Sunday, September 20, 2015

The 3rd Annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors 5k...might as well get back on the horse.

Forgive me racing's been 3 months since my last race. It was really a last minute decision to run the 3rd Annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors 5k today. I've been trying to recover and get back to training both physically and mentally over the last couple weeks. Issues with work, fitness level (or lack thereof) and poor mental attitude have all played a part in my not getting back to my training and racing routine. So what better way to force myself than show up at a race the morning of and just see? For the first a long time, I had no expectations other than to just finish. I can't believe that was even in my head to be honest. Normally, no matter what my fitness level, I think I should show up to race and either PR or podium and if I don't I've failed. Of course that  attitide and pushing too hard is part of what's gotten me to the spot I'm in right now. So I just wanted to run, focus on mechanics and see what happens. 
I didn't look at my watch for pace (but the v800 does vibrate at each mile), but instead focused on body postion, quick foot turnover and running people down. I kept telling myself "run with the body you have...NOT the body you THINK you have". Ya, kind of yoga-zen of me but I'm trying to learn from my mistakes. After the injury and all the GI stuff, I just wanted to focus on putting my best effort out there...whatever that was. The course was hilly so I tried to be more tactical by attacking and pushing up the hills and then focusing on quick turnover/recovery on the downhills. I turned the first mile in a 7:05 (of course I went back and reviewed the data after the race) which in hindsight felt slower. Yes, its 45sec to a minute off my usial pace but thats not bad for an opening mile. The second mile was hilly rollers and I thought they took a toll but I held a 7:16 through that mile. The last mile of the race is a steady uphill to the finish and then flattens for the last 200m to the end. I was feeling ok and had people in front of me to chase down, so I pushed hard up0 the hill and had enough energy for a little kick to the finish. I mean it was only a mile...but it sure felt longer than that and the pace showed it, I dropped to a 7:28.
I crossed the line not really knowing how I did or where I was in the field but I didn't have anything left in the tank and had to spend the next few minutes walking and trying to catch my breath. It was challenging and I was honestly glad it was only a 5k because pushing that hard for a 10k would've killed me I think. However, the effort and tactics were good enough for a 22:30, 7th overall and winning my age group. I've lost speed due to the time off (my normal 5k time is 2 to 3 minutes faster) but like I said I just tried to focus on body position, foot turnover and better tactics. After the race I ran the course again to get in a few more easy miles and cool down. NOt a bad day, now to find another race next weekend...

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