A Harmony on the Lake 5K Race Report
Several times now, I've had to remind myself. I'm not training for anything specific, yet. My goal for this pre/off season is pretty simple. I want to run 13.1 miles with my wife on March 18th. Nothing else really matters. If I need to skip a workout, move them around, adjust the time frame/distance, then so be it.
Not bad for somebody that's been training 7+ hours a week for the past month or so :-) My point being, all of this base training is nice, and its certainly whipping me into shape, but I can go a little easy on the dedication.
Speaking of whipping me into shape... This is a graph of my heart rate during a Trainer Road workout on February 15th.
As you can see, on each one of my intervals, my heart rate climbed steadily into Zone 4 and pretty much stayed there until the end. Fast forward to last week. This is another workout I did, with a slightly less intense interval set.
During this workout, my heart rate never climbed out of Zone 2. This is the kind of progress that makes me happy! Especially, given, I had not ridden my bike until this year since last July.
A few of you on Facebook may have noticed that I have slipped back into my old diet. Operation No Red Meat is on hold while I re-calibrate. I came to the obvious conclusion that you can over eat on a mostly vegetarian diet, and the diet itself, while much much cleaner, just wasn't having the desired effect. I am in the process of reassessing my goals and needs. I doubt I will go back to a 100% plant based diet, but that option is always open to me. Stay tuned...
A few months ago, a friend sent me a Facebook invitation to a neighborhood 5K. This friend is a 3:15 marathoner. Her daughter was putting on a 5K as her senior project, and she wanted to know if I would participate. The money raised would help in the fight against cancer. I have a personal beef with cancer, so the race was right up my alley. I sent in a registration entry for both myself, and Dee Dee, although Teh Bug had to work that day.
Like last weekend, it was cold Sunday morning. To make things better, the wind was blowing too. It didn't take me as long as I thought to get to the race venue. I decided to sit in my car for 15 minutes and finish my coffee. Inside the neighborhood club house, Christina, her hubby, and her daughter were handling packet pick up. I grabbed mine and Dee Dee's race packets and dropped them off in the car. That gave me about thirty minutes before race time to sit in the club house and keep warm.
At 5 minutes before the race start, we all went out into the cold and wind. The race starter announced he was going to say "Mark, set, go", drop his hand, and when he did that, we take off. I think there was about 60-70 people participating in the race. Pretty much right away, the starter went through the motions, and the race got underway.
You wouldn't have a neighborhood named "Harmony on the Lake" without a lake right? The race started out slightly down hill. I wanted to run a fast 5K, but it wasn't going to be a PR effort. Just nice, comfortable, fun. At the bottom of the little incline, I glanced at my watch and saw a 7:15 pace. Visions of a PR danced in my head. I quickly quashed the idea. This race as but the first part of what needed to be a 10 mile day for me.
We wound around through the neighborhood and came out by the lake. The lake was beautiful. Despite being windy and cold, the sun was shining. When ran back by the club house and into the other side of the neighborhood. There were a few hills here to challenge us, but nothing serious. I had been chasing a guy my age up to this point, and around mile 2, I passed him for good. At this point, some of the young people came running by on their way back.
We made a big loop, and this pretty much disconnected the rest of us from the leaders. I came out on the far side of the loop and kept my pace and effort steady and consistent. Once we turned back out onto the main road, I knew the end was near. It seemed to take a little longer than I thought it should, but the distance ended up being spot on.
I crossed the finish line right under 26:00. I was kind of surprised when the score keeper handed my card with the #8 on it. I finished 8th over all and 1st in my age group. I was pretty happy with that. It was slightly slower than my 5K from last weekend, but I also swam and executed a tough 1.5 hour ride the day before, AND, I needed to tack on another seven miles or so.
The awards ceremony went pretty quickly. I grabbed my medal, a bottle of water, and some donuts, then headed over to nearby Boling Park to complete my run for the day. I thought at first that 5-6 miles would probably be fine, but I ended up HTFUing and getting in the entire 6.86 miles to bring my total for the day to 10 miles.
Then, I went home and passed out....