Monday, April 30, 2007

CASA Cares 5k

Time for an update:

Yesterday was my first 5k of the spring seasion (not counting the one I did on New Years day).

Half the runners I know came out for this local 5k on a somewhat-unusually warm and sunny day. It was like a family reunion, catching up with each other on the first event of a new year.

Now this was the time to put my new strategy to use. Armed with knowledge gleened from a recent Runners World article, it suggests going out fast. Your first mile should be your fastest of the race, then hang on for the next 2.1 miles (yes, I'm paraphrasing).

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-244-259-11738-0,00.html

So, thats what I did... my first mile came in under 7:00min/mile pace: 6:56 to be exact. Fast, yes --- and it felt good. It felt good to get out and pull away from the pack, to keep up with the more serious runners. At times I felt out of place, not worthy to stay among this group. But there I was (yes, I know this was the 7 minute group, not the 6 minute group).

Just after crossing the 1 mile mark I backed off a hair which may have proved to be in error. I felt I couldn't keep this pace forever, I convinced myself I need to conserve engergy.

My 5k runs over the previous year were all around a 8:00 pace. Dropping 1 minute per mile is a fairly significant change. Dropping 3 minutes off a 3 mile race would be a major accomplishment.

Mile 2 came in at 8:13 -- oops. More than 1 minute slower than my first mile! Now I was mad and kicked up the effort level for the last mile.

My heart rate monitor showed my pulse pushing up through 90%. I had a good sense of the remaining distance as I was familiar with the neighborhood. I could see the final turn ahead. Rounding the corner the finish chute came into view just a few blocks away and I pressed on. My heart rate was now at 98% max. I felt like Eric Liddle (watch Chariots of Fire), my head was back and chest out allowing me to take massive gulps of air necessary to fuel my stride. I didn’t have much of a ‘kick’ left as I was already pushing maximum effort.

I crossed the finish line at 23:08. I was satisfied.

Still miffed at mile 2, but still happy with an average 7:29 pace.

My official time came in at 23:12 (took 4 seconds to cross the start line).

Soon after I realied that if I’m going to set a personal record at the Chicago Marathon, I can’t treat a 5k as a distance event.

Next scheduled race: May 19th, Quarryman Challenge 10 Miler

2 comments:

MJ said...

Congrats! Nice time and definitely a significant improvement from last year!

Nice to see you've started a blog!! ;)

Brian Gaines said...

Nice report

I haven't really attempted to go out fast and just hold it and hope for the best. I do see some value in that it determines what you've got under the hood. I should try that sometime and see what happens.

btw, your pace is about the same as mine. My 5K PR is 22:29 (~7:14 mpm); I'd like to get a sub-22 someday in the next year.

-Brian