Sunday, October 31, 2010

Triple success!!!!!!!!!!!! (5k RR)

Goal A - check (Check out my previous post with goals)
Sub-19 - check SURPRISE! (Ok, I was secretly day dreaming about sub-19, but you know those dreams....)
Overcoming whimpiness - check


Chip time: 18:56.4 (6:07 per mile pace, 3:47 per km)
Gun time: 18:59.9 (fhuuu, so close)
Garmin time: not sure since I did not stop it when I crossed the finish line
Garmin 1k approximate splits:
I won my age group (25-29) and was 2nd woman overall (1st ran 18:46) and 26th person overall. Although I do not care about this, I cared about my time.

I slept pretty well, although I had hard time falling asleep, I went to bed at 10ish and did not fall asleep until midnight. I was not thinking about the race, but other important things that are going on and plus I cannot fall asleep unless I trash/tire myself throughout the day and since it was pre-race day I did not do anything.

Got up at 7am, ate tortilla/peanut butter/banana wrap (when an Olympic gold medalist says it is good, I believe him)and was off at 7:30 for 9am start.
I had little trouble with my bike lock. It got stuck but thankfully after I unlocked the bike.
Got to the start little before 8am.

(I actually picked up my packet last night, I did not know it was possible but I received an email that people can come and get their bib numbers, so I did that and I also rode the course so I knew what to expect.
And it is a good thing that I did because I would have been screwed because it was pretty hilly so I knew how to strategize to make up for time lost on uphills. It was a loop, so whatever distance we went down we also had to go up)

Warmed up for around 25min, stretched, did strides until I felt ready to go. Coach told me to warm up well and to do some longer strides at race pace. And it really worked. I felt loose and ready to go.

I have not realized this but there were a lot of people, definitely over 1000! But a lot of them were walkers. Because this was a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer.
I squeezed into 3-4 line from the start line with fast guys:)

Race was very well organized except for the start when we started over 10min past the official start time because there were people still registering last minute. So were were just standing there for over 10min...

Eventually off we went.
1st k: long, long, long appx 800m uphill. Not steep but long. At one point my average pace was 4min so I freaked out a bit because it was way slower than I wanted it to be. But last 200m of the first k were flat, so I tried to make up the lost time and eventually went through 1st k in 3:51. Right on plan.
2nd k: short maybe 150m uphill, then 150m flat and rest downhill. I let go on the downhill (because I knew that the last 1.5k close to finish is uphill so I had to make up time NOW). 3:42. Cool. I felt pretty good. Although some negative thoughts started to creep in at the beginning of this k. But I kept telling to myself, you pussy, you have not even done 2k and you are already starting to think you are tired? It is all in my mind. I managed to push through these thoughts. In my last 5k race this was the time I started to slow down. Of course I was not in a good shape back then but I persuaded myself that it is hard already and I slowed down although it was not hard. But no slowing down this time.
3rd k: Some short steep downhills and some short steep uphill, then little bit of flat, then uphill and then not so step downhill. Here I started to feel my arms getting tired. It was not my legs, those felt pretty good the whole time, but my arms, ouch. Again some negative thoughts at the end of 3rd k. I actually forgot about the whole "assessment thing" I wanted to do when I start to have doubts, I have never assessed how I felt, I just ran thinking about what a pussy I am if I quit. It really helped me to know what is head of me so I persuaded myself that it is only 2k to go, with one downhill, then looong uphill and then final sprint. I was this close to be like "whatever, just jog in", but no no no (I wanted to run the fast time, plus I am scared that my coach will dump me. She spends her free time preparing my workouts and therefore I would not be surprised if she tells to herself that I am just a waste of her time if I am not even trying hard). I did not feel too bad, it was a good effort though but not throwing up/passing out effort.
4th k: Little bit of downhill and then longish and pretty steep uphill - to get back to the same level we lost while going downhill before. It was hard. I felt I was just shuffling, but still managed 3:52 so I guess it was just my impression. Plus I knew I was close to the finish and that it will be a piece of cake once I get to the top and therefore this time I had no doubts I can finish strong.
5th k: I was told to run last 800ish as fast as I could. But 5k was still uphill at the beginning, then some flat, then short steep downhill, short steep uphill and last 300m flat to the finish. I knew this so I knew I could not run very fast this last k. I decided to just keep a good effort on those up/downhills until the final stretch and then run those 300m as fast as I can. And I did. I pushed hard, my legs were starting to itch a bit but 300m is not that far, I knew I can suffer for 1min.
I have not looked at my pace that much during the race, I just kept track of my 1k splits when Garmin beeped. So I was not sure where I stood time-wise before that final 300m stretch. But I overcame the temptation to look at my watch and I just run for it. And it felt awesome!

When I finished I did not know my time. I knew it was under 19:10, but was I fast enough to break 19min? I knew I was close but was not sure until I saw the results! I was so stoked!!!! And still am.

Retrospectively, I kept a very good effort, but it was not too bad. I can definitely "suffer" like this again or even little bit more.
I am very glad I did not chicken out. Once I pushed through those 2-3 negative thoughts I had (at 2-3k)everything was good and felt controlled.
5k is pretty short. I like it:)

In total I did around 9miles on a road today. I have not run on road for this long since mid-June. I am stretching, rolling and icing like crazy to keep the ITB band happy. It did not bother me, although I had a "feeling" at the end of the cool down, it is just prevention.


  1. Wow! Congratulations, awesome race!

  2. Oh my gosh. That is awesome! I bet you made your coach proud :).

    One thing is for sure - you made me want to go out and run a 5k. I'm glad you had so much fun!

  3. Thanks SLG!
    I hope I made her at least a little proud because it is her workouts that helped me a lot.

    I am glad I made you want to go out and run a 5k. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing about you making me want to do a 6 hour race:)

  4. Awesome job! Not much else to say, great work, great preparation, you've got it done!!!!

  5. Thank you a lot Ana-Maria. I have used the mental preparation stuff you had done before your marathon and it worked, it really did! I made "my brain got used to the number (pace) and I started to believe". Although I still had some doubts during the race, I was ready to hold the pace.

  6. Hey there... just back from trick or treating and FINALLY got the chance to read your blog.
    I am so, so thrilled that you are happy and you met your goals. Sounds like you were mentally strong and consistent which is more than 1/2 the battle in this short stuff. And it sounds like you ran a very smart race, factoring in the course and keeping the effort constant and best of all... finished with the tank empty. What a great run! I'm totally psyched. Do you realize you ran a 11:15 3 km and then kept going for another 2 km! That's only 15 seconds slower than you were RACING 3 km less than a year ago!
    So, we'll have to do some serious thinking about what comes next - obviously the 5 km 3 weeks from now I think is a go ahead for sure... but after that, keep chipping away at 5 kms or take advantage of this fitness to run a sub-40 minute 10 km, so many choices.
    I guess I owe you the next stage of your training program right? Well take tomorrow as an easy jog and I will try to get something to you ASAP.
    p.s. i have a little scrap of paper sitting on my desk at home on which I wrote my predicted time for you a few days ago... it says 18:58 :) - I figured you would see the clock in home straight and kick it in under 19 but you went one better than that!

  7. holy crap!! YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  8. Thanks Mad! I do not really rock (yet) but give me few more months. Or make it a year (or two)...