Okay, the anxiety has passed. I now can say I have a 5K PR in the books. Of course I had my previous 5k time from '06, but who want's to go around posting a 24:23:7 as their 5K PR when they are training for a sub 3:20 marathon?
Okay, so on to the race. It was a pretty nice Saturday morning for a local 5K/10K. It was really nice that the race was started and finished at the neighborhood country club, so just about a mile awas from home. That being said, I drove to the race and warmed up from their with some buddies from my running group. They were all running the 10K and leavng me a the sole sprinter for the day. I could tell from the looks of the crowd assembling that the competition would be weak overall, but with a few young cross-country runners. One of the guys in our group that was not running is a 10K master and he coaches a local private school team. He told me he had a 5 minute miler runnng. I knew I wanted a couple of fast guys, but would this guy be too fast?
We took off on a straight away and very soon I glanced at my Garmin to see we were doing 5:10 pace. There was one other high school XC runner with us. At that point I decided to ease off just a bit and settled into a 5:50 pace. The other two while slowing down a bit, widened the gap on me to about 50 yards. Well, turns out they were both too fast for me, but they was close enough for a while that I thought "just maybe they'll fade". But for most of the run I had more thoughts of "when will I start to fade". The first mile split came in at 5:47. 13 seconds faster than planned, but I thought that was okay. The only way to go sub-18:00 was to go sub 6:00 splits. Mile two marker seemed like it took forever to come around, but finally it did, 5:49. Mile three was nothing more than a brutal attempt to hold on with what I had left. A 5:47 split of which I wasn't aware of until after the fact. I don't remember looking at the Garmin again for pace or time other than total distance at mile at 2.65. When I hit the 3 mile marker I tried to shift gears one last time, but I think it felt a lot faster than it really was. I crossed the line in some severve pain, but seeing my time of 17:44 made it feel just a little better. The funny thing about this race was that other than for a very small stretch where there was a turnaround in a cul-de-sac, I never saw any runners other than the two in front of me. It was almost as if it were a 3 person race.
I was truly surprised as I didn't know if I would be able to go sub 18:00 or not and it was my "everything goes perfect" goal. Well, I guess everything went perfect. So for the rest of the day I relished in my success, but told myself, that's it. Enjoy it today and back to work tomorrow. I've got bigger fish to fry and Day 1 of training starts Monday, August 24th. 16 weeks of training for the Tucson Marathon.
The nice thing about having a valid and current 5K PR is that I can now base my runs on a more accurate number for pacing rather than "I think I can run a XX". This should help me dial in more precisely on my training paces.
I finsihed the week of running this morning with an easy 15.16 at 8:22 pace and 44 miles for the week. While the mileage the last 4 weeks have all be below 50, my local coach wanted that for purposes of having fresh legs to start the 16 week cycle. No going back now, it's been done and he got what he wanted.
I had originally told him that I wanted to focus on a 3:05 goal for Tucson. He told me last week that he predicted a sub 18:00 5K and when I texted him yesterday, his response was "I told you I know my students, let focus on 3:00"......doh! While I'd be lying to tell you I didn't have desires to go sub 3:00, I didn't expect the training to be for a sub 3:00. It will just add to the pressure of expectations. Makes me nervous, but it's a good thing. A motivating factor.
So Day one tomorrow calls for an easy 8 and then track work on Tuesday. Looking forward to a couple of good weeks of training before a local 1/2 marathon on LaborDay in my hometown of Roswell, NM. This will be another fitness test for me. I think a half will give me a better idea if a sub 3:00 is possible or if the 5K time was just a perfect day for me. I haven't lived in Roswell since 1985, but checked out last year's results and a high school buddy of mine won it in about 1:26. I'm hoping he's there this year. Haven't seen him since 10yr reunion and he allways used to get the best of me as a youngster. It's my turn. I guess my goal will have to be sub 1:25 or sub whatever _______ does?
Until next time, take care!