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)
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.
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!