I have done a few races over the past 2 weeks, a local 5K (the Farmers 5000) 2 weeks ago and the Denver Rock and Roll Half Marathon this past weekend.
Two Sundays (Sept 16) ago was a day of “firsts.” I started the day off running my “first” 5K* and then immediately headed for the mountains and did my first 14er!
The morning of the race I woke up and decided I wanted to run the Farmers 5000, a local race where I live in Wheat Ridge. So I headed to the race and signed up the day of. I honestly had no idea what to expect: Do you warm up for a 5K? How fast should I go? How hard do I push myself? Is there a strategy?
Basically I am a clueless 30-year-old recreational runner, not to mention I have not been training for a 5K and did 15 miles the day before for my marathon training.
They started the race and I just started running. I didn’t look at my watch once and just ran faster than what was comfortable.
For the first 1/4 mile, I didn’t see any women in front of me. Weird. Then a little high school girl passed me. For the rest of the race I was about 5-10 seconds behind that girl. I wanted to try to get up with her, but I doubted myself:
- I can’t run that fast?!?!
- I don’t WIN races?!?
- What if I pass her and then get outkicked in the final 100 meters!??
- What if I pass the 15-year-old high school kid at the end and look like the beotch that passes the cross country kid who helped put on the 5K?!?
All of the sudden the finish line was in view and I crossed in 20:29 (6:36 pace) as the 2nd female (the female winner crossed at 20:18). I was breathing heavily but felt like I could have gone another 5 miles at that pace. Whoops, too much negative thinking during such a short race.
I was supposed to win a second place prize, but I had to leave right after the race to go hike the 14er. Who knows what the prize was, maybe they will mail it to me? (probably not going to happen as it is 2 weeks later and no prize, bummer)
Oh and my splits were TERRIBLE. I started off too fast, then slowed down way too much (it was a hilly course with lots of turns, but still, this is bad):
But I had a blast! It was so much fun to RACE and only for 3.1 miles! I know that I can improve and I think that I can break 20 minutes if I was rested and now that I have a small clue of what to expect.
This past Saturday (Sept 22) was the Denver Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I didn’t have that high of expectations because my legs had been tired and sore all week from the 14er (it took more out of me than I realized). But I was going to try for a PR.
Jeff and I headed down to the start only to confirm that the warnings we were hearing were true; parking sucked and road closures prevented you from accessing the site from the north. Needless to say, we parked over a mile from the start, ran to the start (I guess this was our warm-up?), and instead of starting in the 1st coral, we were late and started in the 4th coral. So for the first 4 miles we were dodging and weaving through crowds of runners who were running at a pace much slower than we wanted to be at.
The course was decent, but was crowded in the first half, had a lot of turns, and a few hills in the last 4 miles.
I never felt particularly good, but not bad either. I kept a decent pace, but my legs started to feel heavy at mile 9. I ended up finishing in 1:31:29, 9 seconds slower than my PR. I’m pretty confident that if I was running at sea level and was properly rested I could have gone under 1:30 (same thing goes for Jeff).
Jeff finished about a minute ahead of me in 1:30:33 (just 10 seconds short of his PR) as 105/2821 male and 26/510 in his age group (M 30-34).
We are both about where we need to be in our marathon training and will only get faster/stronger in the next month as the temperature cools off. Obviously we would like a be a bit faster at this point, but know what we need to do to get there. We have been doing more fartlek and tempo runs, workouts that we both enjoy (neither of us really like the track so we stopped going). We have been hitting 40+ miles each week and will up the mileage to close to 50 per week until taper time. Marathon PR here we come!