Tag Archives: PR

Race Recap – Liga 5K – PR 21:18

I wasn’t wrong yesterday about not knowing how to run a 5K.

 
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My splits were all over the place.

 
KM 1 – 04:08 – Faster than I had planned, but feeling good.

 
KM 2 – 04:18 – What? I didn’t even realize I had slowed down that much.

 
KM 3 – 04:09 – A good split again, although my mind starts to wonder if I can hold this pace for longer. Thinking of a couple of Mizuno tops I saw at the booth and am planning to buy as a reward (or just because I want them) kept me pushing.

 
KM 4 – 04:24 – The “back” portion of a race is always the hardest, my legs are feeling it by now, and my mind is having an argument about ‘why do I need to suffer’ on the one hand, and ‘we are not quitting with a bit over 1 KM to go’. My slowest KM by far, bummer.

 
KM 5 – 04:14 – Telling myself that I’m taking a week off running after this race helps me push a little, besides I don’t want to make a fool of myself slowing down too much in the last KM.

 
Official Results:
Time: 21:18
Overall Place: 59 out of 266
Women’s Place: 2 out of 44
Category (30-39) place: 1 out of 15


 
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I am satisfied with my final time, it is very close to what I was expecting fitness wise.

 
My pacing was bad and I need to work on that, but I’m not surprised because I never really train at the 5K pace of this race, except for intervals. Intervals are a great way to improve speed, but they are too short to teach us how to actually keep a pace for longer periods. I should have done some tempo runs with a few KMs at 5K pace in advance.

 
I wasn’t expecting to run this race because we were supposed to be overseas, and when we canceled the trip and I realized I could run it, I was tired physically and mentally from previous races that I decided to take this race easy, and therefore didn’t train or taper for it.
My final time shows I didn’t run it easy after all, but the fact that I didn’t train for it still shows.

 
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This being my first 5K, it was a good experience for future races. A few things I did differently than for longer races, which actually worked out great:

 
Warm up: I tried doing strides at the end of a 3K/2M warm up, and I think this really helped me run fast from the start of the race. Usually it takes me a while to get my legs to move fast enough to reach goal race pace, not today.

 
Taking a GU in advance: I’ve been taking a gel before races, just a few minutes before start time. This seemed to make sense for longer races, where I’d need the extra energy to last longer into the race. I knew the 5K would take less than 23 minutes, so I figured I could eat the GU half an hour before the race, and see if it made a difference. I really think it did, more time to digest it before the race, and no side pain whatsoever, which I did get in past races.

 
Mind games: Every race makes me mentally stronger. I still have a long way to go, somehow on the 2nd half of the race I start to consider slowing down, even DNFing, it becomes harder for me to push through. Although my body is getting tired by that point, I can feel it’s more mental than anything. I hate to think that I’m weak, but then I’m still racing, and I will get stronger.

 
Peeing: This is not a new thing, but I went to the porta-potties four times before the race, about 20 minutes apart, the last time being 3 minutes before start time (the perks of small races). This was perfect to avoid that horrible feeling of having to pee while running. I had 2 big glasses of water and 2 cups of coffee before I left home, so going to the bathroom regularly helped take it all out.

 

 
About the Mizuno tops I was thinking of during the 3rd KM, I saw these cute tanks that I wanted to buy, the fabric is so light, the cut is awesome, they are sleeveless which I love, just perfect.
I couldn’t buy them before the race because there was a problem with their credit card machine, but I bought 2 after the race, same model, 2 different colors.

 
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I had to rush home right after the race because my son was celebrating his birthday at his kindergarten today (actual birthday was 2 weeks ago, and although the party is only for the class children without the parents, I still wanted to take him myself (usually my husband takes him on Fridays and I do my long run).

 
Overall this was a nice, relaxed, fun, small race. Great way to start the weekend.

 
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That promise my mind made my body about not running again for a week, so not needed. I am not sore at all, and although I had postponed my Friday’s long run to next Wednesday, I will be doing it tomorrow. Works much better for me to do it on a weekend day than on a week day, and I feel perfectly fine. Definitely makes me wonder if I could have run harder.

 
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Talking to Myself

I realized when I was a teenager that my friends actually listened to me. When they had a problem, or something they wanted to take off their shoulders, I was the one they came to for a good talk, or for a cry.
I am usually so good at giving sound advice, to others of course.
But I’m not that great at applying that advice to my own life, I can be too hard on myself.

 
My 10K race yesterday didn’t go as expected, and if it had been someone else who had run it, I know I would have had such good things to tell them to make them feel better… so today I’m telling all those things to myself, and maybe I’ll even listen.

 
A PR is still a PR:
There are big PRs and small PRs. But even if there’s some logic on me being not happy because a 10 second PR shows no real improvement fitness wise, it’s still a PR and I better grab it, enjoy it, and be proud.

 
Keep running in perspective:
It’s OK to be disappointed about not getting the result I wanted, for a little while. Like 5 minutes, or maybe even a day. But that’s it, it’s just a race, and it’s just running.
Running has been an incredible addition to my life. It changed me, it made me stronger physically and mentally, it made me happy so many mornings after a good run.
And I’m planning to keep running for as long as I can.
But the past few months running has taken more mental energy from me than it should have. It wasn’t the 5 times a week I spent running, it was the thought that went into it before and after. Getting my paces right. Making the ‘perfect’ training plan. Racing and more racing and “OH NO” if the race didn’t go as planned. I lost focus at work and I lost focus at home, and I’m about to change that.

 
Be proud of my accomplishments:
I’ve started running more seriously about a year ago. Since then I’ve doubled my weekly running distance, and reduced my average running pace by 22 seconds per KM (37 seconds per mile), included recovery runs and slow long runs.
And in the 6 months since my first 10K and half marathon, I’ve taken a minute and a half off my 10K time and two and a half minutes of my half marathon time. It may be a lot or it may be just a little, but either way, it’s worth being happy about.

 
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Train smart:
It’s important to me to be satisfied with the training I’ve done, and to trust I did the best to my abilities. But after a few months of training and racing, now it’s a good time to review my training and look for things I can improve. I can’t be sure how exactly things will play out, but I can try making a few changes and see how things feel.

 
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Nothing comes without effort:
To me this means embracing a bad race, a disappointing result, a training run I couldn’t finish.
Running is hard, but it’s worth it, for my health, my fitness, my children, my life. Making an effort is a good thing, even when it hurts. No pain, no gain.

 
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Racepectations

Considering this is the first season I ever participated in races, I am surprised I’ve made it through 6 races.
My last race of the season, my 7th race, a 10K, is coming up next Saturday, a week from today.

 
Turns out I am more competitive with myself than I knew, and I have expectations about this race, or one expectation, a PR.
I don’t know why it really matters if my time is slower or faster than my current PR, if it really makes a difference, but it does.

 
It’s not about proving myself that my training paid off, because I already know it did. And I know which paces I can run, and for how long. But I need that official number next to my name. As if only then it were true.

 
My current 10K PR is 44:43, and it wasn’t particularly easy to get.

 
The result I want, I’m dreaming big, is 43:30.
Will I get it? Probably not.
Am I just being negative to think that? Probably not.

 
If the course is flat, and everything is right, I might be able to run that time. 5% chance sounds about right.
Anything between 44:00 and 45:00 sounds way more realistic.

 
I’ve told a few runners friends about the result I hope to get, and I’m writing it here, and I know I’ll be embarrassed to come back and say I didn’t get it if I don’t get it.
But I refuse to not say it just because I might be embarrassed later.

 
It’s OK to have goals and expectations, and if we don’t meet them on our first try then we will meet them next time, or the next, or maybe never, but even then: so what.
We wish, we try, we hope… isn’t that something to be proud of? Much prouder than being too proud to admit what we really want for fear of what may happen.

 
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So I hope for a 10K race result of 43:30 next week.
And I hope one day, in a year or five, to go sub-40 for 10K.
And I really hope my kids are happy.
I hope my marriage gets stronger.
And I hope the world becomes a much happier, healthier, nicer place.

 
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Are you sometimes embarrassed to admit what your race goals are? Anything you wish for that you’d like to share?



 

LSD turns to LFD, once again

Perfect start to the weekend: a 23KM/14.3M run at 6:30 in the morning, on the Yaffo to Tel Aviv boardwalk, and back.

 
I definitely got an early start on everyone, look at that empty parking lot.

 
Yaffo Port Parking Lot

 
I know some people get it and some people think I’m crazy, but to me an early run, especially a long run, is the best way to start the day.

 
I’ve learnt to love long runs.
It’s not that I didn’t like them before, I was just afraid of them. I guess it makes sense to be afraid of a long run when you first start.

 
Look at these cuties I found on my way to the port’s parking lot:

 
Bears and Fish

 
Once again, I didn’t take my phone with me on my run. I wanted to take pictures, but didn’t have a proper pocket for it. No big pockets on the tights I wore, and I tried to take it on my long sleeve top but it was jumping around so I put it back in my car.
I have great tight (no jumping around) mesh pockets on my tight shorts, so as soon as the weather is nicer I’ll be able to run with them and carry my phone.

 
I’m 2 weeks away from the Tel Aviv Half Marathon, and since I did a fast finish long run last weekend, the plan was to do an easy run this time.

 
However.

 
Somewhere on the 12KM/7M a guy passed me, and started running right in front of me.
I don’t mind at all when someone passes me, not on regular runs and not on races. I do my thing, I have my plan, I have my paces.

 
But, this guy, wherever he came from (hadn’t seen him anywhere around me before), passed me and just stuck there. I let him be and figured he’d gain some distance on me soon enough, but he didn’t. So after a few minutes I went ahead and passed him again, I can’t run with someone so close to me, when the whole boardwalk is empty.
And then it was on. What ensued was about 5 KM/3M of me not letting him pass me, and him not letting me pass him. Way too funny. OK it was very annoying then, but it’s really funny now.
Eventually I just turned around and ran in the other direction, and not because I couldn’t keep the pace but just because I wanted to do my thing.

 
I still had 7KM/4.3M to finish my run and I actually kept it up for the remainder of the run.
Thanks stranger, for a half marathon distance PR on my Garmin:

 
Garmin Half Marathon PR

 
My workout/splits. I was forced to run faster. It wasn’t me.

 
Workout Garmin and Splits

 
I went home straight after the run to shower, since I had to be at my son’s kindergarten at 9:15 for a family activity, and after that to my daughter’s daycare for another family activity.
I got home at 8:45, took a shower, got dressed/makeup, ate a snack really quickly and left.

 
I met my husband and son at the kindergarten (they left a bit earlier than me) and first thing my husband asked me, right in front of all the other parents, is if I hadn’t had time to take a shower. I guess I looked that good.

 

Any running related funny things people told you that you care to share?

Do you compete with the people running around you?

 

 

Now, Think of a Number

Numbers

 
You know, I am a planner. Sue me.

 
I have an excel file that is getting heavy, where I plan my running schedule every week, and where I log my runs, cross training, shoe KMs/Mileage, etc.   I’m not sure how smart it is of me to admit all this.

 
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A few weeks before the Adidas Marathonya 10K, I made a few calculations on what would be a good, challenging (for sure!), but (hopefully?) realistic time for me to run. I based this number on my training, as well as on previous races’ results (see the best race predictor from Running for Fitness, a great site with tons of useful calculators and information).

 
Time

 
Final number I decided on was 45:00, or even better 44:59.

 
Then I thought of different ways to run to get to the final result.
I could run evenly, that would mean a pace of 04:30 Min/KM (07:15 Min/Mile).
I could run negative splits if things went really wrong (please don’t let that happen to me!).
Or I could run positive splits, saving as much as possible of my strength for the 2nd half of the race.

 
In the end this is what I hoped for:

 
Split Plan

 
I played with the numbers for a bit, to make them round and easy (in KM) so I could easily remember them during the race.

 
I thought about those numbers in the days before the race, the final time I was dreaming about, those 10 splits of 1 KM each I had to run through, trying to make them stick to my head, so I could do my best to make them happen.

 
I knew there was no guarantee that I’d be able to run those paces, but it was worth trying. And I was hoping that racing for the first time with my Garmin would be of help, at least I would know where I was, time wise and pace wise.

 
My biggest fear was somehow repeating my first 10K, where I went off way too fast and completely out of my capabilities and crashed halfway.  So I knew that to avoid that I had to stick to the paces I had planned, not let myself run faster no matter what or how good I was feeling, and hopefully not run slower either.

 
Look at that, so close to the plan.

 
Final

 
It surprises me how I managed to run how I had hoped for.
How that number, 45:00, that was just an educated guesstimate, and a time I had never run before in my life (not even close), was so close to my final time. The power of the mind. The positive side to having a plan, to following through.

 
And I am proud of myself.

 
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We all hope for a particular race result, no matter how fast or slow that number seems to others.
For us, it means making an effort, trying our best.
But we know it’s doable.
We know we can make it happen.

 
Let your mind be your guide, let your legs do the work, and you will get there.

 
HAPPY RACING.