Monday, April 14, 2014

Today I Love the 5k!!

A race report...what this blog was originally intended.. all things race and training.  It is just a small 5k report but fun to be able to write one.

Normally I hate a 5k because me and short bursts of speed do not go together.  I really am not a fast runner but the only thing I really have going for me is to be able to hold a relatively fast speed for longer periods of times.  Give me a long trail run over a 5k any day.  Things were different this 5k and dare I say I actually enjoyed it???  I think I enjoyed it for so many reasons.  One, I felt like a new racer.  I went in with NO expectations and found that is a great place to be.  I also really enjoyed  racing with Stewart.  As last year approached, I was really down on training and racing.  I thought long and hard about giving it up.  I didn't enjoy any of it and felt like it was becoming a chore.  I also had a lot going on personally so wasn't sure if that led to part of the feeling but whatever the reason, I needed a break! Racing and training with Stewart has been so much fun.  I think mainly because it is such a fresh feeling.  It's new and fun to him which makes it more exciting for me as well.

Anyway, I digress a little more.  Training has really not been happening much since my marathon in January.  I tried to do some type of activity 4-5 days a week mainly for my mental health and not to just fall completely out of shape.  With the cold temps, those were mainly treadmill runs or work outs in the gym.  I was missing my beloved bootcamp so much! I thought I wanted to do tri this season so I even hired a coach, got the first month of workouts and thought I was ready to go.  On the 5th of the month, I realized I was suppose to be following this plan and I hadn't even opened it!  OOPS!  Training was put on the back burner again and I just went with the flow of things.  The one plus  in this time is I lost all my anal obsessive type of behavior when it came to training.  If I missed work outs for days on end or only ran 4 miles on the treadmill, the world did not come to an end. 

About 5 weeks ago, things began to settle down and I thought now I am ready.  I began to hit the pool and brought my bike in to work and placed it on the trainer.  I was  happy if I got one work out in a day. Gone were the 2 a day's that pretty much told me that I was in tri training.  Training life was good.  About 2 weeks later, Suzy says come do this 5k - they have bloody mary's and mimosa's after the race and a great post race party.  I was like sure.  I then decided I would add a little structure to my runs in the form of fartleks, hill work outs, and the dreaded 400's.  Stewart would often say why are we doing this again?  And I loved my new answer - " For the sense of accomplishment"  No longer was I training to be fast or to win a race.  I was running these to get that feeling from a good hard work out.  Some weeks, I have a really good week and I get 3 bikes, 3 runs, 2 swims, and some strength workouts.  Some weeks, I am lucky to get one of each.  It all depends on work, the kids activities, and if something more appealing is planned.  I have now adopted the do what you can and it is a sweet place to be.  It has also been so much fun teaching Stewart to swim.  Yesterday, we went out on the road bike for the first time and seeing his excitement was great!  We got home and he was like I could do that all day!  Music to my ears.  As I predicted, he was a natural on the road bike.  He has always been a mountain biker so I did not feel the least bit guilty as I drafted him on the windy stretches. 

So back to this 5k.  I got to the race and did a little mile warm up with a couple of fast striders.  It was nice to warm up on the back part of the course so I could see what the finish looked like and surprisingly it had a few more pop of hills than I anticipated.  Mostly, it was fun just to talk and see some people from the run scene that I have not seen.  We lined up on the line and I had no expectations.  I told Stewart and meant it that I would be happy with something in the 22's.  I thought I could do that but would not be upset if I hit in the 23's.  My goal was to try and do about a 7:15 or 7:20 first mile and see how I felt.  The gun went off, race adrenaline kicked in, Stewart was already ahead of me and I looked down and saw on my garmin that I was running an 6:18 pace... uhm no.  So I backed it down to what felt comfortable and saw 6:40 and thought well just go with it and never looked at my watch again.  The course was not as flat as I thought, lots of turns, and windy in places.  I ran with a trainer from biomechanix for the first 2 miles and at one point he said are you drafting me??  And I said yes I am.  I haven't raced in awhile but I still remember some tricks.  At the very beginning, the first place girl flew by me.  There was only one girl in front of me beside first place and I just kept my sights on her.  It is funny, how mental the 5k can be.  I could tell I was gaining on 2nd place girl and thought I could catch her if she wore out before I did.  As we approached mile 2, I began to get so tired and the mind starts those tricks.  You don't need to catch that girl, you are only running this for fun, you are going to win one of those cute awards regardless, etc and then I thought about what I tell my track team.  You can do anything for xx minutes, push yourself, don't give up and  I went for it.  Caught her ran behind her and then passed her.  As we entered the golf course, I was so happy to know where I was from my warm up.  As I approached the end I saw the clock click to 21:00 and thought holy crap, you are going to run pretty close to your 5k PR. 

At the end of the race, I was so happy even though I ran a 5k like you should never run one, a big positive  split but was happy that I pushed myself when I wanted to quit, I ran for fun and was so relaxed, I ran a whole race and didn't stare at my garmin to see what I was doing.  It was great and it was great to see Stewart at the finish line waiting for me.  It was even better that he beat me.  It was a great feeling to leave a race and not think about it again.  To not say I should have done this and I should have done that.  To not beat myself up for being faster or better.  I hope this is an indicator of what I can expect in racing triathlon this summer because it is such a good place to be. 

As for tri;s this summer.  I am not really sure what I am training for AND it is great.  I have a few races in sight and if the feeling is right, I will do them.  I do plan on introducing Stewart to a nice little pool race soon.  As for long term who knows.  I will tell you a little birdy in the form of Suzy is whispering Ironman in my ear and it is starting to sound really good.

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