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CRRG Summer Series 5K #2 – Another try

The 2nd of the CRRG 5K Summer Series was Thursday and I ran it again. If you read my last post…you know how I felt about the 1st 5k…it was not fun. I didn’t enjoy it. It was 3.1 miles of suffering if you ask me. I am much more comfortable in a Half-Marathon/Marathon setting then I am in a 5K setting. With that being said, I was kind of looking forward to racing the distance again. Maybe because we don’t race them that much or what but I wanted to take another shot at it…I was tired the last time I raced it and it sucked so I really kind of wanted to give it another shot plus its a great way to get some work and a nice break from marathon training.

Lindsey and I arrived to the Monon Center pretty early so she could help set up and get people registered. I did a lot of hanging out, tweeting, facebooking, Instagraming, etc. You know the usual stuff to keep me distracted while I killed time.  The last race, Lindsey couldn’t make it but this one she could…so she was also going to be racing.

About 25 minutes before the start, we headed out to warm up about 2 miles or so with some strides to walk up the system and get things moving. I ran her along the first part of the course, I know it from last time but the first part involves a bunch of turns and what not so getting out on the course again was a good remainder. It’s a fair course…not overly fast…to race on. I enjoy it.

Before we knew it was show time! We headed out to the start line. This time around the field had grown by about 25 people or so with a couple of high school kids lined up in front. I wasn’t worried about them but knew they would take it out fast so I had to fight the natural urge to follow and let them fall off.

I did a good job, compared to last time, of trying to control my pace a little at the start…but it was still quick. Travis (took 2nd last time…good runner), Choy (another good runner. Looking to run 1:22 next week and getting married), and myself settled into a pack behind the lead high schooler. Around the 1K, I ran up on the high school kid and sat behind him for a second to see if he was for real. He was not. He dropped his pace the second I came up…I moved on. So here I am again in the lead, early. Blah. I was hoping for a pack or some sort of rabbit to chase to help me push the pace…but it looks like I’m the rabbit. Mile 1 was about 5:27. Travis and I ran together onto the left hand turn to head north on the Monon. We had a good move going. I’m not sure at what point  we lost Choy but we did.

Off the front.  Any semblance of a group is ripping apart.
This point in the race, is kind of no-man’s land in my opinion. You are about 50% done and you have to tell yourself to keep pushing. I slowed a bit as we cam up to make the right hand turn onto 116th but kept pushing the pace the best I could. I started to open up a little gab so I kept going. As we came to mile 2, the gap increased so I was feeling good about another win. Mile 2 5:39…just about the same time I ran mile 2 in the 5K two weeks ago. Blah.

Mile 3 has you run back down the trail to the Monon, with a couple of small turns and a slight incline up to the Monon. This is where the wheels kind of came of last race. I really struggle the last K to the finish line so I wanted to try and finish strong…covering the last .12 in 46 seconds (slow…per mile pace of 6:23) the first go round. I had Todd, the race director, leading me out on the bike, so I just stayed on him the best I could and pushed toward the end trying to finish well and improve on my first performance. As I rounded the corner to the Monon, I could see the finishing chute and the clock, I knew a PR was coming just not sure how much of one. Keep pushing. Pain Face. Go! I was able to cover the last .12 in 37 seconds (per mile pace of 5:08) this time compared to 46 the first time…so hello. I keep mentioning the .12 because both times I’ve ran it has been 3.12 miles on my watch…so the last kick was been equivalent both times.

Pain Face. 17:30 I’ll take it…for now.

Crossed the finish line in 17:30. I’ll take it. A 10 second PR…not too bad.

PR’s all around for Lindsey and I. Easy to PR when you don’t race the distance very often.

Hanging with some of the Wednesday Morning Speedsters at the Merrell post race party.

We are going to be out of town for the last 5K in the series and I’m kind of bummed about that but we are going to Sonoma, CA with my entire family for the wedding of a close family friend so it will be a great time! I also have my last long run before Chicago when we are out there. I spammed the internet looking for routes and I think I found one thanks to Fleet Feet Sports Santa Rosa. I love the internet! But back to the 5K…maybe I am delusional but I really think I can break 17:00…or at least I want to. I just keep thinking about the 5×1, 6×1 mile repeats or the 7xK repeats that I do…and the splits tell me that I should be able to go faster in the race but it just hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it is putting them back to back to back with no rest that is getting to me. Derek on the Daily Mile…offered some good advice around taking a more active recovery interval between repeats. I usually take 60 seconds of walking/jogging but maybe I should try 2 minutes of more of a run to keep the heart rate up? I don’t know.

I also kind of think if I had a pack or a rabbit to chase, I could push the pace a bit more. I was telling Lindsey last night, on the way home from pizza with Choy and his awesome fiancé, that once I was in the lead, I felt like I let myself slip into this thing I call “comfortable suffering”. I mean I was working and running hard but it fell with in a “pain range” that was comfortable to me. It was a level of suffering that I know and can tolerate pretty easily and if I’m racing I should be pushing the envelope more…you know?  Does that make any sense? Maybe I’m crazy…I don’t know.

Either way, chasing 17:00 will have to wait. I have to work to do for Chicago. Here I come!

Questions: Any ideas of how to improve 5K racing? Do you like racing shorter distances while training long? Any good routes in Sonoma to run?
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