Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lager Run 5k, Glen Ridge, NJ 6/28/15

Photo by Rich Timlen
When I work up the morning of this race,  I felt an odd sensation in my hip, butt, lower back that concerned me.  I ran 16.2 the day before and didn't notice anything but fatigue.  But Sunday morning I felt twinges of sharp pain when I bent forward.  At first I thought it was my hip joint and panicked a bit. But later I realized it was more likely that something was inflamed or pinched and I was having nerve tingling rather than pain. I really hope this passes soon.  I am not used to having pain.

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 


  1. Nice RR Shannon! I always enjoy reading your RR's!!

    I dislike 5k's also. However I probably should get back to running them. They were my speed work, and I've slowed down quite a bit since I stopped running them.

  2. Holy moly, you got back in shape FAST! What's your secret? I'm struggling over here. LOL. I did, however, start marathon training today. Eeek!

    Great job on your race! I hope your hip/back feels better soon.