This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
The first faster 5K of the year is always tough for me to figure out my outside pace compared to the treadmill effort that I have been doing most of the winter for speed work.
Now I have a pretty good idea of where I am and what I gotta do to get better.
First of all, I LOVE, LOVE the course, downhill start, a quick bump then a long most flat out and back and then down the bump to the finish line.
No race anxiety at all. I went into this one relaxed, DIDN'T have those I can't do this thoughts and when I started to get those unrealistic pipe dreams going - I kept telling myself "just gonna do well". It was one of the first races in a long, long time where I felt pretty good the entire week leading up to a pre-planned race.
I had some goals in my head to do today:
- Sub 22:00
- Sneak an age group out of it
- No injuries
I batted .333, so I was happy.
- Missed the sub 22:00 by .19 seconds
- Came in second in AG
- No injuries.
Actually the 6:38 first mile was pretty fast and I felt strong going down the hill. I even throttled back a little in a couple of spots, just because I didn't want crash and burn later (lot of good it did). Once we got on the bump and running against the wind, I just slowed down and never really picked up again.
I knew I was slowing down, but never looked at my watch to see what the pace I was running. What I wanted something more than comfortably hard, but not hard racing (not this time). It seems that my effort on the treadmill is closer to a 7:30 pace than the 7:00 minute pace I want to be at.
Gus S. went by me at the Y and I was really tempted to try to hang on his back for a while, but for some reason I just let him go - again. It was the second race in a row he has done this to me or I did it to myself. While I kept him in sight, he just kept pulling away.
One of these days, I will catch him or better yet not let him catch me. ;-)
I thought about kicking at the end and started to pick it up, but I figured what was the point and just went back to running the effort that I had been, although I did hear some footsteps behind me and didn't let them pass.
It was great to see all the Central Maine Striders and other runners that I know from previous races.
The PI N1 Roads that I got for Christmas did fine, I never really thought about them during the race, so that is a good thing, but thinking back they were just kind of blah and didn't give me that I "feel" like I should be running fast in them. It was more that they felt like trainers, not racers. Yes, I know it is in my head, but it is how I feel, but not sure what to do about it. :-)
Overall, it wasn't the fastest 5K I have done, but it is in line with most of the first 5k outside races I have done in the past 4 years.
- 2016 - 22:18 on 4/16
- 2015 - 22:19 on 5/29
- 2014 - 22:34 on 4/13
- 2013 - 22:08 on 3/17
- 2012 - 23:48 on 4/7
So I am right about where I usually am for this time of year and know that I can/should/will improve this 5K time, even though it was a very fast course compare to those other ones. I really think that I forget how to push the pace faster outside, compared to the treadmill and have to adjust the amount of discomfort I am willing to accept to run at a faster pace.
I am very encouraged by the race today, especially the lack of race anxiety issues. However, I have a feeling that I am becoming a 22:00 (+/- :30 seconds) runner, which isn't a bad thing, but not really what I expect of myself, but is becoming more and more reality every year.
So I guess I am going to have do some different things to improve a little more. Who knows maybe even doing a real training plan for a while. hehehehe
I want to thank all of the volunteers and people who put on the race, they did a great job and I know I really love this course and it is a race that I will do again. It was one of those small, local races that I just enjoy.