Sunday, February 2, 2014

Park Run 5K (Albert Park) Recap

Its still January in 'Merica, so I can still post January stuff, right? Wait, I wrote that sentence three days ago, and its now no longer January even there. Bugger.

I have been promising posts to Kristen, lately, and promptly following up with... no posts. Its kinda tough to blog, when you don't have a table... chairs... place to live... hotspotting wireless from your iPhone....

Anyway, I'm doing a bang-up job with the excuses, but should probably just get straight to the running stuff. Right-o.

So I ran a 5K.

I'll repeat that.

I ran a 5K.

It was about as yuck as I imagined... and I did it at a time in my running life that was probably going to make it even less a pleasurable or rewarding than usual. This was my first race back - indeed, really the first fast running I had done - since my injury. (I have had a few questions about my femoral neck stress reaction, and am currently composing a post on my recovery! Coming soon! That's not even slightly a promise!)

Anyway, so lets see. I was out for 8 weeks from Sept-Nov, and began running between 15-20 miles a week through December. In late December, my dear friend Racer was all like "Hey, you should do this 5K with me." I'm like, this sounds like a great idea. Except I don't want to run a 5K. He's like "[something or rather blah blah] fast, flat course."

I'm like well, ok, I should probably do one at some point. And its a fast, flat course, how bad can it be??

So I did it, and it hurt like a mofo (as I understand all 5Ks do). Aaaaand Racer told me afterwards that he was going to mention the possibility of the wind being horrible, but decided against it to ensure I'd come along. Hmmmm. Well played, Racer, well played.

Time was 20:37. Splits were: 6:22, 6:37, 6:51 and 6:18 for the 0.1. Average pace was 6:37. Yowch.

To put this in perspective, this is almost the same pace as I ran the last 5K of my last half marathon in September.  I don't think I've lost quite that much fitness... So what went wrong?

First,  I obviously went out too fast in the first mile. I was planning a 6:30, and had no idea how that felt, so crashed and burned! Second, the headwind was pretty hardcore in the second half of the race. Finally, I guess I have a little to learn about racing 5Ks! Kristen (resident 5K expert!) gave me some great pointers beforehand, but I kind of failed to execute those... I'll definitely try harder next time (e.g. to go out at a reasonable pace in the beginning, when it all still feels relatively delightful!)

Here are some pictures from the race (I'm in the blue top, light yellow shorts; Rory is in red top, black shorts).

Starting out at about a 6:10 pace. This cannot possibly go wrong.
Not even considering the possibility that a lovely tail wind on a loop course would result in a headwind later on.
Just after I said goodbye to Racer in order to let him beat me when I realized I couldn't keep up with his pace. Next time, Racer, next time.
And just focused on passing as many people as possible.
Pain place... and not even at mile 2. Good signs.
Racer on the home stretch, looking strong...
Pain place here is evolving into something akin to despair and questioning my life choices.
Despite very seriously considering DNF-ing at least every 0.2 of a mile, I actually ended up coming in second female (and kind of kicked myself, because if I'd known the lady in front of me was first, I might have tried to pass her).

Anyway I actually really liked this race. Its a free, timed entry, through Park Runs, which are done throughout the world, as I understand it, in many major cities. I understand that its usually a larger field, which could be good to compete in... on this day (Jan 3rd) I actually was second female. The people who run it are really friendly and the whole thing is a fun start to a weekend.

So thats that. I might do more of this 5K business at some point... if nothing else, it represents a challenge... which my little black competitive heart just adores :)



  1. Hey, that's FAST, miss I-don't-do-5ks!!! And now you have experience. Go do another one immediately, speedster!

  2. Screwed again by the wind. How come the pictures never show how brutal it is! ;) K

    1. Hahaha, all the pictures are from the beginning of the race (tail wind) and right at the end. OF COURSE, I didnt post the horrible ones... which OF COURSE were the ones right into the wind haha!

    2. The park you are in sort of reminds me of central park at the northern end of the reservoir where you can see the NYC skyline. K