I couldn't decide whether to title this blog post the above title, or "More Evidence Against Me Using Races As Training Runs". When my hubby and FAST friends talked me into (read: guilt-tripped me into) running Race For The Cure less than a week after my marathon, I thought to myself "Self, it's okay. Just run the 5k easy." Indeed, my plan all along was to just run this 5k like any other easy run. But then my hubby and FAST friends (read: evil people who like to push me) started talking about trying to set new PR's with this race, I kinda-sorta got sucked into the excitement.
As we were driving over to the race this morning, my husband asked me "So, what's your time goal? Under 29 minutes?" I muttered something about the fact that it was really windy and the course was hilly, and that I had just run a freaking marathon, for crying out loud! But in the back of my mind, I was thinking "I wonder if I could set a PR today..." My current 5k PR was 29:36, and I set it in April 2009... on a flat course. If I recall correctly, it very nearly killed me to run that time. Could I possibly be that much faster now, that I could beat that time on a hilly course in 20 mph winds?
Well, as it turns out, yes.
I lined up for the women's competitive run start, and set my iPod on a pump-me-up sort of tune (a set by Marshall & Prophecy, if you're wondering). The race started silently and we were off. It started off with a short downhill, but then we climbed. This race wasn't nearly as hilly as, say, The Flying Pig, but as 5k's go, it's not exactly easy either. Uphills always slow me down. But I catch serious speed on downhills. So I used every downhill to my advantage. You can see from the graph below that when the elevation drops, my speed spikes. I bet I could beat a lot of people in a downhill race. Not that I'm challenging anyone!
In the last hundred yards or so, my coach passed me. Wow, I was so close to beating my coach - drat! (I'm conveniently not going to mention the fact that the men's race started 10 minutes after the women's, so he actually finished 10 minutes ahead of me, not 10 seconds.)
Somehow, I managed to finish in 28:10. That's an almost 1:30 improvement in my 5k time. Not too shabby, my friends. Not too shabby at all.
Turns out a lot of my FAST friends got PR's in this race too. It must have just been a good day for record-setting.
Maybe on a flat course, on a windless day, I could break 28 minutes... I'll probably have to run another 5k as a "training run" to find out.
Peace. Love. Train.