Monday, January 23, 2012

A Painful Reminder

Its hard to actually believe but it has been over 4 years since I've run an open 5k until this last weekend.  You'd think in that time span with all the hours and training and pr's set at other distances that I'd be in for a big 5k pr.  Not so much.  I went into this race with the comfortable expectation of running just under a 6 min pace.  My last 10k in November I'd held 6:17's on a tough hilly course so I figured that was a resonable goal. 

This would also be my first race of any kind since moving to Denver about a month ago.  I definitely struggled with the altitude the first few weeks but I been a lot more comfortable lately and didn't anticipate that I'd have any issues during the race.  The course was at Washington Park and was basically a loop and a half around the park.  Except for the geese that refused to move and allow me to follow my tangents (I'm blaming them for at least 5 sec on my time) it was a great course.  Flat and fast.  Temps were cold, sub 40 with a pretty strong wind. 

I started out 2nd row so (theoretically) I wouldn't be tempted to sprint to hard off the front.  That didn't pan out. 

This picture is somewhat unfortunate.  Really not sure what sort of issues the guy in front of me is having but I'm only looking at my watch.  I promise.  I'm going to be more aware of my start placement next time I think.

Really, really terrible start placement.  What the hell is the guy in front of me doing now?

Of course I didn't pace myself at all off the start.  Straight to the front where myself and 2 others quickly put a gap into the rest of the field.  Through the half mile I made the mistake of checking my Garmin for my mile pace.  4:50.  Totally the wrong thing to do.  I immediately started thinking about the fact that I've never been remotely close to a 5 min mile that that I can't hold this pace.  I let the leaders go and started to try to hold a pace I thought was more reasonable.

 As it turned out it probably didn't matter either way.  I was still in 3rd at around the 1.5 mark but everything went completely to hell at this point.  My legs felt fine but I felt like my lungs were going to explode.  Definitely tasting pennies.  Pace pretty much went to hell and I was passed by 3 runners.  I lost one more spot with about a quarter mile left but managed to hold off one other runner to finish 7th overall.  Or 2nd female overall as they had somehow registered me in the female division as someone kindly pointed out to me later in the day.  Guess I should have stuck around for awards.  Took about 10 min before I felt like I could breathe at all again and my chest was hurting so bad I didn't even take the opportunity to partake in the whiskey spiked hot chocolate.  What a waste.  Looks like I've still got a bit more time before I'm completely used to the altitude.

Looking back at this race there are 2 obvious lessions to be learned. 

#1) I seriously need a tan.

#2) I look far better in a tri suit.

No comments:

Post a Comment