I have been happy to throw in a 3-race 5K series into the schedule for this summer. Bryn Mawr Running hosts 3 5K's in Ardmore which are 3-loop races and a fast group of runners. I did one of the races a few years ago with someone else's bib. I missed this year's first race while I was away in Maine and I was happy to finally get another race in, only 10 or 11 days since the last one, of which all 10 or 11 days included zero training or even general maintenance/preparation.
This foreshadowing may give up some of the race results but pre-race, I was happy about getting out again for a race, feeling pretty great and pretty much knew I was not going to PR. I was hopeful to be around 20:30. No problem.
The one-mile-and-change loop is around South Ardmore Park. That's 3 times around for you non-engineers. It's on some quiet Ardmore neighborhood streets that get closed off for the race. We arrived about 10 minutes prior to the start, jogged a little to warm up and test out a cramp or some muscle tightness Kristen was having an issue with in her foot. I probably could have used a little more warm up but I felt alright and Kristen was trotting around pain free so we were ready to roll.
Knowing there were going to be a handful of sub 16-minute runners, I stayed clear of the front, about 6 rows deep from the start line. I knew off the start I'd find a pack to pace with so it should be a pretty easy race. I thought my first mile felt great, as usual when I'm fresh, and turned in a 6:09. Not too far from where I thought I'd be. The field spread quickly and I found an anonymous runner to chase.
All went well for about another half mile and I just hit a wall. I tried to ignore it and push through because it's only a 5K. I'm halfway through this so what's only 10 minutes of a little suffering? Apparently on this Thursday evening, a little too much. I hit the water station after mile 2, taking a moment to slow down for a few seconds before finishing the last mile.
|The obvious break sure helped my heart out. Holy crap.|
A 21-minute 5K isn't the worst thing in the world. Especially when my goal is now sub-19 minutes. What's bothering me is that I have been getting soft on my training. I spent the last 6-months putting in some pretty decent training time with some effective workouts but in the last month, seriously slacking making some excuses for recovering after Black Bear tri and healing after my bike crash. I really should have only lightened my workouts after Black Bear for 2 weeks, and aside from a sore tailbone, my biking injuries were all upper body: nothing that would keep me from running. The lessons learned were that recovery is not a vacation from training entirely and I should have appreciated all the time I had to train before I started a new job this week. Once again, I'm going to have to fit in 10-hour work days around the rest of my life... what a drag but I've got to pay these race fees somehow. I joked during my downtime that I finally had time to train like a pro. It's a shame I didn't take more advantage of that.
Next race up is the final 5K of the Midsummer series, I needed a bad race to fire me up for the next one!