How long ago did races begin posting race results online? However long ago that began was the last time I ran a 5k as fast as I did last Thursday night.
I have mixed feelings about this race and these results. For one, I didn’t run a smart race. For two, I haven’t truly raced a 5k in many years. For three, I ran almost the exact same splits I’ve been running for the last three miles of the past few four mile races (you can see I ran almost identical splits at the Retro 4-miler) I’ve ran. Therefore, I essentially didn’t do anything new, the race distance was just shorter. 😉
Before the race:
I was super nervous all day for this race. Running at night doesn’t normally go that well for me and I was nervous about how much racing a 5k would hurt.
To try to avoid having stomach cramps and feeling like crap, I really focused on eating foods that I thought would be easy to digest. I ate a slightly later lunch than normal and had a smoothie around 2:00pm and nothing else before the race.
Rick and I did a two mile warm-up that included about 5 strides. Then we both went to our corrals about 20 minutes before the race started. That was probably about 10 minutes too early (you have to be in your corral 10 minutes before NYRR races or you get sent to the back of the race). We both felt like we stood around way to long before the gun went off.
New York Road Runners couldn’t have picked a better Central Park route for the race. The first mile included some downhills and a little bit of an uphill. Mile 2 included Cat Hill (a medium sized hill). Mile three was flat and fast, though I was dying by the time I reached this normally fast feeling section of the park.
My race strategy was the same as it’s been for the 4-milers, which makes it even more interesting to see how similar my splits are for these races. At least I’m consistent?
I ran mile one too fast. During mile two I tried to catch my breath a bit. For mile three I totally misjudged how hard to run the first half of mile 3, crashed hard at 2.5 miles and almost gave up at one point. However, I was able to rally and sprint the last .1!
My horrible splits:
Average pace: 7:09
I’ve ran three races this year with two miles under 7:00, and if I want to be able to squeak out a third mile at that pace I have to do some serious speed work. I’ve just started to incorporate true speed work for the first time this year, so I’ll see how that contributes to these shorter races. I can’t possibly run three miles under 7:00 by simply suffering through the race.
My fitness level has been pretty crappy this year overall, but my pain tolerance has increased over the past few years so I’ve been able to squeak out some decent times (for me). I’ve obviously reached my limit in that area and can only get better with more speed work (duh!).
Regardless of these things I’m pretty happy to have ran my fastest paced NYRR race ever (aside from the 5th Avenue mile) at the ripe old age of 39. I’ve been a NYRR member for 12 years, so I can’t be upset about not being able to squeeze out a faster pace.
Thank you to NYRR for putting on an great evening race and giving us the opportunity to race a 5k in Central Park.