Saturday, March 26, 2016

Day 3,373: 5 to Thrive 5K

This was my Garmin data for the race on an overcast day.
In the future I need to remind myself that it could be difficult to run a 5K race six days after running a half marathon at a PR pace.

The wife and I decided to participate in the Atlanta Children's Shelter's 5 to Thrive 5K after seeing an email from the mom of our preschooler's classmate. This course happens to be USATF certified and the Piedmont Park paths are where I set two PRs in the 5K in the past.

So ... easy, right?

After running three very good races in the last month, I was looking forward to this one, believing that it may be possible to PR again for this distance.

I was pretty relaxed and ready to go. At race start it looked like several hundred people were in the race (I was later told it was more than the 500 max the group sought permission from the park for).

When the race started, however, it was a little surreal since I was maybe fifth or sixth in front! I could tell that this first mile was going to be rough. I felt a little weak and shaky like I do sometimes running intervals cold.

Still, I decided to keep on churning and see what happened. By the time we got to the top of the Active Oval and down the slope, a young man who possibly was in high school and then a middle-aged man with gray sideburns and a dog passed me.

I tried very hard to keep up and it seemed difficult to do so. My watch said Mile 1 was 6:55. Somewhere in between another man who looked like he could be a masters runner passed me (he was the first overall male, it was the second consecutive 5K I've been to in which a female was the overall winner).

We ran into the bowl where Wild Bill Hickok used to have his Wild West shows and before the foot bridge, another masters runner passed me (he was the male masters winner). I really could not keep up very well although I brought what I believed was a 7:30 pace to what my watch ultimately recorded as 7:08/mile pace for Mile 2.

On the hill by the tennis courts I was still struggling and my watch said 8:00/mile pace and even 9:00/mile. I felt so out of my element that I believed this could be the case that I was really bonking badly.

Right before the Active Oval the canine who was running with the middle aged guy really wasn't looking like he was wanting to do a fast 5K either. The guy gently tried to coax his dog to continue but their pace slowed and I passed them.

Right before the finish line the course forks. A young male teen took the wrong fork to the right. I was trying to tell him to go left and he eventually heard the announcer tell him as well. When he realized it and turned back I was right by him ... and I took off!

The announcer yelled out, "You have to catch that old man (me)!" I made my way through the finish line first but gave the kid a high five after we passed through the chute.

From the Atlanta Children's Shelter Facebook page.
A few minutes later the wife came through. I was certain that she placed first in her age group since I really didn't see any other female runners in front of me other than the one who won the race and another one who ran pretty close up front with her.

I remarked to her that my watch said it was a short course at 2.86 miles, even though I knew it was USATF certified. She showed me her watch, which did not act up in the race, and it said 3.13 miles. So my potential splits, although the watch was messed up the entire race, may have been 6:55/7:08/7:40.

We waited for the awards and we were both pleased to win first place for our age groups! Although this race was not optimal for me (I ran it in 22:14, which would have been a PR for me last year but I really thought I was going to run sub-22).

I do chalk it up to having to run so close to the half and not having done more intervals. It also tells me how different aerobically the 5K is from the longer distances and that having good results in one is not indicative of being able to have great results in the other.

Time: 8 a.m..
Temp: 54 degrees
Gear: Technical T-shirt, short (Charles Harris '16), shorts, cep compression socks, Brooks Pure Connect 3.

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