Monday, March 18, 2013

5k race week

Saturday the 16th was the day of the only 5k I run all year.  They had a 10k option this year, and normally I would opt for a longer race over a shorter one, but I didn't want to give up my only 5k, so that's what I stuck with.  My PR is 19:54, but I got that at a one-time race here in town that was slightly flatter than this annual Celtic Knot race.  I was unable to PR this week, but I finished in 20:12, which is close enough as far as I'm concerned, especially since it was a hilly course.  Also, I finished in 20:59 last year, and 24:45 the year before, so look's like I'm improving!  The improvements also have something to do with the fact that I had a bad cold two years ago, a mild cold last year, and no cold this year.

The weekly summary:
M: 8.4 / 1:07:06 / 7:59
T: 5.56 / 43:38 / 7:50
W: 5.65 / 49:25 / 8:44
R: off (much too tired to run)
F: 5.56 / 38:04 / 6:50
Sa: 3.1 / 20:12 / 6:30
Su: 15.2 / 2:10:04 / 8:33
total: 43.47

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were early morning runs.  By Wednesday night, I was exhausted and there was no way I was going to drag myself out of bed early on Thursday.  Thursday is faculty meeting day at school and by the time I got home at 5, there was no way I was going to drag myself back out for a run.  I "slept in" again on Friday and ran after school.  6:50 pace shows how awesome it was to be running in daylight and with music.  By that point in the week, I had given up on having a high mileage week.  But on Sunday, I had a few hours before I had to be at work @ the Pub for St. Patrick's Day, I felt pretty good, and it was in the mid-40s, which seemed like a good temperature for a long run.  So I went out and did 15 miles.  15 hilly miles, I should add.  Took Teaberry Rd down to Ronceverte (c. 5 miles, mostly downhill but some short & steep uphills), and came back out of Ronceverte on Chesapeake Ave, which is very steep.  Apparently it's only about 1.6 miles long.  I had thought it was closer to 3, so it messed up my mileage and I ended having to do random loops around town at the end of my run in order to get up to 15 for the day.  

The Race
For this year's episode of the most disorganized race ever... I was standing on the start line with a handful of people, everyone else was still milling around somewhere behind us.  The race director was talking about this that and the other thing through a microphone.  Suddenly we heard...START!  Those of us at the front looked at each other, decided that that was in fact the official signal, I started my watch, and off we went.  3 or 4 of us stuck together for the first quarter mile or so, then I took the lead.  In the last 3/4 of a mile or so, a guy caught up to me.  He's someone that runs the bigger local races, and is definitely faster than me.  He caught up to me about halfway up the last big hill, and we traded off for the rest of the hill.  
Here we are coming back down the hill:
This picture was taken as we were about to make the turn into the final stretch.  As we were on the home stretch, he was right next to me, telling me to power through, stride it out, finish strong.  Then he backed off and told me to go for it.  I was rather confused as to why he would do this, and a bit ticked off, but then I realized he was doing the 10k, which meant he had to turn around at the finish line and do the whole course over again.  I talked to him after the race, and it turns out his only goal in running with me at the end was to help me get a better time.  So that was very nice.  It definitely helped me to have him there as I was trying to push up that last hill.  At that point, my lungs were not keeping up with my legs, and I was slowing down a bit to catch my breath, then surging forward again.  Repeatedly.  
   I won the race by a landslide.  In the time it took me to gasp out my name, number, and age category to the girls at the results table, no one else crossed the line.  The girls were interrogating me for the info like I hadn't just finished a race and didn't look like I was about to collapse.  Oh well.  I managed to get them what they needed while gasping for air, and then stagger off on my cool down jog.  

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