Sunday, April 12, 2009

5K results

5K time: 27:03 pace: 8:42

I have very mixed feelings about these results from yesterday's race. For one, I'm disappointed in myself, because I walked some of it. I've never done that before during a race. On the other hand, my pace was fast enough that I was only 20 seconds slower than my last time. In fact, the last 1.1 miles was at an 8:13 pace, which is really good for me.
The weather was cold and rainy. I wore a long sleeve tee, with a short-sleeve tee over it, and shorts. I was pretty excited, because I had been working up to this race for so long. When the gun went off, I felt pretty pumped, but in about 5 seconds I realized that my right shoe-lace was unraveling. What kind of runner doesn't tighten up her shoelaces before a race?! I pulled out of the mass of runners and tied it as quickly as I could, knowing that precious seconds were ticking by. Then I sprang back up and tried to recover lost ground. My thought was that any chance of a PR was gone, but I remembered the runner from Chariots of Fire who fell during a sprint race but got up and overcame a 20-meter deficit to win. Keeping that in mind, I passed a few people before finding a rhythm I thought I could manage. I reached the half-way point at 13:00, which is about an 8:20 pace. If I had kept that pace, I would have shattered my PR by 45 seconds. I made the turn at the half-way point very nicely. The traction on my shoes made it nice and efficient, without wasting too much energy. I felt good -- and then the cramps hit. That dull, heavy, overwhelming feeling in my my lower abdomen. I pushed on, hoping to run through them, but after about 200 meters or so, I gave up. I walked, I re-tied my shoe, which was loose again, and I walked some more. It wasn't too long before the cramps started to pass. When I was sure I could run again, I continued on, seeing how many of the people I had let by I could pass. I leveled off at a manageable pace again. I was behind a man in an orange jacket, and in front of him was a woman with curly hair. My goal by the end of the race was to pass them both.
At the 2-mile marker my time was 18:00. I kept my eyes on the orange jacket and kept going. This part of the course was through a campground in the woods. There were a few hills, but nothing too difficult. At the bottom of one of the hills, I passed the guy in the orange jacket. My lead didn't last long, though. He pulled ahead again about a minute later. I did my best to stay on his tail. The cramps were not bothering me anymore, but I was exhausted and felt like I was dragging myself. I did the best I could to imagine myself running lightly and easily. I continued to follow the orange jacket, and we passed the curly-haired woman. The end was in sight, then, and I knew that I had to turn on the power soon if I wanted to pass again and sprint to the finish. The last stretch was flat and smooth. I opened up my stride and gradually built up speed. I passed the orange jacket and left him behind. Ahead, people were cheering me on, and I finished strong at 27:03.
I don't know if I would have had the breath/strength to keep pace through to the end of the race if I hadn't taken the walk break in the middle. Maybe my pace would have slowed and I would have had about the same time I usually have. Or maybe I have improved and would have made a new PR if I had run it through. I don't know, but this year will give me a lot of opportunities to do better. The next one is two weeks away.

No comments: