Day 128 – Race strategy

I ran a 5K on Saturday night, with some surprisingly cool results:

  • First time I’ve run one from start to finish
  • My goal was to finish south of 40:00 — I came in at 32:02. (My very first 5K saw me limp in at 48:00.)

Neat stuff, and I found as I was running that all those squats, deadlifts and lunges have built a deeper strength within me. Boy was it valuable. I simply didn’t wear out as quickly as before, and it isn’t as if I’m at my lightest weight, either. I was thinner 12 months ago, but I’m stronger now. (The next step is to be leaner and stronger at the same time.) I was able to maintain a solid pace with not too much difficulty.

With that increased strength and stamina came the mental challenge of staying the course. A few times I was tempted to walk ever-so-briefly (and truth be told, I did — but it was to help a friend who was overheating). I nearly always run with MapMyWalk on, which gives me mileage and pace updates. The surge of excitement and energy I felt upon hearing my first mile came in at a 10-minute pace gave me the focus to drive for a new, before unconsidered goal: run the whole darn thing.

I also considered pushing for a sub-30:00 finish, but poor race strategy crippled that idea. Namely, I hammered at the wrong time (climbing a hill) and left far too much in the tank. My overall pace could have been faster, and I had more opportunities than I realized to boost the pace. Those are mistakes I have learned from, and will apply to the next 5K I run.

There will be more.

Oh, and if I could run that same race again tonight, I could get below 30:00.


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