Thursday, November 22, 2007

Too Hot to Trot

Okay, so not really too hot, but it was a lot warmer than expected. And it made a cute title.

Today I ran a Turkey Trot 5K. It was 60 degrees, with 75% humidly and some winds. I ran this same course last year, and it was in the low 30's with misting rain. Last year, I wore three layers on top, pants, two pairs of gloves and a hat. This year, I wore just my running skirt and a tank top. 

A year ago, I would have LOVED this weather. But as other runners have told me, I would learn to appreciate colder temperatures because they make you run faster. However, I don't blame the weather for my poor performance today. I blame the fact that I am still recovering (cardio-wise) from my marathon. I didn't expect a PR, but I also didn't expect to be this slow.

I'll cut to the chase. I ran my slowest 5K ever. Here is a history of my 5Ks:
  • 24:17 in September 2006
  • 23:32 in November 2006 (same course I just ran)
  • 23:30 in June 2007 (first place in age group!)
  • 24:07 in July 2007 (lots of hills here)
  • 24:19 in November 2007
I got faster the first few times, and then I started to get slower. I am not sweating this too much because I know that my body is still recovering from the marathon and I know that I did give 100% of myself today. It's not like in the MCM 10K where I just gave up halfway through. I pushed as hard as I could all the way to the end, but my body simply couldn't go any faster.

I came across the first mile marker at 7:27. I knew I was in trouble because I felt like I had just run a7:15. I knew there was no way I would be able to keep this pace up, but I decided I was going to try my hardest. There was a big hill in mile 2. I'm much better at hills now than I was last year, but it still took a lot out of me. I passed mile 2 at a pace of 8:07. I was a bit disheartened by this, but I didn't let it affect me.

I knew that a PR was probably not possible, but I still planned to give the race my all. I felt this huge knot in my chest. I feel this pain whenever I run fast. I felt it at the beginning of the MCM 10K, and at the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. It's this sharp pain, but I always tell myself that it's not a big deal-- I can run through it. So, I had this knot the entire time. I just didn't feel good.

When I was getting close to the finish line, I ran as fast as I could to try to get in under 24 minutes, but the finish line was simply not close enough! I ended up running my slowest 5K ever, but I did push as hard as I could, so I am not disappointed with myself. I know I am in better shape now than I was last year at the time. However, I am better trained for longer distances, and not the short ones.

I placed 102 out of 1257 women
I placed 14 out of 185 in my age group.

I'm okay with this-- but I can't help but figure out how I would have placed if I ran the 23:32 from last year. I had planned on going to the gym afterwards and running some additional miles, but I wasn't in the mood. I did about a 1.5 mile warmup and a good stretch beforehand. I'm already satisfied with my 5K PR so I didn't have a huge desire to set one. However, I am not at all happy with my 10K PR, so I need to change that on December 9. Time to go enjoy Thanksgiving.

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