What: The Fast and the Furriest Turkey Trot
When: November 26, 2015 - 8:30am
Where: Ocean City, NJ boardwalk
Distance: 5k (3.1 miles)
Time: 21:43 (7:01 pace)
Place: 45th of 761 overall (4th of 38 in M40-44 age group)

Me right before the start. Wishing I had grabbed the bike!

The irony is not lost on me that I started a blog about running long distances, yet the first race report I post is a 5K.  This isn’t a race I was necessarily planning on running and I didn’t train for it.  The Wife and Son were planning on running so I thought I’d head out with them to see what my top end speed is these days.

You see, all of my runs are done at a fairly comfortable pace.  I never really push myself into the  red zone and if I do, it’s never for more than a minute or so.  I’ve paced my son at several 5Ks, but it has been well over 2 years since I’ve actually raced one.  I was interested to see what two years of consistent training would do for me.

44 Seconds

I’d be lying if I didn’t think the answer was better than a 44 second PR.  But my focus over this period has been 100% on running longer, not faster.  I’ve not done any speed workouts and can probably count on 1 hand the number of miles I’ve run under an 8 minute pace.  So to think I could magically get faster by running slower is rather delusional.

Since I have no experience running fast, I obviously had no clue how to pace myself.  So when I glanced at my watch very early on and saw 6:10 pace, I thought “Wow, that’s pretty fast.”  I then immediately started wondering how long I could hold this.

Turns out about half a mile.  My pace continued to slow and I clocked 6:21 for the first mile.  This was followed by 6:47 and 7:09 paces for the next 2 miles and 7:02 pace for the last little bit.  Even though I wished the race would end for the last 10 minutes or so, I kept fighting right up until the finish.  Pacing is very important in all races, however you need experience running the a given distance to know what your correct pace should be.  I now know about where my 5K pace is so will be smarter with my pacing the next time I race the distance.

Though it’s quite possible the next time I race 3.1 miles it’ll be much slower than this because . . .

Why I don’t run 5Ks

Which brings me back to why it’s taken me 2+ years to set a new PR for the distance.  I hate running fast.  It wasn’t until I learned how to slow down that I started to enjoy running.   Going all out is just not fun for me.  It hurts.  A lot.  I don’t like hurting.  I especially don’t like hurting a lot.  Give me a nice easy 25 mile run any day of the week instead of an all-out, lung-searing, side-splitting 5K.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself.  It was fun to run up and down the boardwalk.  Seeing family during the race was a real treat as well.  And it was fun to push myself a bit to see what I’m capable of.  Just not fun enough to sign up for another one next weekend.

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!







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