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).,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


MJ said...

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

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

Anonymous 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.