Saturday, September 3, 2011

NYC Marathon Training Week #9: Thursday, Friday & Saturday 5K PR

Thursday was all about nothing--absolutely nothing.  I woke up with my resting HR at 55. This meant I was well rested.  I was surprised since the night before, I ran some quality Yasso workouts. I was so stoked that I had recovered so quickly. I was supposed to run a 4 mile recovery run, but the day got away from me. However, I was okay with that, since it was a little too warm for me to run in San Luis anyway.  I planned to run at home but soccer practice took over and by the time we were done, I was too hungry to run. I guess I could have ran in the dark, but something else came up. Yeah, the kid wanted to watch our nightly installments of our Cheers episodes. Yes, there are days where I am a slacker...this was such a night and no regrets.

Friday~Shake-out/Recovery Run
I was so excited about the 5K the next day in Cambria.  I was well rested and this was the first time in weeks that I felt like my legs were fresh and ready to go.  I felt prepared for the challenge. If all worked out, I would meet my 5K PR. I've heard that the race was flat, fast, and cool--these are record setting conditions. I've never ran this course before. From what I heard, there is one slight hill just before the turn-around and downhill for the rest. I've prepared well this week with not doing too much and holding back on some workouts. I ran a quick two-mile shake-out run to loosen the cobwebs at lunch. I made sure I didn't run it fast. I listened to more mellow music to aide in the slow down.  It was a little warm too; that helped to keep my pace at 9:57 pace. I ran just enough to wake up the leg muscles to remind them that they are going to be called upon to work hard tomorrow.

Saturday~Cambria Pinedorado Days 5K
I was preoccupied last night I didn't set up my running gear. Typically I would have laid everything out the night before: water bottle, socks, shoes, ipod, cap, jacket, sunscreen, Vaseline, hair ties, shorts, set up coffee, oatmeal, banana, and gel.  I was too busy revising my ipod playlist that before I knew it, it was time to go to bed. I got to sleep at 10:30 p.m. I set the alarm to wake me up at 4:45 a.m. As soon as I heard it my heart started racing. It was funny, because I feel like I have trained Hubs to hand me what I needed. He handed me my phone, my HR monitor and my garmin. As if on cue, without being told, in his half asleep state, he drops everything on me.  Ugh-oww! Thanks? Well, upon waking up I was already Nervous Nelly. My heart rate read 60 bpm and I haven't even gotten out of bed yet.  Since the race started at 7:45 a.m. and it took about 50 minutes to get there and I wanted some time to warm up, I had to leave my house by 6:30 a.m. at the latest.  That gave me about over an hour and a half to putter around, get my breakfast and gather my clothes and gear and visit the restroom for 3,452 times--you know how it is before a race.  Also, it never fails.  No matter how small or big a race--whether a marathon or a 5K, I still feel the same kind of butterfly fluttering around in my stomach. Get a hold of yourself, this is just a 5K!

I got to the start with time to spare. This is what's great about small, intimate races. Everything is low-key and quick. You park close-by, you pay, get your goodies and warm-up. All the proceeds benefits the local school high school. The race has been going on for a number of years that the organizers have everything down. This is my first time here in Cambria and the town is warm and inviting.  Also going on is the Shriner's Parade. I've managed to catch some photos to share.

Pups with their Masters doing the hoe down

See the recliner on wheels? All he needs next is an ice chest on wheels filled with beer.

Pinball Wizard is hard to do, hard to recognize when these guys played it.
Buzzards. Why are there buzzards? Can you see them?

Perfect weather, perfect conditions for a PR. I'm feeling it today. After a few minutes of warming up, the RD gathered everyone to the start and a few thanks were expressed. While waiting, I glanced at my HR monitor and it was at 91! Man, I was already nervous, been nervous all morning. I showed it to one of my fellow Wednesday night track club member and he said, "Boy I'd love to see what your heart rate reads on a big race!" That made me laugh. I started chanting out loud, the word RELAX, over and over, and one head turned around and smiled at me. I think he knew what I was doing. Runners are so friendly! Then, we were off!

Mile One - 7:21
My goal was to RELAX the first mile and let the fast ones blow by me. I tried to hold back and it's difficult to do when everyone else is blasting past you. I had my slow music on and it didn't do much good. It didn't feel like I was going fast, but judging by my Garmin, I did get out there too fast. So far, there were no one on the road but runners here.

Mile Two - 8:01
I settled into my goal pace here. We ran through the Main Street in Cambria where people were getting ready to spectate the parade.  The hurdle here was the cars and Shriner's. We were dodging both.  There was a little hill just before the turnaround--nothing I couldn't handle.  I was counting the number of women on the turnaround to see where I stood.  I was pleased to find out I was third coming back! I was stoked yet I was running scared. I didn't want to be passed up in the last mile. I never once glanced at my Garmin.  But the thought that swirled inside my head was, this better be a sub 25.  This effort was kicking my butt and if it was not sub 25, then I don't know what. Also I asked myself, why does a 5K hurt so much?

Mile Three -8:22
This is supposed to be where I cranked it.  But not today. I just wanted to finish well without losing any more ground.  Eventually two men passed me on the very last half mile. It was a little disappointing that I couldn't keep up, especially seeing that they were both struggling to keep the pace.  To add salt to the wound, they were struggling and at the same time they were still  passing me, I can't imagine how slow I looked like.

The last tenth - 7:18
In my long runs as of late, I've been practicing my finishing kick.  With either a tenth of a mile or the two tenths of a mile left, I try to run fast and simulate how it is to have faster turnover on fatigue legs. I can say that it helped today. That's one thing I will continue to do.

I am happy to report that I did it! I finally broke 25 minutes. It's been over a decade since I've posted a sub 25 minute 5K finish. It goes to show that consistency and discipline does pay off.  It didn't come easy for me though. If you work on it, it will come. My time today was 24:25 at 7:53 pace. I am elated to have shaved a minute and 27 seconds off from my two previous 5K races this summer which were 25:51 qnd 25:52 Strawberry Stampede 5K and Pozo 5K.  Today I was third woman overall, and 1st place in my age group. (Thank you women ages 40-49 who decided to sleep in today. I love small races, don't you?)
24:25 5K Good enough for 1st Place 40-49 Age Group
I scrubbed my 9 mile pace run today. I'm okay with it. I'm going to bask in the glory for the rest of  the day.  Tomorrow is another day. I will reward myself with a well deserved rest...

Happy Running!

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