>> Friday, November 23, 2007
Or, “In Search of a 19 Minute 5K”
Or, “Run-Til-You-Puke Race Strategy”
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! Pharmie, Steph, Jon, and I ran the “Giving Thanks 5K” at Como Park yesterday morning. When we were getting ready to leave the house, it was 24 degrees with a 13 degree wind-chill. And it was snowing. Grossness. My car needed a good window scraping:
Oh yeah, I’m ready to race!
Yep, my shirt says “I’m thankful for tighty-whities.”
This race, I wanted to run HARD in the middle. Most of my races, I run mostly-fast at the start, slower in the middle, and then I have a long kick that slowly progresses to a pretty fast finish. At this race, the plan was to push it a little harder at the start, then MUCH harder in the middle, and just hold on until the finish - I mean, no runner can just kick HARD for the last half-mile and expect to take a minute of his/her time. For this race, I was running in the style of my old cross-country coach, with his “run til you puke” strategy. I was going out hard, and just trying to hold on later in the race.
The run was a 2-loop course around the little lake in Como Park. This proved to be a little tricky, because it got messy as people (and their strollers and pets and screaming kids) were being lapped. I started to lose track of the people in front of me.
To make a long story short, the miles were not marked, but the kilometers were. So I had to do some math on the fly to readjust my strategy. Well, I DID go out fast. My first 3 kilometers were 3:33, 3:34, and 3:40 (that’s around an 18 minute 5K pace). But at this point, I was beat. Totally spent. I needed to try to hold on. My abdomen was tight - I didn’t have side-stitches, but something was getting sore in there as I was gasping for air. And there were some slick spots along the course. I nearly biffed it at kilometer 4. But I was trying to hold on for the ride. Along the way, I passed the guys in 3rd and 2nd, but at this race, there was no hope for me placing first. First place was WAY out there.
As I neared the finish line, I was really losing steam. I got up to the line, and the announcer said “Oh, it looks like our ‘first place runner’ is coming across the line!...” I was shaking my head to tell him “no.” As I crossed the line, I told him there was someone in front of me, and the woman helping him said “yeah, I think someone else finished just ahead of him.” It got messy there with all the people that were just wrapping up their first lap and still had a lap to go. There was no official time and no official finishers list, but I’m pretty sure that I came in 2nd. Maybe 3rd. But I’m 95% sure that I passed 2 of the 3 guys in front of me (both wearing very noticeable yellow shirts), so we’ll go with 2nd place. Don’t think that 2 first place finishes in 2 5Ks didn’t cross my mind!
So here are my kilometer splits:
Yep, 18:43. That means I beat my goal!! Happy Thanksgiving to Steve!! It was my PR since high-school (I don't know how fast my fastest 5K was in high-school, but I think I'm getting close to that time too). Those were interesting splits because I’ve NEVER run a race where I am consistently getting slower like I did yesterday. But I guess it worked. I took nearly 30 seconds off my time from 3 weeks ago.
I turned around after finishing and starting cheering for other finishers. Everyone was laughing at my shirt and outfit. I actually went out to the end of the finishers shoot and directed traffic until I saw the 3 that I came with. First, Steph came in. Then Jon ran by just a few seconds later. Finally, Phamie came in. They all did GREAT, and they were all within 30 seconds of each other. We walked back to the car to “warm up,” but we all knew that we weren’t going to get back out of that toasty-toasty car, so we didn’t stick around for any prizes or drawings (I hope there weren’t any awards for the top finishers!). Anyway, we had to get back home to prepare veggies for the Thanksgiving party we were going to:
See the cute little radish flowers?
Yep, I made those!
I had PLENTY more after this!...
Mike contemplating his next move after I screwed him over
Notice the tablecloth in the foreground
where there SHOULD be a pile of my money...
Well, I placed 2nd at a 5K and PRed, but Mike beat me at Monopoly. I think I came out ahead in that exchange. Sorry Mike. I just calls-em like I sees-em. I hope everyone had a great day!!