One word version: BLERGH.
This one did not go well for me. I think the Garmin data speak for themselves:
Let’s back up and discuss my running the rest of this week and what my plan was going into the race (spoiler: it did not include running positive splits).
Monday, 2/9: Rest and recovery from BBQ hangover
Tuesday, 2/10: 4 miles easy (9:19 pace)
Wednesday, 2/11: 3 miles total with 2 x 1200m @ 5K pace on the track. I ran both of the repeats in 5:14 or 6:56 pace (which I knew damn well was faster than my 5K pace) and made a mental note to not go out too fast during my race. HA!
Thursday, 2/12: 6 miles easy (9:14 pace)
Friday, 2/13: 3.5 miles on the track alternating 800m of easy running with 400m @ 5K pace. The 400m times were 1:45, 1:44, 1:44, and 1:43. “Make sure you don’t go out so fast at the race start,” I told myself. Also, doing a track workout two days before the race was a stupid idea. Most of the mileage was easy but I still don’t think I should have done two track days during a race week.
Saturday, 2/14: 4 miles easy on the trail (9:13 pace)
Sunday, 2/15: Paramount Break a Leg 5K (+ warm up), which brought my total mileage for the week to 24 miles.
This race supports the Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin. The Paramount is the beautiful 100 year old theatre that hosts my beloved Summer Classic Film Series every year. I am more than happy to run a race that supports the Paramount even if I think the course is mildly demonic.
The race starts by the state capitol and heads north for about 1.5 miles by the UT campus. Then there’s a turnaround and you head back in the opposite direction. I knew that the first half of the race would be mostly uphill but I never looked at an elevation map. The reality is that it’s mostly rolling hills, with the particularly nasty inclines immediately after the start and shortly before the finish line.
To be fair, I’ve run on worse hills than these– but not in a long time. If there’s anything I learned during this race (aside from the fact that I can’t pace myself for 5Ks) it’s that I need to do more hill running.
Knowing that the race started uphill (due to my knowledge of Austin’s geography and also because I could see the hill right in front of me at the start line), I’d planned to run a 7:15-20 pace for the first half of the race and then try to pick it up after the turn around and hold on until the end, hopefully finishing around 22:30 or faster. The problem is that I tend to feel 5K pace should be like sprinting (as evidence by my “5K pace” on the track). Going out way too fast combined with a hilly course when I’ve done zero hill training did me in. I didn’t even look at my Garmin much after the first mile because I could feel myself crashing and didn’t want to feel further demoralized.
The race may have been a mess for me but I was still glad to support the Paramount and work on my 5K pacing (which needs some further work, apparently!). The best part of the morning was being done with my race by 7:30, which gave me plenty of time to get home and spectate the marathon. Mile 14 is within walking distance of my apartment, so the Gentleman and I headed out about 10 minutes before the first runner (and eventual winner) passed by. We spent over an hour cheering and chatting with neighbors. It was really, really fun and has pushed me to look into volunteering for some of the local races I won’t be running.
Also, my foot didn’t hurt while I was running or standing, so I guess I should consider that a #victory.