Monday, October 15, 2012

5k PR - OTC race series #8

My secret goal when I toed the line at the 8th race (my first official) of the OTC race series was to beat 19:10. I have been training specifically to the 5k distance, with the main goal just to see how low I can go (before I need some time off: AKA a sort-of-scheduled rest).
Signing up for "fun" ...or is it pain?
Photo -Todd Bosworth/OTC

The road 10k time trial (39:57 from a week earlier) put me at 19:10 so that seemed reasonable to shoot for. Being optimistic, I figured I might break it - if I was training better for a 5k than a 10k.

I left the boys with my Mom and Dad who are huge blessings to me and often watch the boys for my races. They kept them busy with kindling splitting and other chores they like. I owe my parents a BIG thanks for helping me so much. (My husband did not come. He has been spending every day with his grandma at the hospital. It just does not work for me to be there with the boys all day long :(  ).

Warm-up/pre-race

After about a mile warm up in the 8:30-8:40 range, I did a few drills and then a few short accelerations.

We lined up and I found a spot- not in the very front, but close enough. I saw three younger ladies who looked pretty fast. When the gun went off, I fell in behind the male leaders. I watched as my watch went from 17:00/mile to 5 something and back down to the 6's.

We're off!

I have ran in this area before, but this was a new course for me to race. The map was confusing, and honestly, I am usually glad to have someone ahead of me just so I don't get lost. (That is my biggest race fear!) . There were lots of corners- but it was all flat.

The first mile was paved bike path. We hit a corner - even went through a parking lot- and turned very sharply. A little later I hit the first mile at 6:03. Things still were feeling pretty good here, aerobically and with my legs.

In a few more step we entered apart of the course I had been aware of- the bark path mile. Instantly, the race got harder. I pushed my legs to turn over more, but even at a higher effort, I slowed and my lungs were starting to feel a bit O2 deprived. It was dry and dust was flying as well.

One mile loop of Rexius trail (wooded area below)
I am sure this map will help someone next year. 

I glanced at my watch and saw it dipping to 6:20 and thought "This will not do! You must pick up your feet faster, or what's the point?"  Here, I also noticed the advantage of staying in the center of the path, where it was firmer. (Towards the outside, all the bark/sawdust was rather loose and impossible to get a fast spring-off.).

I nearly twisted an ankle in this mile. We rounded a corner on the bark/sawdust, and I did everything I could to keep from going into the 6:20's. Just before the end of the bark section, I hit mile 2 at 6:19- very evenly paced with a male runner- vying for the best spots of bark.

At this point I figured it would be hard (if not impossible) to make 19:10 (My running math is not always so good), but shifted my goal to BEST possible outcome/PR. The course led us back onto the paved path and towards the park again- not exactly as we came.

There isn't a lot of time to make up for a bad mile in the 5k, but I was trying my best. I kept thinking... "There is only a mile left. Make it hurt." But I was worn out from trying to do a 6:00 effort on bark. The best I could do for mile 3 was 6:16.

After one last sharp turn, we were nearly finished. The male I had been pacing/had been pacing me pulled ahead (this seems to happen a lot to me), and I picked it up to finish the last .13 at 5:41 pace- 19:20.

There were no awards, as this was part of a series of official timed runs (results here)- also called "races". I am thrilled to finally race on a 5k course that is 5k and not 2.9 or 3.3 miles - and will count this as a PR.

Some thoughts:

  • It was in the 60's and a night race, so I wore my compression shorts, my favorite "Run Eugene" shirt (Olympic Trials freebie), my hat, and my Brooks PureConnectsThis has become my default racing outfit. I just feel good in it!
  • I left my fuel belt behind and had had enough snacks all day not to worry about a gel. Maybe next time.
  • Running on bark is nice for an easy run, but I am not sure how I feel about racing on it. 
  • Cheap races are nice! I love the price (free for OTC members, 5$ for non-members). Special thanks to the Oregon Track Club volunteers for hosting a well-organized and accurate race!
  • I didn't meet my time goal for this race, but I left feeling great- knowing I ran a solid PR.
  • Without trying to sound over-confident, I am looking forward to shaving a few miles off the next few weeks of training, and giving this distance another shot. 
  • I am very blessed to be running well- to be running at ALL,  and am feeling gooooooooood about the 5k! 

42 comments:

  1. Wow, girl! Way to go! I think you most definitely have a faster time in you. I can't imagine racing on that mess (dirt mile). I'm with you, too, on the "running math." I can barely add 2 + 2 on the road! Haha.

    Enjoy your down time, and I look forward to your next PR race report! :)

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  2. Congrats on the PR! You're so close to the "secret goal". Thinking it will be a piece of cake in a road race!

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  3. Congrats Raina! I am confident you can break 19 right now. Running fast on bark is a killer. There is no bounce when you push off, and the feet end up spending too much time on bark. SO excited for you! When's next?
    :)

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    1. Ha. I always love your optimistic projections! Not sure...I am hoping for this weekend...maybe.?

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  4. Great job, congrats! I can imagine trying to run on bark would make it difficult to go fast!

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  5. Congrats! I think that I can ride my bike that fast for a 5k. hahahaha C2Iowa

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  6. Congratulations! I think you can go faster when you don't have to deal with bark.

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  7. Congratulations, Raina! I agree--without bark, you'd have possibly even run sub 19!!

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  8. Very good job keeping your head during the race. You can do it!

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  9. A PR is a PR!! Congrats! You are very right about the 5K leaving very little wiggle room for time/ pace error. My motto in a 5K is "every second counts" because it seems like it usually comes down to seconds. If I am reading your elevation map right that looks like some crazy inclines and declines. Just think of what you would do on a flat even course- without bark to deal with! The 5K I ran in last weekend (when I finally broke 19) was perfect. Next weekend I'm running on one with two major hills (not ideal for such a short race) in mile 2 so I don't know what to expect. Like you, I just hope when my watch beeps at mile 2 the damage is not too bad!

    Anyway, enjoy that PR! Great job Raina!

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    1. The elevation map is very deceiving. I thought about cropping it off, but left it for future reference. It is really a very flat course overall.
      You certainly are familiar with the 5k Tia! I bet you will be able to run the best race possible with the course- you are really mastering the distance and i have learned so much from your blog.

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  10. Excellent race Raina!!! Your speed amazes me!! I hit a 6:16 pace at the tail end of my 5k this past weekend and thought I would DIE :) The fact you can hold that for 3+ miles is just incredible! I know you give all credit to God for this PR and injury free run. May He continue to bless you. Well done Raina!

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    1. Thanks Terri. I absolutely LOVED your race report :) - We are so blessed.

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  11. Ah, Raina, you just wait...if you're running this right now on a course like that then AM is right...that sub 19 is just around the corner. So awesome. You're so sneaky too! Sounds like good things are in store for you with running Miss Speedy! :) Okay, your other post before this one is next on my list.

    xo

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  12. You are so fast Raina! I'm impressed. Great job.

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  13. Congrats Raina!! Great job!! You are one fast runner! Keep up the great work. Hugs!

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  14. Super awesome race Raina! I love your positive perspective! I am an in awe of your speed!

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  15. Awesome job, Speedy! If not for that bark, which is a killer for speed, you would've easily killed your goal. Very impressive.

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  16. It sounds like you were definitely in the right place both mentally and physically for this 5k. The course just didn't cooperate!
    Great job on your PR!! I am SO impressed!!

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  17. You are so awesome Raina- GREAT JOB!!!!!! I don't know how I would feel about racing on a bark trail either. It seems like it would be a challenge. I am happy for you that you are running so great right now. Keep it up!

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  18. Nice job on the race, congrats on the PR! You seriously run on some of the best trails I've ever seen, that race sounds awesome. I'd love to do a race on bark trails instead of roads. Where I live here doesn't have any bark trails - they are either dirt or nothing.

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  19. Way to go! Looks like you are on a tear! Now I want to run on bark!:)

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  20. Nice 10k and 5k! Jealous!!!! That distance and I have lots of unfinished business...next year ;) Sounds like you owned it and not the other way round, wonder what does that feel like?! :D well done!

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  21. Congrats on the speedy PR! Without the bark, you would have hit 19:10 for sure.

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  22. I've been waiting for this;)

    Super Job Raina. You are just killing this. Healthy, strong, confident. I absolutely think sub 19 is right around the corner for you (like next weekend;) and I'm incredibly inspired as I look to move toward shorter distance!!! I can only dream of your paces but I will think of you as I do my finish sprint at your average pace-ha ha!

    As always, great report! So incredibly impressed by you:)

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  23. What an amazing time!! Imagine what you could do on an all-paved course!

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  24. Yea, I've realized that the atmosphere at Stanford football games will never be as good as at other schools - mainly because the school has a small enrollment (only 8K students I think), and the fans population is in general older than most. Also, there are so many other pro and college sports around my area. But I still enjoy the games a lot. I hope to make it up to Oregon for a game sometime, I've heard the atmosphere is crazy up there.

    To me this year is Oregon's best team ever, I think they'll make the national championship game and win it. De Anthony Thomas is insane. But we'll see what happens!

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  25. You could have absolutely gone sub 19:10 (if not sub-19) on a non-bark course. Congratulations!! You are so fast and strong!! I'm always so impressed by your race reports.

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  26. Amazing, Raina! Your speed amazes and inspires me. Sounds like you gave it what you had- I'm sure a sub 19 will come. Congrats on your new pr!

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  27. You are so speedy it is amazing!! I love reading your race reports I feel like I can see you racing up the path!

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  28. wow! a 19:20 is still very impressive. surely it was the bark and having to fight for good spots of it with that guy :) elevation charts always throw me off. i just tell myself they always look worse than they really are.

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  29. Hi Raina! I just stumbled across your post from Amanda @ Runninghood and am glad I found you. You are super speedy -- congrats on a great race! I'm sure you would have run a sub 19:10 if it weren't for that bark. Honestly, I find that running on a soft surface like that makes a huge difference.

    I am hoping/planning to run my first 5k sometime during my next marathon training cycle. I love long distances, mostly the marathon and also half-marathon, but rarely (if ever) run 5k's and 10k's. I am starting to realize that those shorter races could probably really help with my longer ones...they just sound so painful. Ha!

    Great race report and congrats again!
    - Kristen

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  30. hey there~
    Great run...I would have broken an ankle running on bark! that is a tremendous time for running on such uneven ground!

    Hope your husbands grandma is getting better!

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  31. Okay, wanted to be the first to let you know that I'm going to the Stanford vs Oregon game in Eugene on 11/17! My cousin texted me that he was heading to it, so I was able to get tickets! I am super excited to see a game there, should be awesome even though Stanford will likely get crushed.

    I'm going to look into things to do in Eugene - but main things I can think of are running Pre's trail, going to pre's rock, making it to Hayward field, etc. If you have any other ideas or places to eat/do, just let me know.

    For running when it gets dark, I guess I've never ran after it gets dark, since I'm afraid of getting injured by stepping on something, and also I can't see if any people are around me - just feels spooky. Maybe I should get a light and try running when its dark one time.

    As for being 85% - the main thing I have going on is some clicking in my left knee when I run sometimes. My guess is that it's related to a tight IT band or something, or not doing enough yoga or rehab exercises to strengthen the muscles in the legs. I guess I'm not exactly sure how to make the clicking go away, I probably just need to keep doing rehab exercises consistently, which I haven't been as good about doing recently.

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  32. How did I miss this race! PR and so close to goal. Love seeing that 5:48 for the final kick. I think without the bark you would have went sub 19.

    What compression shorts do you wear? I also love racing in my brooks pure connects... such a fast shoe.

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  33. Fantastic result Raina. I'm soooo impressed. What more can you wish for than a PR and 1st lady?
    We have 5K Park Runs every Saturday morning over here which are fun to do - and no entry fee. I'll have to start doing them to try and catch you up!

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  34. Raina sub 19 or not you are a true running rockstar. COngrats on a magnificent race!

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  35. Fantastic job, Raina!!! I have to update my blog, but yeah... my 5K 3 weeks ago registered a 3.3 on my Garmin. GRRRRRR!!! Made me so mad.

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  36. Hi Raina! I haven't been around the blogging world in a LONG time! Congrats on your PR, that is amazing! I will be praying for your husband and his grandma. We just went through the same thing, my husbands grandpa passed away last Sunday and before that my husband would spend the nights at the hospital so that his grandma could sleep. It's been a very exhausting couple weeks. And like you, I kept things going at home, so I will be praying for strength for all of you!

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