Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sub-19 5k! Twice.

       So I had started a post a week ago on how I've been running mid-19 5ks all fall and my goal Turkey Trot time was 18:45.  I didn't have time to finish it so I saved it as a draft, but then decided not to write about what time I wanted to run and instead just get out there and run it.  And then I could talk about it :D  Which is part of the reason why I've lost interest in blogging over the past year, a mix of time constraints and a "shut up and train" attitude (I am only talking about myself and my goals personally, I have no problems with other people blogging about there goals and their training.  In fact I plan to write more about them in the coming months as well.  I just had to take a step back and focus on other things for a while.)

    I finally feel in a position where what I have to say could benefit others in the pursuit of health, fitness and faster times.  I've become very aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a runner and how to design my training to bring up my weaknesses and utilize my strengths to my advantage.

And I am nothing short of amazed at the results I have achieved.

   Going into Thursday's Turkey Trot I knew I was capable of a sub-19 5k but I'm not sure I truly believed I would do it.  I had run a 19:05 5k 2 weeks earlier (4 loops on part track, part grass course nonetheless)  and a solid 6x800 workout of 2:48/2:48/2:50/2:50/2:53/2:53 3 days before, which both gave me confidence to do it.  And yet I could not wrap my head around running an 18:XX 5k.  I had butterflies and anxiety (although a weird sort of good, excited anxiety- adrenaline maybe?) for days leading up to the race.

  And it played out almost exactly the way my Sub-19 had:

2011:
Nov. 13th- 20:07
Nov. 24th- 19:45

2012:
Nov. 11th- 19:05
Nov. 22nd . . .


18:42!

    I'm still in shock.

I won a turkey :)

  I felt strong and in control the whole race,  I went through the first mile in 5:46 and I knew then and there I was going to do it.  Garmin splits- 5:46/ 6:08/ 6:03.  My average pace according to my finishing time was 6:01.  

   Most of my time improvement has come from lowering my 2nd and especially 3rd mile.  I've been running my 1st mile in sub-6 (but sometimes finishing with a high 6:30-6:40 3rd mile) for a while now and even though some would say it is better to slow down that 1st mile and run even splits, I didn't want to slow down I wanted to bring my other miles closer to my 1st mile pace.   So I've worked hard at improving my endurance at that pace and it has paid off :)

  To add to my already exciting Thanksgiving weekend, I hopped in another 5k yesterday morning.  There was money awards to top 3 and I reasoned that I stood a chance depending on who showed up (there are a few local girls who can run 17s and even at least one who can run 16:xx).  There was a pretty strong wind (20 mph) so my goal was just to go sub 19 again but I put no pressure on myself to PR (especially on unrested legs).

    Within the first mile I was in first for the women and knew, as long as I didn't blow up in the 2nd half of the race, I could win it and run in the 18's again.   1st half was against the wind, 2nd half with it- so I knew I just had to push through that 1st half and then I could really use the wind to my advantage for a fast finish.   

Final time-18:51  Splits- 5:59/6:20/5:58- You can see the wind really took its toll in the 2nd mile, plus my 1st mile was about 10 sec slower than usual, but I think that's the 1st time I've ever been sub-6 in my last mile.

   To top off an amazing race weekend I won $200 for 1st female AND my fiance (who has been running 5ks with me since September and has dropped his time from Mid 25s to 22:38(!) on Thanksgiving) won his age group and a GC to our local running shop (Sayville Running Company).  We stopped by there since it was Small Business Saturday and picked him up some sweet light weight sneaks :D

   Where do I go from here?  

    Last year after my fall racing season and breaking 20 for the first time ever I actually stopped running completely for the month of January to focus on building muscle.  I'm not doing that again.   I will of course continue to lift (I actually spend more time every week lifting than I do running), but I want to see how low I can take this.  I don't feel like I've reached my limit yet, and sub 18 had crossed my mind, but I know that is going to take some very serious training if I'm going to get anywhere near that and even then can I do it?    

    Right now I have at least 2 more 5ks in my season and I'd love to PR in one or both of them, 18:30 possibly?  And then I have a 10 miler at the end of January, my ambitious goal is 1:05 or 6:30 mile pace.  At the least the training mileage will be good for my spring season base building.  

      I'm throwing around the idea of a spring half but my main focus will continue to be improving my 5k time.  There is something exhilarating to me about going all out for 3 miles, whereas the longer races are more about pacing which I just don't enjoy as much.  But the urge to see if I can go sub 1:30 is there so I'll see how the 10 miler goes and then make a more definitive decision on my spring races.

Next 5k is this coming Sunday and I'm already pumped!  

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