I haven't run a 5k race for about a year, and even then, I just ran it for fun, with no time target.
But since sometime in the fall, where I did a 5k training run and managed to get it under 24 minutes, I have been thinking I would like to do this in an actual race. Now the training run could best be described as "gravity assisted". Mile 1 was mainly downhill. Next ¼ was flat, then about ¾ is uphill, then downhill apart from the last 0.1. Anyway, I was very pleased with that.
So now I needed to do it in a race, it will be a good PR. I think my actual race PR is about 27-28 minutes – so yeah, here's a good opportunity to really smash a PR.
Moncure Panther Prowl, just up the road from home. I left the house about 30 minutes before gun time – and was all registered and ready to go 15 minutes later. There was a fairly good crowd there, a mixture of "obvious" athletes, students and fun runners and walkers. Being as I was planning on running as hard as possible, for once, I lined up just behind the front runners.
Pace smart Jimbo pace smart – I stayed at that pace that is not quite a sprint, but is almost unsustainable. Lots of people were ahead of me – but I was ok with that. I decided that I would like to "race for place" too. Many of those ahead of me were school students, and I knew that they would drop off fairly early. Pace smart Jimbo. Pretty soon, I was picking one runner after another off, as the saying goes, "steady pace wins the race" (actually, is that a saying? If not, it should be). But it was starting to hurt… had I gone out too fast?
1 mile in, there was a water stop – I declined – many didn't and I picked up a few more places. This race was an out and back, so I could count the people ahead of me as they came the other way. I was 7th; 5th placed male at the turnaround. Wow. After the turn was a steady climb for a short while – now was the time to race. I started to narrow the gap on 6th place, then she stopped and started walking. Yay – up to 6th. 5th place wasn't that far ahead, but he was slowly pulling away on the ups, I would gain some back on the downs.
Think Jimbo… you need a plan. Now in the last mile. Push a little harder, I was gaining now on the ups too. But I don't need to pass him yet, because that would just take too much effort, I am absolutely red-lining now and my heart is going to beat right out of my chest. Time it right Jimbo… I am just 10 feet behind him….. time it right. The finish line is in sight…. Not yet… not yet, there's a tiny downhill just ahead, about 100yds from the finish… then…. Ready… ready… yeah I can do this… ready GO! Sprint for the finish GO GO GO. 6 or 7 strides later I am in 5th place. GO GO GO GO! Then NO NO NO. SHIT. I am done. 50yds to go, I am totally out of steam, I am drastically slowing down, my legs are giving out. I actually signal the guy I just passed to come on by, he didn't. Looks like he was done too. I just jogged to the finish, and crossed the line in 5th place. The looked at my watch – 23:34. Wow, totally thrilled with that.
So – my point. Comparing a 5k to a 100 miler. Here's my analysis:
- They both hurt
- Legs decide they don't want to operate
- Puking is never out of the realms of possibility.
- Smart pacing is everything.
- Just after the start you regret even entering
- Occasional fleeting thoughts of quitting
- The finish is incredibly satisfying.
The big difference – everything lasts just 1/60th as long. And if that were true for finish times – I should get ready to run a sub 24 hour 100. LOL WTF!
A side note – I think my average pace was around 7:38 or something close, which is right around the same pace Ian Sharman maintained at Rocky Racoon. For 100 miles in 12:44. Incredible.
Recovery is swift. Later that afternoon, I run a 6+ mile run at Jordan Lake.
Sunday is the Cary half marathon (how cute[LOL/WTF etc etc]). I am going to try for a second PR in one weekend. Hmmm, that didn't go quite as well. 5 miles in I am beginning to feel the effects of the hard effort the day before, and the heat has kicked it up a notch, and there is a good level of humidity, and fairly soon after that I give up on any time goals and just run for fun. Somewhere around mile 11 some guy had collapsed and the EMT's were working on him – he looked in bad shape. It was pretty warm, throw in some dehydration and some over or under training, and you can see how it can happen. So I slowed down even more. I crossed the finish line in 2:21 or so. Then had a beer