Monday, June 11, 2012

First 5K at 50

So now that I'm 50 I can set all new AGPRs. But I'm still gunning for the old ones. Today's goal was to run my first sub-20 5K since I was 33. I've been gradually improving over the last few years, with a 20:20 last summer, and I was on track for a 20:06 in April until it ended prematurely at 2.8 miles. But I've been doing a little more speed work and I want that 19!

Thursday I caught a cold that settled in my chest. Great. Friday it was worse, and I took the day off from work (totally to rest up for this race, I don't deny it.) Today I woke up feeling better, but still with residual phlegmmy goodness in my sinuses and lungs. Definitely did not need to reduce my oxygen intake capabilities for a 5K! But, with a perfect excuse in place, I got DW up early, and we headed on down to Anaheim.

The reason I went farther than usual for a 5K is that ShaunP45 was in town, and you can't turn down an opportunity to race with a Loopster! We also convinced Zombie Kid to join us, so the Loop was represented!

with pretty shoes.

This race had some pretty good swag.

The weather was perfect - overcast and 50's. The course was dead flat and a square loop. Perfect conditions for a good time. I did a 1-mile warmup and felt OK. The three of us met up and headed to the start, about 3-4 rows back, behind the usual assortment of kids, walkers and joggers that needed to be at the front.

And we're off! This shot right after the start has all 3 of us in it.

Shaun bolted out ahead and I lost him right away. Zombie also started fast, but I was watching him for a while, expecting him to come back, since his goal was sub-21. My goal splits were 6:30, 6:25 and 6:20. First look at G after two blocks - 5:47. Wha? That adrenaline gets me every time.

Oh, here's a nice shot of my slutty shorts, and my tan line.

So I try to relax and slow it down. After 1/2 mile I am around 6:15 pace (lap pace) and am getting tired. Still too fast. I try to slow down more. By mile 1, I am down to 6:29. Perfect. Now I need to step it up.
Mile 2 feels pretty good. I am in a good groove. It is hard, but I feel like I can maintain it. I latched on to a couple ladies and a guy that are moving well. At some point I passed Zombie, but I didn't even see him. Eye of the tiger and all. Mile 2 was 6:26. Perfect.

We are now heading back, but it seems so far. My pace is about 6:22 but it hurts. I try to tell myself that it's not far - just hang on. But at this point my breathing becomes a wheeze, with a little rattle. Darn phlegm. I feel like I am working harder, but G says I am slowing. My pace slips toward 6:30, then 6:32. My pace buddy slips ahead and I can't hang with him. I am just hanging on and wanting the pain to end. I know I am close to sub 20 so I have to keep trying. But my legs are starting to get cement-like and my form is going to hell. Two more blocks. I turn one last corner and see the finish and try to accelerate as much as I can. It will all be over soon....

Mile 3 was 6:37, and .1 at 5:38 pace got me in at.......



Well, I gave a good effort. And I'm blaming the phlegm for at least 5 seconds. And it's still a best time in 17 years PR.

But you can be sure I'll be going at it again next Saturday.

Here's some more Loopster finishes.

Later I discovered JunBlack was there and I'm sure he will have some good photos for you. We all hung out and rehashed our races. Good times.

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