I decided to run a 5K race because I knew that an Oakville friend, was considering running it. She is a very busy person, who works full-time and has two boys age-6 and under (I hope I got the ages right!). I was apprehensive because of the proximity of the race to my Saturday long run but eased my nervousness by approaching the race as a tempo run. The weather that day was a dream. While waiting for the start gun to go off, the memory of the exquisite feeling of having every muscle in your body prepared for top-performance was awakened.
However I felt happy enough having a lot of my muscles prepared for the race and look forward to my return to top form. My dream goal for the day was to run under 23 minutes although, I knew this would be a challenge to do this while keeping in the tempo run zone of my heartrate. The last 5K’s I ran were over 2 1/2 years ago. I was running these consistently under 20 minutes. A favourite flat and fast course used to be the Subaru 5K in Jordan.
The gun went off and I eased into a steady tempo pace, checking my heartrate watch constantly to ensure I was in the 150-153 beats per minute zone. I experienced quite a shock at the 1K mark to find that I was on pace to run OVER 25 minutes. Each KM marker told the same story. Finally, at the 4K mark I decided to run closer to 160-165. I was pleased to see 23-something when I crossed the finish line.
It was obvious that the KM markings were wrong. What a relief! I think my husband was relieved that I was so happy to run 23 minutes. He has seen his share of despondency over dissappointing race times. Uncharacteristically, he has been urging me to train harder. When I commented that this is unusual for him to be so hands-on in his support he commented, “I don’t want to have to bring you home in a wheelchair when you run your marathon!” As dramatic as this sounds, the bottom line is, the less you train, the more you will hurt. Ugh!
As for my friend, her time was thrown off by the mis-marked course as she had given up on her goal and cruised in, only to find out that she was a few seconds away from going under 21 minutes, which was her goal.
I did a 10 minute cool-down, checked the results and was surprised to see that I was 1st in the 50+ category. Let the comeback begin 🙂
The best thing is that I was able to run semi-hard, so soon after my long run and that I felt okay this morning. I ran a very easy 5K and then walked for an hour at lunch. My total running for the week was 50 miles. This week I must do close to 60 miles. No time to waste a single day of training.