Training while on vacation (and 2 5K recaps)

I’ll do an actual vacation recap soon (with lots of cute baby pictures), but for now I wanted to get down training and race details from the last 10 or so days before they get even foggier in my mind.

As you might remember, after I was disappointed in my 5k performance at PRR’s Birthday Bash, I signed up for two 5Ks (on the same day!) while we were in Buffalo. Neither of the races had electronic timing, just tags for placement purposes (womp, womp), so I’m basing my times on my Map My Run times. The thing about not being electronically timed is that your time starts when the gun goes off rather than when you actually cross the start line, and there is so much room for human error/delay (time-wise, not placement-wise) in the finish chute at the end.

The first 5K was on a Saturday morning after a fitful night of sleep on Friday. I wasn’t feeling too hot all day on Saturday, but knew that I would be so mad at myself if I didn’t give it my all, so off we went! I didn’t really eat anything beforehand because I wasn’t feeling well, so I probably wasn’t as hydrated as I could have been. Race time was 9am, so it was a nice break from the early race starts in Virginia, and the weather was gorgeous and the course was pretty flat. I started off a little fast with a pace of 7:31 min/miles for my first mile but that was much better than my super fast 7:08 start at the Birthday Bash, and at least I didn’t lose it after this first mile! This was a turn-around course, and when I had hit the halfway mark and started to head back for the last mile and a half I passed Brian, and he flashed me the number 6 so that I knew how many other women were ahead of me. This was so so so helpful because all I saw was a bunch of people in front of me and I had no idea that the majority of them were men, so I thought I was completely out of placing. He knows me well enough to know that this was my mentality, so he helped me along a little bit. Something else that really helped was the pace person at mile 2 letting me know I was still under 8 min/miles. At this moment, I actually felt like it was possible to finish with a sub-8 min/mile pace since I only had 1 more mile left. During the last mile, I also passed two women in my age group who had been ahead of me the whole time, and at this point, I was feeling so great about how I paced myself through this race. It is nice to be the one passing people at the end of a race rather than the one being passed! The end result was 7:54 min/miles, a time of 25:11 for 3.2 miles (remember, MMR time/distance), and a 2nd place finish in my age group! I noticed 25 min even on the race finish clock as I crossed the line, so I’ll use that as my official PR time (yes, this was a 5K PR!). I was okay being second in my age group because the person who won the age group was also the female winner, so I was in good company. I was 37th overall, 6th out of all women, and 2nd in my age group. I clearly need to run smaller, more local races more often. Hooray!

I’ll be honest, though – I was not excited about doing the second 5K of the day because I still wasn’t feeling well, and felt like I’d already done my work for the day. I couldn’t decide if I was going to go into this one to race it, run it easily with Brian, or run atΒ  semi-challenging (but not race) pace. I ended up going with the third option and finished with a time of 8:18 min/miles. I was really happy with this time, and even happier that I stayed at the same pace for each mile. Consistency is not always easy for me, so this was a small victory in itself! I actually enjoyed running this (a rare occurrence in these summer days) and the slight rain showers only added to my enjoyment. I ended up being 5th in my age group, 66th out of 176 total participants, and 20th out of 81 women.

I am really proud of the fact that during our 8 day long vacation, I did not miss one day of marathon training. I shuffled my rest days around to match up with travel days, but still ran all of my weekly mileage. This meant I hated my life during my 12-miler the day after the two 5K’s! My legs literally felt like they were going to fall off during the last 2 miles of that run, but it got done. Final July mileage total was 122 miles which is the highest monthly mileage I’ve ever run. That’s exciting, but I also know that my mileage only increases from here on out, so I’m expecting August’s mileage to trump July’s. Here’s hoping for some cooler August weather around here, even though I know I should not expect it at all!

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Filed under Fitness, Marine Corps Marathon, Races, Running

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