Sunday, November 21, 2010

5k RR: Do you know what is worst than racing in a rain?

Biking to the race start in a rain!

It was raining when I woke up. Damn. I HATE rain! And when I imagined how I was going to bike to the race start, got totally soaked and not even have proper and warm place (car)to change and keep the rest of my cloths warm and dry made me want to cry a little.

Fortunately it stopped by the time I was ready to go so I did not have to bike to the start in rain, although by the time I got to the race I was completely frozen (I forgot my gloves:(() and soaked because of the water splashing from under my wheels.

But let me tell you the most important part and then I will write how it all went: I blew it in 19:11ish.
(But won Nike Lunar Glide 2 shoes, Nike+ Sport Kit, 1 month free membership to Equinox gym, and shampoo, conditioner and haircut by Oliver Ifergan. So at least one of those goals was fulfilled. Although they said they were going to mail it to who knows whether I will really get my awards).

You know how I had doubts going into the race, but I was READY READY READY to make myself hurt and run those 3:46s/km for 18:50. I really was.
I started to warm up and was not feeling that great- stuffy nose and cough caused by bathing with my camera in various rivers in Hawaii. I stretched and started to do strides. First went horrible but fortunately the second and the third started to feel good and legs started to work with me. By that time also my hands and feet were defrost.

It was not time-chipped race so I squeezed into the second line behind the fast guys. I must have looked fast (with my brand new arm warmers. I have always wanted arm warmers. Ok, for past 5 weeks.)because some guys asked me what I wanted to run and blahblahblah and they said they were sure I am going to be one of top females.

And then off we went. I started my watch and that stupid Garmin DID NOT START!!! Obviously I pressed something wrong and I got a screen with signal accuracy. Of course I realized this only maybe 200m into a race. I tried to push various buttons but nothing happened so gave up.
So it is hard to run according to splits if you do not know your splits and it is hard to make yourself hurt if you do not know for how long you have run and how far you still have to go. SO FRUSTRATING! I had to run based on feel. But I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DO THAT OUTSIDE TRACK and in RACE!!!
I had no idea how fast we were running or how far. Of course there were mile markers but since I do not see that great I can see a marker only when it hits me into face or I trip over it.

I started very conservatively because I did not want to blew it and start very fast. It felt like nice controlled jogging, I though at least, when someone yelled 6:01 at what was supposed to be the first mile. Hm, I am not sure about that. No way that run felt like 6:01 effort.

That was the first and the last time I knew how fast or how far I have run. I tried to keep the effort but it was hard since I had no idea what was going on.
It felt easy but I knew that I was keeping a decent effort but since I had no idea how far I have left I did not wanted to start pushing and die at 2 miles. Let me tell you, I have no notion of distance, really. I can tell you the distance when I know my time, but since the watch was still showing the same signal page, I had no idea for how long we have been running. I have not run enough 5ks to have a feel for it.
Then I saw some yellow sign in the distance and though that it must be 3 mile mark. So I start pushing harder because ops, so close to the finish and I am still jogging!?! As I got closer it has turned put it is a box where that have newspaper. Shoot. Where is that 3 mile mark?
Then we got to the gas station and I actually knew where I was because I have ran there before. I knew that I have around 600-800m left (So I was way off thinking that I was already at 3miles). So then I started to push and we slightly turned a corner and I could see a finish line, so I started running faster. I wanted to sprint, but my legs just would not move as fast as I wanted them to move although I still have enough energy left!

I have run with one guy (he was actually REALLY cute) for almost the whole race. I caught up with him soon after we started and as I passed him he stayed with me (or maybe I stayed with him. It is so easy to settle into someone else's pace if you do not know how fast you are running). I was tempted to ask him how fast we were running but I know it would distract him so I did not. We were working together for the rest of the race. Although at one point he slowed down a bit but after couple hundred meters I heard someone getting closer so I was like cool, someone fast I can stay with. Turned out it was the same guy and once he got to me he slowed down and stayed with me (soon I realized why he had slowed down before. He was not wearing a shirt now (call that a nice distraction!:)). Of course, he got chicked at the end:) He took it nicely and congratulated me and told me he did not have it in him to stay with me for last couple hundred meters and thanked me for helping him out (stop talking and invite me for a thank-you drink! Too bad it did not happen.)

Coming to the finish line was pretty cool because it turned out I was the first female and people were cheering. Cool:)

After-race thoughts:
I am an idiot and should learn to pace myself without a watch. I am too dependent on my splits.
I was bummed at first because I did not run as fast as I wanted to and did not push hard enough to run faster.

But now I am ok with the result (or maybe I am just trying to make myself feel better) because it is really hard to try to run a specific time without watch and not knowing splits or distance. (Some people might be able to do that, I am not)
I see that I can run 19:10ish without much effort, because really I know I have not pushed myself. I started to push when it was too late. So if I pushed little more, I could have run sub-19 pretty easily.

There is nothing wrong with my Garmin, I just pushed a button oddly. So it was all my stupid mistake! Maybe I should have tried to re-start it again when I realized it is not working, but I did not want to play with it and loose time.

But let's move on! So now I PUMPED for the race on Dec 11th because I know I can run sub-19 no problem. I just need to push the right button!!!!!
Now I only need to decide whether it will be again 5k or try 10k. I am both little scared but kinda excited for 10k because I have never done 10k on a road. I did 10,000m on track once. And I was told that this race in Dec is very flat and fast and because it is Xmas race it is a lot of fun.

PPC: I DID focus on my race in the morning:) I just did a little bit of internet stalking in the morning while trying to mentally prepare myself to head out into the rain)


  1. Not knowing distance or pace is annoying, but those of us who use Garmin GPS units get obsessive about them. I see you got a heart rate monitor; I played with mine for a while and now I'm attached to it; it's useful if you have to run in odd conditions, like today's ice storm here.

  2. I actually never use my Garmin and HRM is supposed to be for bike training only (especially now after I read about you "attachement"), but I do all my workouts on a track where I can check my splits virtually any time and I take advantage of it way too much and am dependent.
    I think I will do me good to race in odd conditions to learn to work without watch and other gadgets.

    I am glad I am in California and therefore no ice storms:) I got spoiled and am dreading going home for winter but at least I can go to the pool there and show my tan lines to everybody and make them jealous!

  3. Hi Miss Mmmonyka,
    I was only teasing you about not focusing (can't believe you found that comment so quickly!).
    Ok, so there are good points and bad points to this race. Yes, you are too dependent on your Garmin. I think that perhaps, like me, you are very attracted to the quantitative nature of running but this can come and bite you in the butt when you push the wrong button on your watch! Also if you run championship races you are not typically allowed watches because it is a form of outside assistance. I think we should incorporate some watch/Gramin de-sensitizing into the next phase of your work-out.
    Good point, you said it, you can run 19:10 without much effort. That's pretty cool. Of course it would have been great to run another PB today but there will be tons more opportunities to run sub-19, sub-18, sub-17 (?) minute 5 kms. In the meantime I take an easy 19:10 as a goof sign of continuing fitness.
    Re: Dec. 1st, I too am inclined to go for the 10 km mostly b/c I think it is time to see what you can run over 10 km in this state of fitness. I think if we are really careful afterwards, your IT band should tolerate it plus your training sounds a bit uncertain once you return to Slovakia (we need to talk more about that so I can better understand/plan) so I say go for the 10 km PB now while the fitness is good and the training is unburdened by family pressures.
    So... yes, I owe you the next phase of your training plan, just a two week plan at this point I guess. Then we really need to figure out what your next set of goals are so i can properly plan. I will get you your plan tonight or tomorrow. Regardless, please take tomorrow completely off running. I would rather you not do a track work-out on Tuesday, just an easy run and then do your work-outs Tuesday and Saturday but if it absolutely won't work then I'll bend on that but it would be much better to do tomorrow - off, Tuesday- easy run, Wednesday - work-out. Think about it.
    Congratulations on all the loot! Even though i tend to agree with you, that place is a pretty meaningless result (unless one is running in an olympic or world championship final) it's still fun to win and come away with a bunch of goodies... even better when they are useful.
    ok, will be in touch soon with your plan.

  4. p.s. on a completely unrelated tangent that probably belongs on SLG's blog and not yours - where do you find 100 pregnancy tests for $43? And who goes through 100 pregnancy tests in 2 years (the typical expiration date on a pregnancy test is 2 years in the future). There are approximately 24 possible pregnancies to test in two years.... 100 seems like overkill. Though I guess I could buy 100 and resell them for $5 each, I would still be cheaper than most pharmacies. Though I don't think I could bring myself to buy a hundred and is would imply it would take me 100 months of trying. I'll suck it and pay the extra 57 cents and get them at the dollar store.

  5. Congrats, I, too, would be lost in a race without a Garmin, particularly in a 5K where if you lose concentration a little the pace can slip without your knowledged. Next time you'll get your PR. I am still very impressed.

  6. gah! I just re-read my first comment and realized there are SO MANY typos. First, I meant to say it is a GOOD sign of fitness (not a goof sign of fitness which sounds almost like it could mean the opposite). Second, I wrote Tuesday when I meant Wednesday (then contradicted myself in the next sentence when I meant Wednesday and wrote Wednesday) so, just for the sake of clarity. if possible Monday - off, Tuesday - easy, Wednesday - work-out.

  7. Hi PCC,
    yeah, I am all about numbers and quantities. I remember how they did not allow us to use watch in champs races in Slovakia, but it did not matter since everyone was for going for place, not times, but I have always preferred a time goal.

    Let's do 10k then!
    And it is in 3 weeks so I would need a plan Stan for 3 weeks, right?

    I do not understand the work-out schedule. You would prefer doing a work-out on Wednesday next week and then weeks afterwards doing workouts on Tuesdays and Saturdays? I am confused.

    Unfortunately there is no way I can do the work-out next Wednesday. I can really do Tuesday or Sunday only.

    You could buy 100 tests and send two thirds of them to Denmark. That should be a right amount at her current consumption rate:)
    I personally would buy 100 pregnancy tests and then experiment with them. But since I do not have any pregnant cats or dogs or fish (I know that fish do not get pregnant, it is only to emphasize my point), there is no point of doing that.
    Apparently there is demand for 100-pack PTs, otherwise they would not be selling them.

  8. I posted a comment before I read your third comment. Now I get the work-out schedule. Kind of. Although what's with that Saturday there? So workout on Wed and Sat this coming week?

    Can't do it, really. I swear. My sister is paying big $$$ to come here during Thanksgiving for only 4 days so I really cannot make her wait for me until I do my workout. And I will be in Vegas on Sat and I do not think I can find a track there...
    Must do Tue and Sun.

  9. fair enough, i'll plan on you work-outs being on Tuesday and Sunday this upcoming week. And yes, I just noticed the race is Dec. 11 not Dec. 1 so yes, Stan needs a 3 week Plan.
    A plan and 100 pregnancy tests. :)

  10. Hey, you did not do badly, what with all the things you were dealing with. Next race will be better.

    Um, your entry makes me laugh!!! Haha talking about the dude you beat, sooo funny!

  11. Mad, can you tell that I am desperate to marry an American guy asap so I can stay here? :))))

  12. OK, so congrats on your win! Sorry it wasn't the time you wanted but honestly, if your fitness is there to run sub 19, then I say throw the damn watch out from the beginning and just run HARD. Run til it hurts so bad you want to stop but then embrace that pain and dig DEEPER. Running by feel is certainly an important skill, especially in triathlon. :)

    And yay for the haircut and other goodies!!! :) Rest up!

  13. Thanx Michelle! My problem is that I need to learn how to embrace the pain and dig deeper. That's my huge weakness:(

  14. Hey, if you're willing to embrace pain and desperate to marry an American... umm... I'm still available.

    When did PPC start coaching you???

  15. SteveQ, thanx for the offer but you realize that I am not a 40pound-malnutritied (that's not a word)-OCD obsessed-150+ miles-a-week runner, right? So not sure whether I am a good fit for you:)

    We started working together in May, through my lows and highs.

  16. Awesome prizes!! Congrats on the win!

    So, I have to say I have never run a 5k WITH a Garmin- but you're making me think trying it would improve my time. But I have always run with a stop watch and watched the mile markers, so then again, maybe I woulnd't gain too much (by that I mean lose).

    I'm glad you ran faster than the cute guy in the end. That's all that matters, really.

  17. Thanks SLG!
    The problem was not that I did not have Garmin, problem was that I had NOTHING:(
    I think that Garmin and checking mile markers is exactly the same thing since I proviously used Garmin to check only 1k splits (and little bit at the beginning to see whether I started to fast or not), otherwise I have not looked it, I did not even look at my overall time, only splits for each k were important. And since I usually run by kilometers and not miles, it is better for me to see k splits and not mile splits and in addition I CANNOT see markers so I do not know how far I have run, therefore Garmin in the US where they have only miles helps me. (but, ok, I have run only one race with Garmin and I think it helped me)
    So I agree it would not greatly improve your time, it would just distract you fi you don't constrain yourself and keep looking at it all the time.

    No no no, it is not "about that guy whoever he is" for me:) I am more time concerned at this point.