Saturday, September 13, 2008

Race Report: Autumn Rock 'n' Run 5k

Yesterday I ran my first 5K in over 2 months and probably one of my best ones so far (both in time and experience). My goal was to get a new PR and finish in sub-38:00. The official results say I finished in 38:08 (chip time) and thus ran at a 12:16 pace. You have no idea how those 8 seconds hunt me.

Nonetheless, this is a new PR any way you look at it. My best 5K time was the Wee Little Virtual 5K, which I ran in 38:15 (so that is 7 whole seconds!). My previous real race was the ORC Race Into Summer 5K, which I finished in 40:17 (that's over 2 minutes!). However, my Garmin says I ran 3.2 miles in 38:10 for an average pace of 11:55. Further inspection of the data reveals that I reached the 3.1 miles mark on my watch in 37:18! So I also did it in under 38 minutes.

Here is my average pace at each lap:

10:18 (.2 mi)

I clearly started out too fast, but I simply could not run any slower. I had debated the previous day whether I would try to run the whole way or take scheduled walking breaks. Since my goal was to PR, I had pretty much decided on the breaks because it allows me to run faster overall. After that speedy start, I knew I would need the walking breaks if I wanted to make it. I ran the entire thing with 1 minute walking and water breaks every 1/2 mile. It still cost me since, as you can see, I started to fade at the end.

Part of the reason for the positive splits was poor planning on my part, but a big part of it was the extra length of the course. I had figured out I would need to average 12:15 to run a sub-38 5K. When I saw towards the end that I was averaging a pace well under 12:00, I did not feel the need to push too hard since I thought I had. But I failed to realize that my average pace would need to be faster for a further distance. My watch was out of sync with the mile markers the entire time, but I just thought I started it too soon and not that the course was long. Oh well, you live and learn.

I was admitedly tired towards the end of the race, but I felt really good throughout. I dare say the time flew by. Before I knew it, we only had 1 mile to go and I still felt good even if I was hot. I was amazed at my speed and wondered how I was doing this and still keeping it up. As I said, I thought I was running much faster than I needed to reach my goal, so I took an extra walking break during the last mile which surely cost me that extra 8 seconds.

For a little perspective, I finished my first ever 5K in 44:38 on April 12. This was during week 2 of C25K, about 1 week after I started running, and I walked most of it following C25K intervals--I ran about 14 minutes in total. Fast forward to this weekend, a little over 5 months later, and I've shaved over 6 minutes off my time. Not only that, in just 5 months I've gone from no running at all to running a 10K.  I am in such awe of myself and I simply cannot wait until that turns into a 1/2 marathon :)

Here is more data from the official results:

overall place: 1031 / 1323
age group place: 83 / 109
gender place: 501 / 726
clock time: 39:21


Jenn said...

Way to go! I admire your enthusiasm and dedication. You're doing great.

Maddy said...

Nice job on the 5K! I was thinking about running that one, but I have strained a muscle that I need to heal, so I passed this time around!

There are a lot of 5Ks coming up. You'll be sub 38 before you know it. and you should still be proud of where you are. Fantastic Job!

Running Knitter said...

Great job on your race! Congrats! Keep up the excellent job.

Morgan said...

Hi! I found your blog looking for other folks who are running the RftT 10k! Great job on your 5k! Only a few more weeks before the 10k!

Kitzzy said...

Thanks everyone for the congrats. I am indeed proud of what I accomplished. I want to try to run the whole thing this coming weekend, but I know I'll be disappointed with the time, so I may just stick with the walking breaks :)

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