Every now and then I like race the shorter distances for fun and see how the speed and training are going so I signed up for a Valentines Day 5k in Rocky Mount. Of course I am in the middle of marathon trainng but racing helps to keep you sharp and is a good workout at a faster pace.
Normally I would expect a flat course in Rocky Mount and in fact I ran my 10k pr there on a very flat course in 1984. But I heard this one was a hilly course and I found out that there are indeed some rolling hills in the neighborhood where the race was held.
It was a cold morning in the upper 20's by race time with about a 10mph breeze but after my warmup I stripped down to the racing shorts and lined up after speaking to a couple of friends. I hadn;t felt too zippy in my warmup but then I was coming off the two highest mileage weeks of the past year and no taper along with a lot of hard runs over the past few weeks. I normally don;t feel too good in the warmup anyway and somehow I usually perform a lot better than I expect one days lke that.
Well I got off to a good start and even with the hills I ran the 1st mile in 7:04.I couldn't tell how many were in front of me but I was guessing top 20 and by the mile I was already reeling in some of the quick starters and was settled in. The next mile was a bit harder and by halfway i was already making my death noises but I was still picking off other runners. Mile 2 was 7:14 and ther were 3 other runners in sight that I had a shot at so i just kept pushing.
I passed one guy and soon caught up to another with half mile to go up a short steep hill. After that was a nice downhill and i tried to put as much space between us as possible. We made a turn with about 1/4 mile to go and a nasty uphill to the 3 mile mark. I was giving eveything I had and despite the hill ran 7:13 but he passed me just before the top and I had nothing left. The last 1/10th I was dead, gasping and nauseous. there was no kick to the finish !
My time was 22:18, not bad consideirng the course and my training so I was pretty happy with it. Turns out the guy that passed me cost me first in my age group but at least I got 2nd and was 10th overall out of 188 finishers although about 1/3 of those were walkers and little kids.
So here is how the week went.
Mon. Feb. 9th
Nothing ! Decided to take a rest day after more than a month without a day off.
Tues. Feb 10th
10 easy miles on the ATT in 1:28:13
Wed. Feb. 11th.
6 miles in 51:14 on the crabtree greenway. Did some strides and the pace was pretty spiffy considering the easy effort over most of the run.
Thurs. Feb 12th
6 miles along the neuse greenway in 52:01. Again an easy effort with 1 minute surges each mile to liven things up a bit.
Fri, Feb 13th
Another 5 miles on the neuse with 30 second surges each half mile on the return trip. Exact same overall pace as the day before !
Sat. Feb 14th.
Sweetheart 5k plus 2 mile warmup and cooldown.
Sun. Feb 15th.
Planned 10 but quit at 8 after batttling wind gust up to 30mph on a 21 F morning. This was suppose to be an easy day !
And the usual cross training with 2 days with the weights, a body weight day and 4 core workouts,
Stay tuned, just 5 weeks until the big one !