Let’s start with the most fun part of the weekend- I ran a new 5K PR!
My last 5k was in August, and I ran a 28:07 (9:03 pace). It was hot and humid, and I spent the afternoon at a friend’s pool leading up to the evening race, but it was still a PR (maybe because it was my first time officially running that distance since my first 5k in July ‘09).
Saturday night I was trying to figure out what a good goal pace would be. I had a bad too-fast tempo run last week that started at an 8:31 pace, went to 8:41 for the second mile, then slowed from there, so I was convinced that any pace faster than 8:31 would be hard (looking back, it was probably the heat and the hills that messed me up on that run).
I looked up equivalent race times in Run Less Run Faster, to see what 5k time would be equivalent to my goal of a 2 hour (or faster) half marathon. A 2:00:31 half is equivalent to a 26:00 5k, which is an 8:22 pace, and that sounded hard.
I didn’t know what a good pace was for me. So I just went in with the loose goal of beating my previous 28:07, and hoping I could maintain around an 8:20-8:30 pace. I set my watch up to beep at me at every half mile for more frequent feedback than my usual 1 mile autolap.
Clearly I started off WAY too fast. When I saw the first half mile was at 3:50 I was surprised and knew I needed to slow down, but I felt surprisingly good for the first mile. It was an out-and-back course, so there was an awkward turnaround on the bike path at 1.55 mi. marked by a blue arrow on the ground and two people telling us to turn around. I guess I prefer loop courses- those kind of turns make me feel like I have to stop and then get started again. There was water at mile 2, but I didn’t stop because it was a little chaotic and I figured I had hydrated enough before.
My legs were not feeling as fresh after 2 miles and I could tell I was slowing down. [By the way: I’m shocked I ran the same pace for both halves of the 2nd and 3rd miles]. For the 3rd mile, it was feeling harder to maintain the (slower) pace I was running.
You could see and hear the finish area from about .25 mi away. That’s when I started to pick up the pace.
[Ignore the green line…Garmin made the 45’ of elevation change over 1.55 miles look way worse than it is]
I remember seeing the clock at 24:39 and knew I wasn’t going to break 25 since I still had .1 mi to go, but decided I was going to try to make it as close to 25 as I could. I saved enough energy in the final stretch to pass a guy I had been running behind for the last couple minutes.
It wasn’t chip-timed, which meant I had to try to be coordinated enough to rip the bottom part of my bib off and hand it to someone as I ran across the finish line. My time was 25:11. I didn’t remember to stop my watch until after I had my bottle of water.
Overall I came in 50th/386 and shockingly, I won 1st place in my age group (small field of 25-29 year olds I guess).
There were plenty of water bottles, orange slices, bananas, bagel chunks, and coffee at the end. It was a nice low-key event and the proceeds go toward a good cause. There was a Kid’s 1k Fun Run at 8, then the 5k run/walk started at 8:15. Since the bike path used for the race is in full sun, I wouldn’t have minded if it started a little earlier.
The rest of April 30-May 6:
Mon: Above-referenced bad tempo run. 6.07 mi. Tempo parts were 8:31, 8:41, 9:13, 8:56, 9:00.
AM-: 6 mi Running Store Fun Run/avg pace 9:57
PM- Track closed…7.71 mi/avg pace 9:35
Thurs: 10 mile loop in 1:42. Killer 1.5 mile long hill at the beginning.
Sat: Running group’s prediction run (no watches). 3.66 miles in 36:38. Half trails/half paved roads. Ran 1:02 slower than my predicted time.
Sun: 3.1 miles in 25:11
Miles for the week: 36.65