Search it!

Monday, May 12, 2014

PR-ing your run: 5k strategy

Hey peeps!  How goeth it?

What a weekend.  I had a 5K run on Saturday and then we had the non-holiday here called "Mother's Day" (LOL) in the U.S. of A., where you get to still correct your children all day long, do the dishes, make the meals and pretty much do everything you have to do every single other day of the year.  It's great.  Mostly it serves to make mothers irritated because they wish that they could have a day off (and they secretly hope that Mother's Day would be it), however, year after year, it is still just another epic fail.

So, happy freakin' Mother's Day out there to all of you mothers, but a toast of pink moscato with frozen organic berries in slushie form to all of you who had to do the stinkin dishes anyway.

Moving on.

Back to the race.  I was sort of training for the 5K, but not as much as I usually do for such things.  I enjoy making a thing of it and forcing myself to run about 4-5 times a week but this time I kinda failed at that and prior to the run on Saturday, I had run once about 8 days before.  Someone at the pool suggested that I was tapering.

Yes.  Tapering.

More like my cousin's secret trick for triathlons - he calls his training "non-training".

It works for him.

I was running about once or twice a week from January on - the weather was not really cooperative this year and I don't have clothing that works for -30F temps.  I mean, I could go running in my snow pants, but it's kind of bulky and the whole running with snow boots on is a workout I don't really enjoy.  Because of this, I did not feel very exceptionally prepared, but somehow, glory to God, it worked out anyway.

My usual practice runs for distances of around 3-5 miles have an average pace of about 7:45 min/mile.  I can run much quicker on adrenaline, however.  My first mile of the half marathon I did clocked in at 7:00 even and I figured I should chill it out a bit since I had only 12.1 miles left to go.  (At mile 12 I wanted nothing more than to lay down and take a nap.)  My usual 5k time lands usually somewhere in the 23 minute range.

Before I did the race on Saturday, I read an article on Friday about an experiment that was done with some college women runners.  They got a baseline pace and then started their first mile at 6% faster, 3% faster, and 0% faster to compare their results. They found that half of the runners did better at a 6% increase and the other half did better at a 3% increase - some of them even PR'ed with this method (average around mid twenty minute results).  

If you're a runner, you always ALWAYS hear about negative splitting your miles.  I read the research and decided to try the positive split method.  Basically, you pull a crazy first mile and then hang on to your pace for the last two.  You know with a 5K being such a short race that your torture will be over shortly - and on the flip side, if you think about it, you really can't make up a minute or whatever somewhere else in the race.

I put myself up near the front (it wasn't an enormous race - no Kenyans) of about 500 racers and psyched myself up.  The ipod was pumping, the intimidation vibes were being sent out to any females nearby with my stretching and jumping around maneuvers (yeah, well, not really, but whatever, it helps me somewhow to think so).  The countdown began - 5, runners, 4, 3, on your marks, 2, 1 go!  I blasted off, adrenaline extending to my fingernails, heart pumping out of my ribcage, mouth drier than dirt (I actually was moving my tongue all over to try to see if it was going to dry up and fall out - this was a good distraction for a moment).  I kept my eyes up and tailed those seven guys in front of me (well, except for #1 who was 25 years old, about 7 feet tall and weighed something like 124 pounds and had those special arm sleeves and leg thingies - he was out of sight of everyone in about 4 minutes).  

Mile one came.  Check the watch.  6:30.  Woah.  Yeah, I guess that's faster than normal.  Is it too fast?  I'll find out.

Here came the out and back turnaround - I looked at my watch at that point and then the adrenaline in my brain made me promptly forget all about it (very useful).  Starting to get tired.  Dizzy.

Mile 2.  Really?  Oh man.  Okay, come on.  I can hear the people on the opposite side cheering for me...sort of...the music in the ipod was loud.  I was focusing on not passing out - stuff was getting fuzzy in the vision.

Am I at mile 3 yet?  Breathe.  Don't pass out. It would be embarassing.

Distraction #2: Is that pee going down my leg?  Please tell me I'm not starting my period right now.  Oooh, that would also be embarassing.  Then I pictured myself running and thinking of that thought - then what other people would be thinking.  Should I nonchalantly grab a leaf from the ground and find a way to keep running and use it if necessary?  It would be organic...

Yes, the thoughts of runners are a bit bewildering.  I'm just keepin' it real.

Then I saw it.  On the ground - a bouncy, flippy ponytail shadow coming my way.  NO!!!  Distraction #3 was on the way.  Mile 3 - high school cross country runner is trying to pass me.  No,  no, no, no, no.  I am in 1st place for, no, no, no...  Don't want to give it up.

Aaaaaaaaaand Miss 85 pound teenager bounds past, ponytail cheerfully bouncing.  I stare at her hamstrings.  Holy cow, her leg is the size of my arm.  She is a running skeleton.  Holy cow.  Look at that thing.  It's sticking OUT of the back of her leg every time she lands.  Mesmerizing.  Now hypnotized by the hamstring.

Around the curve - the finish line is in sight.  

I remind myself to push to finish.  Um, I can't.  I am.  Ugh!  GO!

I cross the line - chip calls me 21:59, gun calls me 22:01.  2nd place women's overall, 10th to finish overall.  I figure it is a good time to lay on the soft cement now.

Yay.  It's over.  Poo, she beat me.  Yay, I cleared my best time ever.

The positive split worked.

Next time, I'll start out fast again.  And maybe I'll practice running in Depends.

Peace, love and yes, I do know 2nd place is the first loser, but it got me a medal anyway, 
(and seriously - I wish I could show you the freakish vision of hamstrings burned on my mind - it was ALIEN, I tell you, alien!)
Ms. Daisy 

No comments:

Post a Comment