Monday, May 30, 2011

A 5k is like a 100 mile run – well kinda

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:

  1. They both hurt
  2. Legs decide they don't want to operate
  3. Puking is never out of the realms of possibility.
  4. Smart pacing is everything.
  5. Just after the start you regret even entering
  6. Occasional fleeting thoughts of quitting
  7. 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

1 comment:

  1. My one belly laugh of the day came from "Just after the start you regret even entering." You did forget to add that the suffering involved in running either of them distorts time to where it seems to take forever. Then it's over before you know it. It's hard to explain but I'm guessing you get what I'm talking about.

    The guy who collapsed was from Connecticut or someplace like that and wasn't acclimated at all. Heat stroke. Dunno how many days he was in the hospital or whether there was any permanent damage.

    -C. West