Distance, allow me to introduce you to Speed….part 1

So it seems my Recipe for Speed actually worked!

Yesterday I ran a 5k race at Folly Beach, SC and set a new 5k Personal Record.  My previous PR for a 5k was 20 minutes flat and was recorded only two months ago.  My new PR………drum roll please……….19:06 and the official results can be found HERE.

As you can probably tell, I’m a little excited about these results.  I shaved nearly a full minute off my previous PR set only two months ago.  Furthermore, one of the months I wasn’t able to run due to a stress fracture in my foot and in 5k standards, a minute may as well be a lifetime.  These results not only give me hope for recording more PR in the future, but also reinforce my belief in my training regiment.

Now allow me to give you the “Run Down” on the run itself..

I started at the front, but I wasn’t exactly sure I was going to finish there.  My initial strategy was to start strong and run a 6 minute 1st mile, fall back to a 6:20 pace for mile 2, and then torch the last mile.  That strategy was gone when I shot out of the gate at a sub  5 minute pace reminding myself to slow down.  Luckily for me the lead pack was only running at a 6minute/mile pace.  I thought to myself, “I might actually have a shot at this if I can hang on”.

The race was actually two races in one and some were running the half marathon, but most like me, were running the 5k. I ran the first mile in 5:52 setting a new PR for 1 mile.  I  was probably in 8th or ninth at this point and the lead pack was pushing ahead of me.  I wasn’t sure how many in the lead pack were running the half, but I assumed there weren’t many.  I would later figure out that that assumption was a mistake.

At the halfway point the closest guy in front of me had a good 15 second cushion and at this point, I was content with placing in the top 10.  I turned around to see if there was anyone holding back behind me, and I saw a bunch of people about 100 yards away so I knew I had some cushion.  I felt that if I could just maintain my pace I would finish strong.  Then BOOM, I felt my right ankle collapse and I went down…gracefully….I immediately got back up, realized i stepped in a large crevasse in the concrete.  I looked in front of me only to see a few of the other runners turning their heads around to see what happened.

I got back up and fell right into my pace (which by mile 2 fell to 6:11). My ankle felt ok and as we approached mile 3, the guy in front of me now had a solid cushion and no matter how hard I pushed I couldn’t close the gap.

Thats when he stopped to re-tie his shoe…….

I thought to myself, “here’s my chance”!  I pushed, but It felt like I wasn’t gaining any ground.  He was further ahead then I thought, and thats when I decided to conserve something for the final sprint.  I looked behind me and there was no chance anyone was catching me.

When I turned the corner, I began my sprint to the finish.

 

Approaching the Finish

When I crossed the finish I noticed that there were only three other runners waiting and talking.  I thought to myself, “Surely the other guys are in the port-a-potties or something”. I asked my girlfriend Diana what place I came in and she had no idea, 5th or 6th maybe?  I began to gather my thoughts and went up to the guy that finished ahead of me. I said, “What place did you come in dude”?     He replied, “I think third or something”?  I thought to myself, “That would mean I came in 4th! No way, surely something was wrong….then it struck me….those other guys were running the half marathon and continued on the second loop instead of going to the 5k finish!”

I had mixed emotions after realizing I came in 4th place as its my biggest running accomplishment to date. BUT I was only 16 seconds away from finishing in the top 3 and only 38 seconds away from winning the event!  I thought, hey, at least I won my age group (25-29yrs) and walked away with a free coffee mug and enough motivation for next week’s 5k!  I have a feeling this race is going to be a little more competitive so I’m approaching it cautiously.  I’ll be happy with simply setting a new PR with any time in the 18 minute range!

PR 02/04/12

Having already registered for the Rock N Roll Marathon in Savannah GA courtesy of Brooks, I have to up my mileage without losing my speed.  This “break through run” has changed my whole outlook on distance running. I was once told by an older runner and also a customer of mine who’s run boston several times that, with distance comes speed.  He told me that if I put in the mileage every week, my times would slowly get faster and I will eventually qualify for Boston.

I believe that both speed and distance can be applied equally…I also believe that I have zero patience when it comes to achieving my goals and right now one of my goals is to get a BQ time this year.  In my next post, I will tell you how I’m going to apply what I’ve learned from this 5k to my training plan then use it to qualify for Boston! AND have a lot of fun along the way! Until then,

Happy Running….and Walking 😉

-Michael

to be continued……..

 

 

 

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