Tuesday, September 8, 2009

No pressure: SEFCU 5K race report.

It was an early wake-up call for a Labor Day. Not crack-of-dawn early, by any means, but early for a holiday. I didn't mind. I had a race to run and I was excited!

I started off as I always do before a race; with a cup of coffee and some peanut butter on bread. I drank some water, rolled out my legs and headed to the race around 8.

The SEFCU Labor Day 5K is a small race, with about 500 people participating, but it is a solid, well-organized one (this was the 21st year) and it always raises money for a good cause. For the past few years, the race has raised funds for Gilda's Club. This year it raised $20,000. That's a lot of dough in tough economic times!

Since it is a small race, I was able to easily spot a friend and her daughter and we hung out a bit before the race. We also connected after the race, which was a nice treat. No pics, unfortunately.

Anyway, let's talk about the race. As I mentioned in my last post, I'd been debating how to run this. I put the race on my training schedule as a tune-up and just wasn't sure how to handle that. As I was driving to the race, I decided I would try to do two things: 1) run at a consistent pace about 20 seconds per mile slower than goal race pace (since I'm usually terrible at consistent pacing) and 2) work on 2:2 breathing*.

OK. Good plan. I would run 7:45 miles and get into a good rhythm with my breath.

Good plan, sure, but I didn't stick to it exactly. I started off, as usual, too fast. I ran the first mile in 7:29 and then the second in 7:35. I then petered out and ran the third mile in 8:08 and finished in 24:25 (Garmin calculated that I ran 3.26 miles, rather than the 3.1 -- does that happen to other Garmn users often?). My overall pace was 7:53 but note that none of the miles were run at the correct pace. Ugh! Something to work on . . .

My breathing, however, was excellent. After the first quarter mile or so, I fell into the 2:2 rhythm. I maintained that comfortable rhythm throughout the race and never felt like my breathing was labored, even during the third mile, which was almost all an incline.

Even though I slowed in the final mile, I felt strong when I finished. I almost felt like I was holding back too much in the third mile and then never did anything at the end with the energy I had conserved.

And that's OK. I didn't want to run too hard and have to miss any of my planned runs for this week. My legs feel great post-race so I'm ready to get back to work this afternoon! Granted, I only have an easy run on the schedule but I'm looking forward to it.

The best part of the race was just getting back to the business of participating in a race. Before yesterday, I hadn't run a race since June. I needed the energy boost that you only get from being with a large group of runners, all trying to do their best.

Speaking of trying to do my best . . . here is week 3 of my training plan:

Mon: 5K tune-up race (done! ran 4.9 total)
Tues: easy 4m
Wed: 1.5 mile warm-up; 4 x 400 @ 1:45; 4 x 200 @ :45; 1 mile cool-down (total: 5.5)
Thurs: easy 4m
Fri: rest
Sat: 4m fartlek
Sun: easy 5m

Total miles: 27.5

Looks like a good week to me. I hope it goes well.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

~ Felice

* Breathing in for two footsteps and out for two footsteps.

20 comments:

Morgan said...

Great job on the race girl!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

You are so focussed... I am thinking of running a 5K this weekend, a week before our planned 5K and I want to give it EVERYTHING. I should be smart and work on breathing and pacing...oh to turn off that darn competitive lady inside.

Way to go, and what a GREAT work-out week to come.

The Big Blue Dog said...

Wow awesome race! I ran my first yesterday! I was overwelmed by the 620 people, but I guess that is small? Thanks for explaining the 2:2 breathing. I am going to try that training this week!

X-Country2 said...

Yay for racing! Nice work on the breathing. I have to do 2:2 when I feel a side ache coming on. It's the only thing that saves me.

Marlene said...

I try to concentrate on 2:2 breathong when I get really tired druing a hard run.

Congrats on the 5K! I'm also terrible at pacing so I know how hard it is. Sounds like a successful tune-up race!

Manderz said...

Awesome job Felice!!!

Denise said...

Sounds like a fun way to kick off labor day. Great job!

Diana said...

Sounds like you did great! And, a great cause to be apart of. Well done! Some of us, i don't know who lol, didn't get off our lazy arses this weekend.

kara said...

24:25! A great time. WTG

Heather said...

Nice job on the race! I like the 2:2 breathing idea . . . I need to try that in a 5K. I am usually just out of control the last mile.

Quix said...

Sounds like an awesome tune up! Great job! Just knowing you had energy left at the end is a good sign. I've never paid attention to my breathing, I'll have to try 2:2 this week with my runs and see how it works.

I'm doing a 5k in 2 weeks (just a little unofficial one), but I've been mainly working on my mile time at the gym (sandwiching one all out mile between 2 easy ones). I wish it was as easy to push myself through the whole 3.1 miles as it is to kick butt through just one mile.

Chic Runner said...

Great job on the race and nice job on the 2:2. I've tried forever to do that and failed horribly every time. :) Nice tune up and now get ready to own the real thing!

B.o.B. said...

Overall great job! You got in your race prep, didn't kill your legs, and worked on your breathing. You should certainly be proud of that. It's so hard to go out slowly. We all get caught up in the start. Have a great week!

Velma said...

To be honest, I never thought about focusing on my breathing. I am going to give it a try this week.

Meg Runs said...

Super job! The footsteps idea is great, I'm going to try it on my next tempo run!

Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

Congrats! That's a great finishing time! What a great thing to do on a holiday - makes it even more fun!

joyRuN said...

I suck at pacing too, but that is an excellent 5k time!!

J said...

Great job on the 5k! I am sure you will improve on your mile splits but honestly i can hardly ever run my 5k splits at the pace I want. It has taken many years to finally get a somewhat good pace for the race otherwise I go out too slow or too fast!

lindsay said...

nice job on the 5k! miles 1 and 2 were great, now you just have to nail holding onto the pace in mile 3 :) easier said than done, i know. 5k's are the hardest to me. marathon, no problem. 5k - scary! :)

I Run for Fun said...

Congratulations! Awesome job! We learn a lot at each race. I find I usually start off 5K's too fast and amm too tired to finish right.

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