Race Thoughts/Goals for This Weekend

>> Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My goals for the 15K Relay at Fort Snelling (3-person teams running a 5K each) can really be summed up with one sentence:

Don't give quite 100% effort as you're still coming back from an injury, and hope for just over an 18 minute finish or so.

It's a nice flat course around Pike Island in Fort Snelling, running out to the point where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet. I've TRIED to hike around that island with my boys 2 or 3 times in the last few months (we've never made it all the way around), and you saw these 2 photos in this post from early June:

On Pike Island with the Hwy 5 bridge in the background.

Finishing up a big morning hike.

As you can see from that last photo, the path is packed dirt/gravel. And it flat - it's always about 5' above the water's surface. If it's not muddy, it should be pretty easy running with just a bit of slippage.

Being I last raced at the end of March nearly 7 months ago, I don't have a sense of what I can do. If you told me to go race "ALL OUT" and predict a finishing time, I'd say I could be sub-18, maybe around 17:50. But being I'm just starting my way back, I do NOT want to push it too much. For me, there's a big difference in effort between 100% and 98%, and I want to try to back off to about 98% for this race. 6:00 pace is a 18:39 5K, and I'm pretty sure I can do better than that. 5:50 pace is 18:07, and that SEEMS like about what I SHOULD/COULD race. Who really knows though. Especially if there's extra gravel slippage.

You know that point in a 5K around the 2 mile mark where you're REALLY feeling like backing off on the effort so you don't die before the finish? Well when I feel that on Sunday, I WILL back off the effort. It's not that I'm "allowing" myself to do that... it's that I'm TELLING myself to do that.

I had to look back at the last 5Ks that I've ran. My last one was a year ago as part of the 3-race "Loony Challenge" weekend where I ran an easy 18:54 because I'd just raced a 10K minutes before, and had to save for a 10-Mile the next morning. Before that it was 2 years ago at the ALS Superhero Dash where I pushed Henry to a 17:56 finish and his first win:

Looking pretty disgusting in the final meters of that 5K. Cute 3-year-old Henry though!

So I really can't use either of those races in the last 2 years to predict anything for this weekend. I could be anywhere between 17:50 and 18:40. It's more about not killing/injuring myself than any time goal.

I don't know ANYTHING about this race, but I expect it to be small. It's the final race for the year in the USATF MN series, so all the speedy teams will be there. But I don't think many other people will be. And being only 1 out of 3 teammates are running at any given moment, the trail SHOULDN'T be too crowded once everyone thins out a bit after the start. If there are 90 runners there, that means there are only 30 people running at a time. When I registered my "YWCA Endurance Sports" team yesterday afternoon, we were only about the 8th team to register.

Sunday morning's the big day! Check my tweets and/or my instagrams for updates!


Carolina John 1:45 PM, October 12, 2016  

I'm sure you'll be somewhere between "that's fast" and "holy fuck that's fast"! Have fun!

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