Monday, March 4, 2013

An Early St. Paddy's Day 5K? Do I have any Speed Left? Sure and Begorrah!

My local running store does a few 5Ks every year; 4th of July and St. Patrick's Day. This year the holiday (March 17th) is on a Sunday, so perfect for a race, right? Well, the LA Marathon is that day, so they decided to move it up a week. Then because that was daylight savings time change day, they decided too many people would miss it, so they moved it up again. So March 3rd it was.

So everyone was wearing their green. Except me. I figured DW would have a better shot at seeing me for pictures if I wore red instead.

My goal today was to stay under 7 minute pace. I wasn't ready to go after last year's best of 20:06, but I thought I could do about 21:30, and maybe have a shot at an AG placement.
The race was mainly along the esplanade up above the beach with this kind of view:

Temps in the 50's, hazy skies, here we go! What is wrong with this picture?

I was going to complain about the kids. But a 10 year old beat me, so never mind.

Off we go, and after a block or so I check my watch...and it says "switching to power save"! Apparently it did this within seconds before the start, so when I pushed the start button, it didn't start. Ugh! So I had to fiddle with it to get it started. I think I lost about .07 miles. And another little while before I could see pace. And then the pace said 6:11! D'oh!

So I went out a little fast and was sucking air and slowing down and trying not to blow this whole thing in the first 3 blocks. I have a rival in my AG who was out ahead of me, but normally I can catch him mid-race. So I was watching him. But I was hurting more than I should have. Duh, because the pace was still around 6:30! But after about 1/2 mile it started to feel OK for a race pace and I stuck with it. It was manageable, so I decided to see what I had in me. First mile was 6:35.

The course was a little different from the one I was used to. They actually took out a few little hills, so it was mostly flat. But mile 2 was about 75 feet of steady climb (which we would come down in mile 3). So the pace slowed as I was trying to maintain effort. My rival stayed stubbornly about 50 yards ahead of me, but I hoped to catch him in mile 3. Had some good cheering going on.

At least I was ahead of this guy.

Mile 2 was 7:02.

But then I was at the high point with a downhill to go, and I felt pretty good. Meaning I was suffering heartily, but at a rate I felt I could maintain for 7 more minutes without dying. My rival was not coming back to me though. it looked like he would win this round. But I stepped it up and passed a few people. Opened up the stride on the downhill and let it all hang out.

Caught one last guy in the homestretch. Mile 3 was 6:36, and 5:59 pace for the last bit. Because of my Garmin snafu, I checked the race clock as I finished, just missing 21 and getting an official 21:01. 6:47 pace. Finished 37th overall, but 5th in my AG. My rival got 4th, so we were both shut out of the awards. 2nd overall was a 49 year old with 16:45 or so. I hope he stays 49 for a long time!

So I am happy with that! Solidly beat my goal and gave it my all, with even a dry heave right after the finish to prove it! Luckily I kept it dry. Many of my local running friends were there, so we hung out and told race stories. Here are some of my local geezers.

To get in some more miles, I ran the 2.7 miles home. Nice and easy. So now my attention turns to my next race. Boston.

Six weeks to go, so the next 4 weeks are Monster Month. I have been doing 30-32 mile weeks for 4 weeks (after 10 weeks where I averaged 10-12 miles). I'm a little tired lately, but I plan to go up to 40 or more for the next 4 weeks. Looking forward to some good long runs. 18 next week, then 20, 13 and 20. The dream is getting closer!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your fast finish. Looks like a great venue for a race. Good luck with your Boston training. I am ramping it up right now as well!