How bad can 5k be? Or 5 miles? I was determined to find out yesterday.
Looking back, I am not sure exactly why I joined the 5 by the 5th virtual race series. I rarely need motivation to run (and run hard). I have already done my 5k training for the year...maybe the decade. I am in the process of rebuilding endurance, and that means lots of easy running (that is not really easy yet), and longer runs.
Something about it sounded fun...A race..on your terms, within a window, reporting your results by a set day.
No timing chips, starting guns.
Make your own water station.
I set out of the house yesterday to test myself on legs that can't remember how to go fast, but are remembering how to go far. Here's how it went down:
I pinned on an old bib from a good race, and warmed up (I had to, because I foolishly set out in shorts!) with 3 miles @about 8-8:20/mile, finishing up a hill. At the top I did some dynamic stretching and got ready to "race".
The "plan" was to run at threshold heart rate zone and NOT LOOK AT MY PACE. I figured I could do this for 5 miles. (Except I haven't done much threshold work in 8 weeks. And I find it really hard not to check my pace.) The 5 miler was sounding good.
I took off with a slight downhill for the first mile (thank God it was downhill) and didn't get my HR up to the zone until the end of the first mile.
My watch beeped at 6:19 and my plan fell apart...
I ran the 2nd mile down and uphill and watched my heart rate go into "no-man's land" as Jack Daniels calls it- the space between Interval and Threshold. I decided I would do a 5k and not a 5 miler.
And then I changed my mind back to the 5 miler.
And I changed it again, back to the 5k
And my watch beeped at 6:35 for mile 2, so I knew I had better make it 5 miles, so that pace looked better.
Once more, I changed my mind. Maybe I could run a fast 3rd mile and get the pain over with. So I went faster. Until it started to hurt, and I changed my mind back to the 5 miler.
In the third mile, all pride was out of the way and I just wanted to end the "race". The third mile was over in 6:40.
What to do? I had plans to finish a longer run and this was not working well in my plan. It was a beautiful, cold clear day and I wanted to be running an easy run.
I wimped out at 3.11 and did the last .11 in 48 seconds. For a 5k of 20:22. (Not a PR. I have excuses a-plenty, but I shall keep them to myself)
Then I ran another 9 miles to finish the run on a happy note. :)
Bet you didn't know:
The best part about a virtual race is that
YOU decide whether it counts or not.
Have you ever had indecision during a race?
This isn't the first time I have had this problem! A virtual race gives many opportunities to change plans mid-race. I have certainly considered quitting mid race. Many times.