Thursday, July 4, 2013

Another 5K on the 4th RR

My Summer of Speed plan was to take my first try at 5K on the 4th. I had knocked out some solid speed work the last 4 weeks, so I thought I was ready for a good one. But then I had to go and do the double dipsea, because, well, you can't miss opportunities like that, right?

Well, my legs were completely TRASHED for 3 days after that mountain goat worthy race. Like, marathon-sore. Groaning every time you get out of a chair sore. Stair-avoidance sore. But I had a race to run, so I figured I'd do the best I could. Tuesday I thought I'd better try running, even though walking was painful. I did 5 miles and my legs felt like cement blocks. Didn't really HURT so much as just felt dead. No energy. It was a very strange feeling - seriously like the legs were cement or lead and I was just dragging them along for the ride. But I did manage to run 8:30 pace without dying. The thought of racing a 5K at sub-7 pace in 36 hours seemed ludicrous.

My season goal is sub-20, but for this race I had figured to shoot for sub-21. 20:30 seemed possible if I didn't have these brick-legs. Last year I ran this event in 20:52, so I wanted to beat that. In March I ran 21:01 so I wanted to beat that. Well those plans all changed. Now I just wanted to go out and see what I had. Maybe sub-7 was possible (21:45). Or maybe I would have nothing and run 24.

Thursday morning came and the legs felt quite a bit better. Still sore in spots, but much improved. I did a warm-up mile, and felt OK. A long way from feeling tapered and great and ready to race, but a ton better than Tuesday. So let's see what I have in me!

This race is a local tradition for 20 years now. This is my 11th time doing it. 2,800 people showed up with lots of joggers, walkers, kids, etc. And of course a lot of them wanted to start ON THE STARTING LINE. I was maybe 3 or 4 deep, next to a 7 year old who was playing games on his phone until the last minute. Somebody went down right at the start and caused a big clog-up, but I just missed it and kept going. I may have chuckled a little.

I was pretty happy with my start. I didn't go out too fast for once, but felt good and moved through the crowd OK. Felt in control and restrained. After two blocks I checked G and saw 6:42. OK! It felt easier than that, so I already knew this might be a good day. I kept it restrained but starting moving up the pack.
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The elevation below is obviously nothing compared to the mountains I've been used to, but in a 5K, every hill counts. We start with a nice 30 foot drop, then it is a long steady uphill through mile1 of about 50 feet. Not real noticeable, but it gets to you if you are going too fast. Mile 2 is rolling with a few little sharp hills, and then mile 3 is the long gradual downhill where you can really nail a fast last mile if you do it right. Then there is a nasty bump right before the end, but at that point you're dying anyway, so it doesn't matter. I've raced this course so many times I like to think I know how to run it.

Also check out the heart rate. It quickly jumped up to the 170's and then just steadily climbed from there as I pushed my limits. Found a new Max of 193! PR! Mile 2 averaged 184, and mile 3 averaged 189 with a steady 193 at the end.

My pace was dropping a little as I went up the hill, but I was OK with that. Still in control Mile 1 was 6:53.

Then I got a little downhill and caught my breath and felt pretty good, so I pushed it a little more. Through the turnaround and headed back and was feeling the pain, but it wasn't too bad. The last little hill pushed me over the edge into oxygen debt, but I knew the downhill was coming. Mile 2 was 6:39.

Then the fatigue from Dipsea caught up with me. Instead of hauling down the last hill under 6:30, I was fading fast. It took me a bit to recover from the last hill and my pace was close to 7 as I started down. I gave it my all, but didn't have the usual fire left in my legs or chest. And my motivation to excel was not there, so it was too easy to back off just a little bit and just get to the finish without dying. Still, I was working. I passed Captain America like he was standing still...

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I saw my AG rival up ahead in mile 3 and was getting closer but I couldn't catch him. But I managed a pretty good kick. Mile 3 was 6:43, and G had .15 at 5:52 pace. Final time: 21:07

Well, pretty darn close to my original goals, and considering the handicap I gave myself, I am quite happy with that. I feel pretty good about lowering that a lot in the next 2 months.

This race was loaded with all the local speedsters. I finished 16th in my AG and 197th overall of about 2,800. Got to socialize with many of my running buddies after, and then headed home to start a long weekend with the usual post-race routine. Shower, Burger, Nap, Blog.

Next race in 24 days. I leave you with some local color. Enjoy the holiday!

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1 comment:

  1. Holy cow man, you run 8:30 on dead legs? You can go long *and* fast. Amazing.
    193bpm!! Wow!
    I can't believe how fast you ran that race. Dude.