Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Race Report: 5k Run for Celiac Disease

So this wasn't on my calendar, but it was sort of planned. Its been 3 years since we've run this race and it was 3 years since I remembered how painful a hilly 5k can be! They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. If you remember my last race report, one of the big mistakes I made (pacing), well you ain't seen nothing yet! It seems that I need to learn these things the hard way.

Let's get to the race:

I seeded myself just behind the front row to ensure I didn’t have to fight for position at the start. With the sound of the gun, we were off and moving pretty quickly. After only 3 short blocks, we took a right onto a 3/4 mile long hill. Still trying to push the pace, I moved up the hill pretty well, with the race leaders only 10 ft in front of me. Once we crested the hill, it was a short downhill before hitting the 1 mile marker. As I approached the Mile 1 marker, I started hearing the splits. I was afraid to look at my watch, because the feelings in my legs as we crested that first long hill told me all I needed to know. As I got closer to the timer, I heard my split. Mile 1: 5:50 – WAY too fast, given ¾ of that was spent climbing a pretty steep hill.

I knew after that first mile split, that I was in for a treat of pain today, because after a very short flat section, most of Mile 2 was also spent climbing to the turnaround, before heading back down that hill we just moved up. My legs were really starting to fatigue and I felt little juice left. The combination of the hill and the act of turning around at the cone, made it a challenge to pick the pace back up. I struggled on and came through Mile 2 in 6:39, a sharp contrast from Mile 1.

Based on my descriptions of Miles 1 and 2, you can probably guess that Mile 3 also included a hill. Actually, it was 2 hills, because you climbed 1 hill for about 4 blocks, took a left to another street, only to find that you have to continue climbing an equally long hill for another 4 blocks. The good news was that the last ½ mile was all downhill. You just had to get there. I got there alright. I just had nothing left. I tried to pick up the pace and did finish a little stronger after I crested the hill, averaging out the last 1.1 miles at 7:53 (6:53/mile pace) and 20:05 overall, which was a 5s improvement on my 2007 time. I crossed the line knowing that I placed well overall, but that I could have done better. After the race was over, I felt fine. I was tired, but the legs felt ok.

Post Race

We stuck around for the awards ceremony after the race and I finished 3rd in my Age Group and 9th overall. Not bad, considering the lack of race execution. I know I could have moved up a few spots with some better pacing and significantly improved on my time. I do plan to run another couple of 5ks in the next month or 2 (hopefully less hilly), so look out for some applied lessons learned and the end to this insanity!


Anonymous said...

oooh, blingage! and a race for a good cause! nice work!


Danielle said...

So be honest... do those five seconds bug you? I always think I'd rather finish at XX:10 than XX:05 just to spare the mental anguish :-)

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