Harder work needed …

I ran the 5K road race in Clinton, MA on Thanksgiving morning. I honestly thought a 19:30 was a very reasonable expectation. Unfortunately, I ended up sprinting at the end to try and break 20:00 and I think I ended up right at 20:00. That result was a bit of a disappointment. It was probably a good disappointment because I now realize I have much more work to do and the easy base building, while easy, will not propel me to the faster times I want to run. I need to work harder and I am hoping that Pfitzingers 50-70 mile 18 week plan will do the trick.

I wonder, in my moments of indecision, if I should not try to go for a sub 3:10 at Boston and just continue to build my base with a constant dose of 140-145 HR runs with mileage from 50-65 miles per week. Since no one is reading my blog yet (I hope that changes in the future) I don’t expect to get much advice on the matter. I figure that 8 months of running is a decent base and the Pfitzinger’s plan will build on that and work on other aspects of my running. I am not happy that I can only pull off a 20:00 5K at this point, but I will use it as a wake up call that running fast requires more than just 8 months of training. Those couch years must be paid for!

Anyway, about the race. It was a cold, overcast morning with a temperature of about 40 (it would start raining about 45 minutes after the race ended). I ran in shorts with a short sleeve shirt over a long sleeve shirt, gloves and a hat. The race started off uneventfully despite the 3 boys (they looked to be between 10 and 12) lining up in the front row. At the half mile mark, I was in fifteenth place and slowly started to reel people in. The first mile was flat and finished with a good downhill. I passed the mile mark at 6:08 and was in 14th place. The second mile began with a pretty serious uphill that lasted about 2 minutes. I passed three or four people going up the hill and then settled into a very comfortable pace that was quick enough to pass two more runners. At this point I was in 8th place and the 7th place runner was about 20-30 seconds ahead of me. I would get no closer to him but noone else would pass me the rest of the race. I went through the two mile mark at 12:55 for a second mile of 6:47. This surprised me a bit and was the first notice that a 19:30 was probably not in the cards – I knew that the last half mile of the race was mainly uphill with the last quarter mile entirely uphill. I felt comfortable at this pace was not able to gain any ground and could not get myself to run much faster; I ran this second mile too easily and should have pushed harder to make up ground. It was here that I showed my lack of racing experience and lack of toughness.

I ran the downhill that came at about 15 minutes fast but did not appear to gain any ground. I ran the last uphill before the finish pretty strong and when the last turn to run uphill to the finish came I tried to push. I am guessing that the third mile was about 6:20 and then 45 seconds for the last .1. That took me in at 20:00. I was disappointed but learned something about my condition.

I think that I could have kept that pace up for another two miles at least but I didn’t feel like I could get myself going much faster. What does that mean? Decent aerobic base or was I just a wimp unable to push myself to that next level? I don’t know but I will make myself feel better and go with former.

I have no idea what the final result was and what the winner ran. As of Friday (when I am writing this), not postings about the race and the race, in its five years of existence, has never given results to Cool Running for posting.

Thursday 11/23 6.5 miles total/5K race 20:00

Easy recovery run. I am still dealing with the after effects of my 5K yesterday – some soreness in the quads and that coughing, burnt lung feeling from a fast race (not that my pace was all that fast but it still left me with that burning feeling). The run started off in the dark and then brightened a bit. There was a low hanging fog throughout. It was nice to run on a country road, I don’t get that kind of running in the city. I have about ten more days of relaxed running before I start my 18 week Boston program on December 4. Here’s to getting a good focus and dedication to some serious training.

Friday 11/24 6.7 miles/55:37

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November 2006
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What I am reading:

Again to Carthage, Robert L. Parker

Music I am listening to:

LCD Soundsystem, This Happens Gorillaz, Plastic Beach

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