This was my first 5k in 10 months so I was curious to see how much faster I have gotten over the last year, and comparing it to the same race last year. It was in the high 30s/low 40s so it was chilly but I got a warmup and got to the start line with 5 minutes until race time.
The course is a mostly out and back course in rock creek park with a slight downhill for the first half.
The start is very narrow along a jogging trail so to make sure I didn’t get boxed in I started towards the front and got to my desired heart rate very quickly.
The first mile was a little bit downhill and combined with the fast start I went through the first mile in 5:55 which was a bit fast but my HR was where I wanted it to be and I was feeling good.
The race plan was to run at a certain HR until the turnaround at mile 1.4 and then bump up the effort. I made it to the turn around with a 6:04 pace, and then up the effort until mile 3. I averaged a 6:12 pace from mile 1.4 to 3 which is a drop in pace but some of it was uphill so I’m fine with that.
Then the last 1/10th of a mile was a hard effort to the finish line where I averaged a 5:45.
I finished in 19:02 on my watch which is just under a 6:10 pace and a PR of 1:17. That doesn’t sound like a much, but for a race this short it’s about a 25 sec per mile improvement. I’m hoping I was able to sneak in under 19 minutes on the official time.
5km races aren’t to bad because you are settling into pace for the first mile and it’s only the last mile- mile and half that are difficult but it’s over so quick you mentally know you don’t have put up with the discomfort for long and just keep going.
But it is a hard effort and I think these two pictures right after the finish do a good job of capturing that feeling.
I noted this a couple weeks ago that I won my age group this year long Montgomery County Road Runners Club Championship points series last year. It was totally undeserved, I was the only person that ran enough races and I was in no way the fastest person in my age group. But anyways, my award came in the mail today.
A $60 gift certificate to a local running store! This was a very nice surprise, I was expecting a little certificate or plaque or something. But this is almost enough for a new pair of running shoes. The club membership for the year was 15 or 20 bucks and covered all the race entry fees so I made $40 running in 2009. Does this make me a professional athlete now?
I had another Montgomery County Road Runners club race this morning at Sligo Creek Middle School.
And they don’t mess around when it comes to expectations as clearly stated by the sign.
I didn’t run this race last year but I believe they said the course changed this year. It was two loops with an extra little out and back on the second loop.
The start was a little bit odd because everyone started at the middle school parking lot
And then ran around the cars back out to the street. I guess they needed this extra little loop to make the course 4 miles.
Once out of the parking lot it was downhill and then a little off road section to get onto a trail
The course went on the trail for about a half mile and then back uphill through some neighborhoods and around the backside of the middle school to start the second lap.
My race went well. I ran with the same group most of the time and pushed my pace during the uphill sections. I had enough energy left that after getting over the final hill I made a really hard push on the downhill and ran away from the group I was with to finish in 27:20 for a 6:50 min/mile pace.
After finishing I walked over the rec center to get some coffee and a bagel.
And earlier this afternoon I got on my bike for the first time in a while to stretch out my legs and get ready for adding some swimming and biking workouts starting next week.
Just like last year I ran the New Years day 5k in Gaithersburg. The weather was a lot warmer this year which made things nice. The course is two loops through an industrial park with one small uphill/downhill on each loop.
I warmed up and then the race got started.
I went out at a decent pace but slowed more then I wanted going up the hill both times. Also the second time going up the bridge it took a while before I got my legs going again.
Right after the first turn getting ready to go down the hill.
Running the first lap
Setting a new PR. I ran a 20:40 a few weeks ago so it’s nice to see another 20 seconds off my time, and I’m inching close to breaking 20 minutes.
Post-race and then it was time to get bagels and coffee.
That’s another really nice thing with these low key races. You just sign up to be a club member and pay $5 for your timing chip you use all year, and after that all the races are free. And they have free food afterwards! The races normally cost $10 so the membership and chip pays for itself after three races.
I did manage to set a new PR for highest heart rate as well. I topped out at 199, I just couldn’t break 200.
I have been doing a lot of running the last couple months and it’s nice to see a drop in all my race times and it seems like things are on track for me to have a reasonable shot at meeting my goal for the half marathon this spring.
I needed to do one more race this year to qualify for the MCRRC Championship series. If I qualified I basically had second place looked up, not because I’m the second best person in that age group but because I’ve done enough races, I know there are a lot faster people behind me in the standings.
Knowing I “had to” do this race it made it a lot easier to get up this morning when the weather was in the 30’s and raining. I got over there, signed up and then waited in the car with the heater until about 10 minutes before the race and I warmed up for a little bit. Given how bad the weather looked it was surprising to see so many people out for the race.
As soon as the race started my legs wanted nothing to do with racing so I knew it was going to be a slow day. I ran a decent first mile but then the course went uphill and onto a little trail. I got behind some people running at a slower pace then I wanted but instead of passing them I just stayed behind until we got back on the road.
I tried to pick up the pace a little but my legs didn’t feel like going back to the pace of my first mile so I just cruised along until we went onto another sidewalk/trail and I slowed a little bit more. The course had a lot of little rolling hills which kept things interesting but the cold, cold rain made for a couple of slippery spots. I just cruised along the rest of the race and finished in 37:xx averaging just under a 7:30 min/mile pace.
After the race I had some nice icicles forming on my hat and I learned the difference between “water resistant” and “water proof”, my pants and shirt were soaked and as soon as I stopped running I was freezing. Looking back it probably would have been a good idea to bring a change of clothes.
And here are some pictures from the snow storm we got last week.
I finally got under 21 minutes for a 5 km race. There’s not really much you can write about for a 5 km race. You run fast and try to keeping running that fast the whole time which you can see in the pace and heart rate charts of the race.
Winter is getting here, there was a little bit of frost hanging around this morning
Just finishing my warm-up:
Obviously I wasn’t very nervous before the race:
The only thing of note from the race was I went out at a fast pace but that was by design. The course is very narrow at the start and I didn’t want to boxed in and forced to weave through people so I went out fast and then settled into my pace.
This pictures illustrates what I am talking about.
And this is why I wanted to be up at the front so I didn’t have to run through this:
And here are some more race pictures:
I finished with a time right around 20:40 which is a big PR for me, and about a 6:38 min/mile pace and way under 21 minutes. I am excited because I’m seeing results from the run focus I have been doing with my training the last few weeks. The way things are going I think getting close to a 20 minute 5 km at a Thanksgiving race is definitely doable.
I think this post race picture does a good job of explaining what it feels like at the end of a 5 km race.
I went biking later in the afternoon and got ANOTHER flat tire. That’s 3 flat tires in my last four rides after only have one flat tire in two years of riding.