June 2, 2011

No Excuses 5k (Race Report)

By the way, I raced a 5k on Memorial Day. Did I forget to mention that? I've been busier than usual lately and training leaves me pretty wiped, so I've sort of been slacking in the blogging department. So allow me to back up a few days and start from the beginning.

I honestly haven't "raced" a 5k in over a year, and I'd been eager to see what I was capable of, especially since I've gotten much faster since then. So although I haven't been training specifically for a 5k and haven't even been running much lately, I went ahead and added a local 5k to my race schedule. My PR was 27 minutes, so I knew I could at least set a new one without trying too hard. I recruited my super speedy coworker, Erin, to pace me (ha, a pacer for a 5k!) and decided my race plan would be to basically go balls to the walls and see what happened. Based on some of my recent times (especially my brick runs) I thought I might be able to average a 7:30 pace. I'd never really run that fast, except during speedwork, and didn't even really know what it would feel like. I needed a goal though, and this pace would give me a sub-24 finish, which I liked the sound of. And so, with this plan in mind, I lined up much closer than usual to the start line of the No Excuses 5k.
i tried to look like i belonged in the front...
Now, for a race called No Excuses, I certainly have a lot : ) First, let me say that I did not hit my goal. I maintained a 7:30 pace for the first half, and then I was toast. I still ended up with a big PR of 24:41, but things went downhill after that first mile. My splits show my gradual death: 7:24, 7:45, 8:33, 7:04 (last 0.1). My third mile was a full minute slower than my goal pace, and I even stopped to walk a couple times. I warned Erin not to listen to any of my complaints or excuses during the race and to push me, so I felt kind of bad when all this actually happened and I fell apart. She was still great, and I most definitely wouldn't have ran nearly as fast (and would have slowed a lot more) if I had been on my own. Thanks Erin! Now back to my excuses. I think the biggest factor was that I had done my long ride (45 miles) the day before, and my legs were still toast. They literally felt like bricks the last couple miles and it was all I could do to just keep them moving. And then of course there's the fact that I've been running only a couple of times a week, haven't done speedwork in months, and have never trained at my goal pace. My stomach also felt a little off that morning, although I'm blaming that on nerves. Several times I felt on the verge of barfing, and I actually dry heaved a bit after I crossed the finish. It was awesome.
check out my atrocious form!
If there's anything I've learned in the few years I've been running and racing, it's that there are a whole lot of factors that contribute to the outcome of a run or race, and this one was no exception. I also have to remind myself that I knocked off more than 2 minutes from my PR and pushed myself as hard as I could. While I do think I have a faster time in me, especially with more training and adequate rest, I can honestly say I left nothing out on the course. I was exhausted the rest of the day and kept having to remind myself that although it was only 3 miles, I ran much harder than usual. There will be more 5ks, with hopefully faster times, but for now I'm pretty pleased with my shiny new PR : ) On a side note, both my parents ran the race, too, and my mom also finished with a PR!
 dad and me after


  1. Congrats on the new PR! I'm sure you'll get that sub-24 soon, especially if you don't have a long bike ride the day before. :)

  2. That was still a fantastic time and a solid PR. Plus, 5Ks are painful as hell!

  3. I haven't raced a 5K in years. I'm afraid of 5K's. And 10K's for that matter. They just hurt too much. Give me a half or marathon any day!! I do think I need to pay attention to speed at shorter distances to help my long distance speed, though. Something I hope to work on.