First race of 2019 – the Cottontail 5K! Here is how my prep week and race went. It was a mixed bag for sure.
First run of the week felt awesome. In fact, I had not felt this in a long while, but it was one of those mornings where I felt like I could run forever! So a month ago I signed up for a half marathon at the end of May (my longest distance in over a year), but an odd thing has happened since I got back from Jamaica…I’ve gotten faster. Not by a ton but a small and consistent shift to faster times, while at the same time feeling stronger overall. What I’ve mostly done is just backed off in general – not a whole lot, but I’m not killing myself to pile on the miles, and I’ve taken an extra running day off, so now I only run 5 days a week. It seems the older I get, less really is more. Well, this morning I was playing around with what to do with this half marathon – I could push it and try to get the miles in, but it’s been so frustrating working back into shape, and I am finally feeling good, blah blah blah. Anyway, I look to my left and see our document clerk — who is also a runner…and I transferred my registration to her! She’s so excited, and I’m thrilled that someone will get to run a really fun course. And I am relieved to not try to rush myself back into longer distance shape. Yay.
Last track workout before my first race of 2019, and we did almost all short stuff. The video is a good representation of how little I know about sprinting; you can hear all the instructions I need just to line up correctly! Ha.
Finally — race day! Good news: I won my age group and was 5th woman overall. Bad news: No PR. (My time was 25:08.)
So I have now run three 5Ks in eight months, and I have learned some good information. The 5K is a strangely difficult distance! As a former marathoner and half-marathoner, I assumed this would be easy. I mean, it’s three miles. My midweek runs are all longer than that! But running three miles and racing three miles is a whole different beast. I have tried a couple different strategies, and I’m hoping to try out a third on my next 5K at the end of the month. What didn’t work was what I did this race, which was go out blazing fast and in attack mode. I ran a 7:35 first mile, and to be honest, it felt pretty OK. My second mile slowed down to 8:05…and then I completely blew up in my third mile and ran an 8:46 final leg. So it’s clear that I am fighting the lactic acid early on and unable to get through it. The 5K I ran in December I kept at a strong but manageable(ish) pace. While I still had a much faster first mile, miles 2 and 3 were comparable, and I finished six seconds faster than this race. For my final race this spring, I will try to negative split, and I will then have a good sample size of what 5K strategy works for me. Who knew I would even need a strategy? Very fun trying to figure out this puzzle though.
Lastly, I get it. It is super awesome to usually win my age group and place in the top 10 for women at the 5K distance…but I want to PR. I know it’s slightly crazy to think I can PR at 51, but I am slightly crazy!
Total Miles: 18
Long Run: 6