Ran the Novartis 5 k this evening - my first race over this distance. I got to the venue in Ringaskiddy with a hour to spare and after getting my race number I decided to run the entire course as a warm-up and reconnaissance mission. The course was undulating with the first mile primarily downhill, the second primarily uphill and the third a bit of both. I covered the course and a bit more in 26:37 (3.26 Miles @ 140 heart rate - 08:09 pace) The relatively elevated heart rate worried me a bit and I thought how am I going to achieve a sub 06:30 pace (Now that I am finished I can reveal my goal pace - i.e. to finish as close to 20 minutes as possible - 06:25 pace) Following the warmup I put on my number and did a further warmup close to the starting line ( I read somewhere that a warmup is ineffective if there is a big gap betweeen finishing the warmup and starting the race). I got in line 3 or 4 rows from the front (300 plus runners in all) and headed off at a good pace. While I felt the effort was strenuous during the first donwhill mile my watch was showing a 7:05 pace
Voice in my head: surely I should be doing better than this pace.
Then I began to fall off the back of the group of runners that I had been running with.
Voice in my head; f**k this if I can't keep under 7 minute pace I should go home at least the pain will be gone.
Thankfully I persevered and as I passed the 1 mile marker there was a timekeeper calling out the times "05:51" he said as I passed him.
Voice in my head:- Christ I'm going too fast - I could just make a sub-20 minute run.
Spurred on by my first mile time (the fastest mile I've ever recorded) I maintained the effort during the second uphill mile ( I knew the pace was going to drop). I was overtaken by two men and a woman at about 1.5 miles but they never got too far ahead. The time keeper at mile 2 calling out "12:26" as I passed him (these guys are worth their weight in gold). I knew that I had to maintain the pace for the third mile if I was to get under 20 minutes. There was a good downhill stretch from about 2.25 to 2.75 miles, towards the end of which I was overtaken by a few guys. They didn't get very far ahead as we turned the corner for the final uphill push passed the 3 mile marker. "18:40" I'm sure I heard the timekeeper say - I knew I was going to make it and kept the effort up crossing under the clock as it struck 19:20. Two guys sprinted passed my in the final 50 yards -
Voice in my head:- where did these guys come from. They obviously didn't have a good race strategy or they'd be coming in at 18:00.
I didn't care I had set a new PB and one that I won't beat easily. The woman who passed me out at 1.5 miles was five places ahead of me in the finishing chute, which confirmed that my pace didn't slacken off relative to those around me.
Following the race I did a 2 mile warm down at about 9 minute pace - watch malfuctioning at this stage. All in all I ran about 9 miles including 3.1 Miles at 6:13 Pace. My heart rate strap fell down around my waist at about 2.5 miles into the run (average recorded HR of 169 - in reality it was probably higher than 170 - max HR recorded was 181 )
I started running shortly after my 40th birthday to train for the "once in a lifetime marathon" (mid-life crisis and all that) and haven't been able to stop since. This blog charts my progress as I attempt to go farther and faster than I have ever gone before.