|Photo by Rich Timlen|
My last race went better than I expected and I was very happy. I have been working to get back in shape. I feel like I am seeing good results. I am back to Long Runs, a little Speed Work, Progressions with a lot of easier paced running. I am just building my system and my volume first and soon I will add back in some intensity. The short races, right now, are giving me that element.
As I stood at the starting line, just like I do at the start of almost every 5k, I just wanted it to be over. 5ks are not my best race in comparison to my race times for my age. They hurt and I can never run as fast with ease as I wish I could. I am sure I write this same sentence in every 5k race report.
But I know this course well. I feel like nothing about it will be a surprise to me and this helps me prepare mentally for my approach. Knowing the course is almost as important as being prepared to run it.
I set out fast because I know 1M lends it self to a naturally fast start. I also know that mile 2 is slower. I take advantage of any descents it the first mile. I am feeling a little floored by how many women are hauling. I have no idea how many are in front of me but it is a lot. I look at my watch and the pace is low 6 and I still can't believe how fast the pack is moving. I try to settle down to my target pace but still come through M1 a little fast: M1 6:17
In an ideal race I would attempt a 6:20, 6:35, 6:20 and kick hard hoping to sneak in sub-20. I am a little fast here but it is ok. I feel much better than I thought I would and now I work on staying focused through Mile 2. I start passing people on the uphill even with the pace slowing. The slower pace is a product of the incline and not a reflection of the effort at all. The hill starts at the start of M2 and does not last the whole mile. But it can feel soul crushing after a fast mile 1. I know we get a reprieve soon and I am just trying to hold it together until the descent. M2 6:38
We have already started to descend and most of Mile 3 is downhill. I am running as fast as I can and I can start to feel the wheels coming off. But I am running fast so this is ok. My pace is dropping. I feel like I am getting a side-stitch. It has been a long time since I have gotten that. I believe stitches happen to me when I am running faster than my fitness supports. Today this seemed to be true. I am passing people and running hard. It feels awesome! I glance at my watch and my average pace is 6:27. I feel like if I can just run a little harder I might break 20. I know there is track finish. I am hoping I have a kick today! M3 6:28
Rich is at the M3 mark. I remember last year watching Rich from a distance break 20. I would like to do that today. But I saw the time on the clock and I was sure I did not have enough time or not. I decide that slowing down won't get me to sub-20 so if I want a chance I had to sprint. I feel a person running me down. I don't now if this runners is male of female. I am sprinting as fast as I can. I know I will get passed despite my effort. Just as I am getting passed I am relieved to see this runner was a guy. I can see the clock ticking from a distance .. 19:58… 59… 20:00…20:01…etc. I am not there yet. I am too late. Last .1 in 43 seconds.
I finish this race and feel a bit shocked it went so well. I am a little ahead of where I expected to be. But Lager is one of the fastest courses of the series.
After a few months of down time, where I feared that I might not be able to get my speed and endurance back, I am very happy to see that my training is working well, at least for now.
Time: 20:07 (6:27)
OA place 101
Gender 11th F
10 yr AG 5th