Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bridgefest 5k Race Report

17:29.1 - that would be 1 second slower than my PR.

Pre-Race - Definately could not be described as in the "Zone". I had been fighting a bug all week - still running - but unable to put in anything but easy running. Even though I had set this race as a goal race in my 2008 goals - specifically - I wanted to win my age group - as it is THE local race of the year in my little suburb and I thought originally it would be neat to have a good performance on my home turf - but I really was not very psych'd up about the race with the bug and curriously it just seems like whatever the outcome - the recent marathon overshadowed the race so much - it just became not very important.

Ok - enough of the excuses/justifications etc.

During the warm-up before the race - I happened to notice a local competitor in my age group. Neat guy with story much like mine - ex high school runner who recently got back into running in his 40s and now is at or near the front in most races - focuses on shorter races up to 1/2 marathon and runs them faster than me - at about the predicted times I should run based on my recent Marathon - however I have yet to demonstrate that in a shorter race. He is not really so local - maybe 20 miles across town in another suburb. I finished 2nd to him in several races the prior year over in his neighborhood and I was a bit surprised to see him venture into mine - it seemed clear the master's title was not to be mine before the race even began - maybe I'd get lucky.

So I ran the race - I thought I'd start out with the lead group and see how their pace felt and let the race develop from there. When I glanced at my Garmin after about 1/2 mile and noticed sub5 minute pace - I knew I was a bit outclassed by this group - the local high school cross-country team, in its entirety, decided to run the race - and there are at least 1/2 dozen runner on the team that are pretty good. Anyway - the other guy I mentioned tried to stick with them and I decided to hit the breaks a little and try a more realistic pace.

Ended up running 5:26/5:45/5:49 miles - I could tell in the 2nd/3rd miles I wasn't running "hungry" - just to get it done - not passing or getting passed - just sorta cruzing. I had someone in front of me for the last 1/2 mile or so tempting me to take him down - but I just couldn't find the desire to do it. One guy did try to challenge me from behind and I ended up sprinting in to keep him back or he would have caught me.

Looking at the Garmin data - I'm not even sure I can call it a good VO2 max workout. Other 5k's I've run I've spent a solid 2 miles at >95% max heartrate - for this race - I didn't even get that high the whole race - indicator I didn't put down the hammer on this race. What I find particularly amazing was my final 1.5 miles of the marathon was a 5:30 pace - FASTER than this 5k performance.

Anyway - I did pull down the 2nd place master from the race. The other guy had a great race sticking within about 30 seconds of the lead at the finish - a 10 second PR for him (16:28 I think - faster than even my marathon time predicts I should do a 5k) which he clearly put everything into to get as he had to immediately get oxygen at the ambulance parked by the finish - even with the best performance I could dream of pulling out I couldn't have beat him - so the day was meant to be 2nd no matter my motivation. And I just cannot see pushing a 5k hard enough to end up need oxygen - maybe a marathon - but a 5k just doesn't mean that much to me (he was fine after a few minutes btw).

The race a good workout to kickstart the training cycle going to Boston. Time to start running hard again. 11 weeks to go!!

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