Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Rock n Run 5K Race Report (updated)

My first ever 5K was run right about the time of my birthday. My goal at that time was to complete a 5K for my 40th birthday. Such a long, long distance - and I was going to attempt to run the entire distance non-stop. The 2002 Autumn Run 5K (no longer held) is where I set my first 5K PR of 35:44.

My last 5K PR for a timed race was in Oct 2006 when I ran the Susan Komen Race for the Cure in memory of my mother-in-law. My time was 30:03.

My last unofficial 5K PR (timing by Garmin) was the Dec 2007 Reindeer run with a time of 29:28.

I have been looking forward to this particular 5K for a couple of months. Since the race fell on my birthday I was determined to make it extra special by going for a 5K PR. My goal was to bust 30 minutes chip time. I had a secret dream goal of beating 29 min.

My training for the past couple of months has been going pretty well - and my last 3 miler gave me hope for a good race. Still, it would have been nice to get a few more weeks of speed training in before this week's race. I feel like I am in good running form right now so I was pretty confident I could do this. The only down side leading into today is that I have not been getting the amount of sleep I should be - particularly this past week. That always has an impact.

I met up with Maddy just before 7 am in the parking lot. She wanted to surprise me by coming to watch me race...but sent me an email so we wouldn't miss each other. This was her first time as a race spectator! It is an odd feeling being at a 5K race early in the morning and not be pinning on a number - but it is pretty cool. The race event takes on an entirely different perspective.

We chatted for a while and Maddy took a few pictures until just before the race when Maddy took a spot just beyond the starting line to get pictures. After an electric guitar belted out the national anthem (it is, after all, a Rock n Run race) we were off. I felt pretty good at the start and was maneuvering my way in the crowd. It felt a little fast but not too bad. Mile 1 seemed to take a long time - and I was feeling tired enough to wonder if I could do this for 3 miles. I passed the 1 mile marker and my Garmin showed 9:05 min. I was a bit ahead, so I took a short walking break.

Shortly after the 1st mile, the leaders were already heading past us in the other direction. We pressed on and the running got harder. I was beginning to think that I may not have it in me to run a PR today. The air was warm, humid and not moving at all. It felt hot. Thank goodness it was cloudy and there was no sun beating down on us.

I only made it another half mile before taking another walking break. I then took another one before hitting mile 2. These breaks were short, 15 sec - 30 sec in length - just to catch my breath. When we came up on the water stop I decided to take a quick break for a little water. It tasted pretty good!

I don't recall the Garmin time at Mile 2, but I knew I was within pace so I took another walk after mile 2. At this point, I was beginning to think that I just didn't have a PR in me for today. I thought if I stopped much more any chance of that was gone. I tried to think about Elijah (who is battling neuroblastoma) and a co-worker's mom who just had half a lung removed with lung cancer. I tried to tell myself that I could run and they can't - that I should keep going. That trick didn't work for me this time.

I tried shortening my stride instead of walking - that worked okayish....still, I walked at least 2 more times before the end.

Finally I could see the area where we started the race and I picked up my pace. When the finish line was in sight and I was passing the 3 mile marker, I really pushed hard through the finish. The finish line clock was 30:11 but I knew I had more than 30 sec extra for crossing the start. I had done it! When I stopped the Garmin it read 29:36.

Maddy was taking pictures near the finish chute. We met up and headed over for water, banana and the posted results. My result - 29:31. Under 30 min and a new official PR. Even with all that walking and struggle I still made my birthday goal! I was quite happy!

My Garmin download told the story later. My average heart rate for the race was 173 bpm (high). My max was 189 bpm (highest I have seen it in a long time....only higher time was 190 bpm at the WPRR).

My splits:

Mile 1: 8:48 min AHR: 162 bpm (Garmin 1 mile mark vs the race mile marker)
Mile 2: 9:19 min AHR: 176 bpm (a bit slower)
Mile 3: 10:18 min AHR: 178 bpm (walking and walking stuff - HR is high)
Mile 3.17: .17 in 1:19 AHR: 184 bpm

Maddy and I chatted a bit longer as we made our way back to our cars. It was great having her there! Then I headed off to my daughter's soccer game.

Here is my 5K - the movie. Thanks to Maddy the video production queen!