 7:42. Since we were only about a 1/2 mile in, that made me slow back a bit…

We hit the “1 mile” mark, and the time-keeper yelled “8:42″… I was so disappointed. (btw, he was not at the one mile- see splits below). I sped up as much as I could hold. Then the cramping started. Damnit! I thought. I wasn’t even running that fast. I decided to just try and hold that pace. And we got past the “halfway” sign, and I pushed a little extra. I was struggling to breathe. And it felt like my legs were frozen.

Two miles. Finally! And my watch dinged “7:59” for that mile. Okay, mile-by-mile doesn’t matter anymore… I switched my view to overall time (as opposed to pace time) and distance. Time to kick it in. I tried to pick up the motivation, but it was just so freaking cold. And wet. I kept pushing.

I saw this older guy (probably 60?). I just had to pass him. I kept telling myself I could do it. We volleyed back and forth as to who was leading. Then, I saw my “nemesis” (this girl who was likely in my age group, and looked too pretty for an ugly day 5K)… I wanted to beat her, just for the principle of it. And I could see she was slowing down.

Finally, getting up the last little hill, and a downhill stretch for less than 0.5 miles to bring it in. I had to get in front of the old man! Finally, with about 0.25 miles left, I conceded. “You’re…. doing… awe-some!” I said to him in between breathes, and decided we’d finish together. Final stretch and I could see 24xx. I heard Dan yelled my name, and “24:15!” Looked up, saw 24:19, and flew past the finish. I’m still not sure what my final time was (not yet posted), but my garmin said 24:27, but I ran an extra bit to get out of the finish shoot before stopping my watch.

SPLITS:

Second Empire 5K Splits

After running through the final shoot, I hunched over, and glanced around, giving the old guy a high five “Nice job!” He agreed, then I saw the FGCU guys come through the shoot. Immediately my mind went to tonight’s game (which I am currently watching)

I hope San Diego State beats you too.

There is a sassy black woman inside of me. They were actually pretty nice about it, and wished San Diego luck as well.

(I went there for grad school, and, personally, they’re underdogs too. Hopefully my cockiness doesn’t push them out of the Sweet 16 advancement…)

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 😉 ]

10K+… the plus adds a lot

Sunday, Dan was planning a 5K track run, as a baseline; to figure out how much training he’ has to do to get a PR. I needed to get in 5-8 miles, but wanted some speedwork too. So, I decided in a fit of genius to run to the track, meet up with him, do some sprints, then get a ride back from him.

I headed away from the track for a quick lap around the area before heading toward the track (straight shot ~4 miles on a greenway). My first mile was 9:00, and I thought “Well that’s okay. I can slow down and settle in. I have another 4 miles, plus speedwork.” And I thought I settled in some during the second mile, but it was a 9:01. I then hit a half mile uphill jaunt, which slowed me to a 9:18. And then began pulling back a bit- a 10:33, with another uphill struggle for a good bit (and confusion of which way to fork on the greenway). My next mile I felt comfortable, and the 65-degree sun was warmly hitting my back. With the wind blowing, I felt great! And then Dan drove past, and honked with encouragement. 8:59.

I then hit my final hill (close to a mile uphill) to the track. I just tried to let my legs loosen up some. I noticed I was hitting 6.0 miles. I kept looking for the turn-off for the middle school, and was thinking I maybe missed it. Especially when the sidewalk ended. But the next turn off was the school. I slowly jogged to the stairs, hit them quickly. Then, hit the track with a decent stride for a 400m sprint. 1:21! Nice (Okay, I started a little after the official start line, so it was about a 335m, but still…) I dropped off to grab some Nuun (Thanks Dan for bringing that to the track for me). Walked around once, then ran a 100m sprint. Then walked 200m, and ran 200m. Walked 200m, and ran another 200m. My final “200m” was actually 225m, and I clocked it in 0:49. I don’t generally time these things. But felt like I finished strong. Well, hard. My legs almost gave out as I finished the last sprint. Which, isn’t that really the point of sprints? To push you to your limits? I stretched a good bit, and walked a few times around with Dan, who was finished and cooling down.

[Dan’s 5K was off. His goal was 6:30s for the first mile, and sub-6 by the last mile. Instead, he was keeping a strong 6:15, which he said felt way too hard. He was tight, and couldn’t loosen up, so scrapped it at about 9 laps, after a decent warm-up. I felt bad, as he was hoping for better. But I am guessing he has learned something from the workout and will hit his goal in the next one]

So my total mileage ended up at 7.05, average pace was 9:33; though average pre-track was 9:18. Mostly 9’s excluding the excruciating uphills of the course (which have made me stop to walk in the past)

All in all, I felt like I pushed myself well. I maintained a 10K pace for the first 10K, then got in some good strong sprints at the end. I ran a social run to kick off the Rock n Roll series coming to Raleigh in 2014. Three miles with Dan (and ~100 of my “closest” running buddies haha). All the major muscles in my body are pretty sore, but I definitely feeling like I am becoming a stronger runner. All thanks to compression socks. Or myself. But probably the socks.

I always think as I become a stronger runner, I become a stronger person. So, stronger is better.

Speedy or speedier?

My goal was spring is to run a sub-25:00 5K.
(Blink blink)
Check.
So wait… What?
I am keeping up a good base of long distance with one long run, one mid-distance, one short & easy run, and one speedy night. With a mix of strength training and yoga.
I ran my first (& only) 5K in 2008 (30:30); for distance. I thought this spring I’d run it for speed.
My plan was to run a 5K every Monday to practice my pacing (in between an all-out sprint and a half marathon pace I’m thinking, but that leaves a lot of room). So last Monday I went out really strong with Dan and got a 26:59 5K. I was honestly a little miffed, and a little worried my goal was too lofty
Then today happened.
Not too special of a day at the gym. But I decided I should start with a ~9:00 pace, then fall into lower 8’s. First mile was 8:33 (which is my comfortable fast pacing). I pumped it up a little for the second mile- 7:47. Okay, that was probably too fast. I’m going to lose steam on the last 1+ mile. I stayed steady for 0.4 miles, then slowly negotiated back and forth- between OMFG This is way too fast and okay I am breathing way too easily. Last mile- 7:28. Which is awesome, but hurt. I knew I’d have to do an all-out sprint the last 0.12, and did that in 0:48
Grand total for my treadmill 5K– 24:47
(Oh yeah and Raleigh is hilly so I threw in hills at mile markers 0.7, 1.5, 2.4 for about 10 secs and a 5-7% grade)
So, Question— Should I try for an even faster 5K time? Or continue working for a sub-25, chalking today’s run up to flukey treadmill miles?
(Fastest I’ve ever ran in training is a 21:something 3-miler but that was before injuries, and without GPS, about 3 years ago)