Blah blah blah I suck at regular blogging.
We left off the night before I was set to run the Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita 5k. If you hadn’t guessed it already by my lengthy blogging break, that race did NOT go well for me. Here is a list of everything that went wrong:
- It was 88 degrees and humid at the start. I wasn’t expressing perfectly crisp, cool weather– I’m coming up on my 5 year anniversary as a resident of Central TX, I know what summer’s like here– but I wasn’t prepared for how utterly awful it feels to run in the evening this time of year because I a) run in the morning when it’s a balmy 75 and humid, b) run on the treadmill after work, or c) take a rest day and drink a full glass of wine with dinner. Today was a rest day by the way, so I’m blaming any typos on the alcohol.
- I carbo loaded during the day like I do when I’m running a half marathon, i.e. I ate a bunch of peanut butter and banana toast two hours before the race. I think because it was so hot and because I was running faster than my HM pace hypothetically running faster than my HM pace, the food felt really heavy in my stomach and made me feel queasy.
- I gave up mentally about halfway through the race. My first mile was around my current 5K pace (7:28) but it felt more like all-out 1600m pace. I was done after that. I think the last time I completely gave up like this during a race was the 2010 Broad Street Run (which was also very, very hot). I went out too fast and then endured a miserable slog to the finish. Thankfully, Maudie’s is only 5K and not 10 miles but it felt like one of the longest 5Ks of my life. Naturally, I had very positive splits and by the end I was just hoping I could keep my overall pace under 8:00 min/mile (it was 7:59 per Athlinks so woohoo, mission accomplished!) and simultaneously berating myself for running a 5K at a pace 30 seconds slower than my HM pace in January.
After the Maudie’s debacle I made a few decisions regarding the rest of my running in 2015:
- I set the 10 mile Run for the Water race on November 1st as my goal race on RunCoach. This means that my RunCoach generated workouts and long runs are geared towards a 10 mile race in November which will almost certainly not be 88 degrees at the start and will definitely be a better racing experience for me than a 5K because it’s not a 5K.
- I am not running any other races this summer because there aren’t any races to be run unless I want to travel a great distance (which I don’t).
- Except for a 4th of July race right near where I live.
I got in some solid speed work between the two 5Ks. The problem was that it was all on the treadmill because I’m still struggling to wake up early enough to run before work. Also, the one day I managed to get myself to the track at 5:30 AM last week there was a %$@&# FOOTBALL PRACTICE at the track. There were probably over 50 people on and around the track during sprints and miscellaneous calisthenics and they didn’t look like they would yield to my desire to run in the innermost lane.
That’s what I get for waking up early.
The Freedom 5000 race was at Camp Mabry, i.e. a military installation. For the record, I also baked these American flag cookie bars after the race, which made July 4th, 2015 by far the most patriotic morning I’ve ever lived.
I decided to treat this race as a workout/tempo run since it had been several weeks since I’d tried to run fast on a non-treadmill surface. I’d assumed the race would be the typical circular Camp Mabry 5K route– flat first mile by the airplanes, helicopters, and highway; sizeable hills in the second and third miles– but I realized right before the start that this was actually an out and back course. This was apparently covered in the race guide that I didn’t bother to read.
My goal was to stick to 7:30 pace. I also, for the first time ever, turned off the auto lap on my Garmin so my splits would be aligned with the mile markers. This turned out to be a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself) because my first hint of a course length issue came at the mile 1 sign, which was actually 0.94 miles per my Garmin (covered in 7:05 or 7:32 pace, so right on target). The second mile had one long ascent followed by the turn around, a descent, and then the hill that I’m used to running in mile 3. I actually liked hitting both hills in the second mile. By then I’d settled into my pace and was able to pick things up in mile 3 without worrying about getting up another hill. Mile 2 was 1.05 miles in 7:57, i.e. 7:34 pace– still on target! And no one passed me on the hills. With the hills behind me, I tried to speed up a bit for the last 1.1 miles. I ran next to a boy about as high as my elbows for awhile and tried to hold on to 7:15ish pace but I couldn’t keep up and let him go, which made this the 3rd race in the last year where I’ve been out kicked by a small child. I ended up running the last 0.96 miles (yes, you read that right) in 7:14 or 7:22 pace, which brought me to 22:17 for 2.96 miles (7:32 pace overall).
Aside from the fact that this wasn’t 5K, I liked how this course was designed. All they need to do next time is push the start/finish line back a bit and we’ll be in business. As for my running between now and November 1st, I’m really going to try to focus on regular speed work once or twice a week plus a long run of 8-12 miles each week for the rest of the summer. As I mentioned, there aren’t really any more local races this summer (presumably due to the heat, though this summer has been relatively mild). My next race will probably be the Run Free Texas 80s 8K, which looks insane but will also hopefully be a good way to see whether (mostly) following RunCoach workouts is paying off.