a learning experience

Blame it on the Goose, gotcha feeling loose
Blame it on the ‘tron, catch me in a zone
Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol
Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol

The song lyrics above can pretty much sum up my 5K race from Monday :)

Yeah, I ran a 10K PR while powered by blueberry ale…and finally ran under 30 minutes for a 4-miler fueled by red wine…but dammit, I guess I have reason to believe those were flukes :) (or for all I know, I could have run even better!) So moral of the story-if you want to run a good race, do not spend the day before at the Yankee game, with lotsa beer consumption (though it was great to see the new stadium!) and the day before that at a BBQ with lotsa wine and beer consumption and even a post-party drink. Not to mention eating like crap both days. Don’t get me wrong, those were fun, fun days :) But a good race they do not make…

So anyway, as the race was the next town over from the parentals, I crashed there the night before. But that wasn’t completely stress-free, of course we had to figure out how to get there with the roads being closed for the 10K race that was starting an hour and a half earlier! Turned out to be for naught, got there in plenty of time. Good, I can get in a good warmup of a couple of miles. Was dressed for success in my brand-spankin’ new Nike red Flyers singlet. Feeling loose, feeling confident. Though it was getting hot…even just standing around. Thank god I opted for the shorter distance today…right? Finally, it was almost time to start…and how psyched was I to see chip mats at the start line? Yeah! Ready to go…

trying to outkick mr. 2607 to the finish :)Mile 1 (7:20)-nice and flat, and thankfully shady. Hit the mile marker pretty much exactly where I wanted to be. Though if Mr. Garmin’s data is to be believed, apparently I did the first half-mile at just over 7-flat pace??
Mile 2 (7:52)-maybe I was paying for the fast-ish start here. This mile was a little hillier (though child’s play compared to Central Park). I was surprised that the mile was so slow…I thought I was working hard…
Mile 3.1 (8:17-7:31 pace)-by then it was getting hot, and I was glad it was almost over, just suck it up for a mile and change. good thing about this being a quasi-hometown race is that I can recognize certain landmarks and know where I was…and after making the final turn I totally knew where I was and knew it was a straight (and a tiny downhill!) shot to the finish.

Final time-23:29, 7:34 pace, 9th in my age group (I wasn’t expecting to place high, this race was really stacked!)

It’s weird, I feel like this race was anticlimactic in a way. Based on my heart rate data, I was nowhere near where I should be in a 5k in terms of effort, and I really didn’t feel like I gave it my all. In a way, however, this was really a no pressure race for me, and if I took some learning away from it…well so be it :) And additionally-I’m not blaming the weather, but it didn’t help matters. I remember feeling at the end that I was so glad I opted for the shorter distance, and I heard quite a few calls from the announcer for “medical attention at the finish line”…in a way, I was just happy to have finished upright.

So-2 things I took away from this race:

1. I really need to work on my pacing in 5Ks-I feel like it’s the one distance I just can’t get down with regards to pacing. Specifically, don’t lose my nerve during mile 2.
2. No all-day drinkfests the day or 2 before an A race. (1 glass of wine should be my limit. Should.)

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