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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Greek Fest 5k and surprise mile

The Greek Fest 5k is usually my worst race all year, so I was pleasantly surprised with Friday's good-all-things-considered race. David and I carpooled and got to the race together. We were cutting it closer than I would have liked - we got there at 6:30 for a 7 pm start - but it turns out I was worried for nothing: David had already picked our packets up, and there was no bathroom line, plus I read the site wrong - the 7 pm start was for the mile. The 5k started at 7:30. So I was standing around in 86 degrees waiting to warm up until closer to the race, and feeling nauseated. My technician keeps bringing bugs to work - or I'm harboring a parasite, who knows - all I know is, I've been sick to my stomach WAY too much lately. Luckily, a nice doctor hooked me up with a Zofran, but I still didn't feel too hot and hadn't eaten much (I actually ate a yogurt in the car on the way over - I thought it would be easy to digest and ready calories). As I waited, I heard them announcing the start of the mile race, and for some reason decided to run it as a warm up. I threw my T-shirt at David and was like, "Hold my shirt!" as I ran to the start.
Big mistake. I was behind a million kids. And I stayed behind them until almost the turn around. At about 1/3 of a mile in, I was at 6:20 pace! Help! I gunned it, and I was at 6:10 right after I made the turnaround point, and then I just ran hard to the finish. 5:57. Ack. Totally thought I could run much faster than that for a road mile! And I will someday - I just need to start, you know, at the line. Not behind every child in New Orleans (although I have to say, kids running the mile are super cute. I love how dedicated and tough they are. A mile is HARD for a little kid!).
Please ignore the bloated stomach and face of misery. 

The problem with that mile is that it was too fast for a warm up - it tired me for the 5k. And it wasn't fast enough to be a decent race on its own. I basically ruined both races!
Between the hard mile and the tough conditions (sick, warm out, not-totally-flat course), I expected little from the 5k. Even as I waited for the gun, my calves started tightening. I also realized that I'd forgotten to bring my iPod, and I've gotten used to using music in races. "Well," I thought, "It didn't bother me in the mile, so maybe I don't need it." When we started, I ran off too fast, although it was hard to tell because the mile one marker was way off and I wasn't glued to my Garmin. I pulled ahead of two girls, but I saw that one of them is a lot faster than I am, and assumed this was a workout for her or that she'd pass me later (she did, but it must still have been a workout - she's usually much faster than she was that night). The breeze on the lake wasn't murderous, but I could still sense the headwind when I turned around. As I headed back, I noticed that I was hunched and plodding, and kept reminding myself - pick up your feet! Pick up your pace! I started to tire a lot by the end, but I really perked up when I saw the clock. My tired 5k could still be under 20! I scooted in at 19:51. I didn't love that I fell apart at the end a little - 6:24, 6:31, 6:34, ten seconds between miles one and three! - but I did like that running a 20-in 5k didn't feel that hard. In fact, it felt like taking it a little easy on sore and tired legs.
I'm happy that the workouts we've been doing with the club seem to be helping my speed. Obviously 19:51 isn't exactly an Olympic time, and actually it's much slower than McMillan thinks I should be able to run for the distance, but to put it into perspective, I've only run sub-20 four times in my life. Two of those times were after I started training with the Power Milers. I'm sure my times will dip for the summer as the temps and humidity create challenges, but in the fall? I bet I've got my speed back!


  1. Congrats on both races... those are both excellent times. Sure you slowed down a little in the 5K, but 10 seconds is really negligible especially with the heat and the fact that you raced a sub-6 MILE just a little while before. The power milers training is definitely paying off.

    I am with you on slowing down in the summer, but it always feels so good in the first cool days of say, September or October!

  2. Ooooh, very nice! Being able to run that kind of time when the weather is so hot is an excellent sign of your fitness.