I’m finally feeling some speed in my legs come back. I’ve also learned a lot about racing 5Ks in the past few weeks. This is definitely a fast race but there’s an element of control too. I have yet to master this because no matter what, I get caught up in the excitement and let my legs carry me at a pace I can’t hold for the whole 3.1 miles.
In the morning, I met up with Meghann for a brick (60 minute bike, 30 minute run) at a comfortable speed. We had a good time getting outside, talking, and practicing her first time using clipless pedals. Amazingly she didn’t fall once! Later on I did an easy 2,000 yard swim before heading off to Clearwater Beach for the second 5K in the Pier 60 Series. Seeing that I already worked out twice, my warm-up consisted of running from the car to the start line. I don’t suggest more than two workouts a day but I couldn’t resist.
Even though it’s a smaller race and I was mainly using it as a “group tempo” run, my heart still picked up. For anybody wondering, a tempo run is a type of speed run workout. Generally it consists of a short warm up (1-2 miles), followed by 20 – 35 minutes of hard running, and then a cool down. Your tempo pace should be fast but not quite a 5K pace. Each week you can either lengthen the duration of the tempo by a few minutes or try and cut down on your pace (minutes/mile). Take one week every month to back off slightly or at least maintain your distance and speed. Keep in mind, your body can’t go faster or longer every week. Muscles take time and rest to grow stronger.
After the start, I was caught up in a pack mixed with girls and guys. There were definitely faster girls than the first run. I willed myself to not get swept away but sure enough my first 1/2 mile was 3:00. I decided to back off for the second 1/2 mile and let the girls speed ahead and then work on catching people. Oddly enough, my plan worked. My legs maintained speed for the last 2 miles and I felt so much better than the first race of this series 2 weeks before. Rather than dying by the end of the race, I was able to stay on track and catch a few of the people that shot ahead in the first mile. My goal for this race was simply to beat 23:12 from Race #1. I snuck in right under 23 minutes at 22:53.
Why I love this series:
- Atmosphere – low key, fun, good music, nice people
- Price – can’t beat four 5Ks for $35
- View – sunset on Clearwater Beach, enough said
- Organized – for a smaller race
- Medals – really cute! Last race was a sea turtle and this race was a dolphin.
- Going out with friends for drinks and food afterwards.
Things I’m not crazy about:
- Open course – meaning beach goers are darting across our path. One woman actually continued to sun bathe while we ran around her. To be honest, I don’t really care and just pray I don’t trip over a child’s sand castle or worse, a child.
- No timing chip – I’ve been spoiled by accuracy but don’t think our times are off by more than 5 seconds. I’ll take the cheap entry fee over timing chips though. My bank account thanks the West Florida Y’ Runner’s Club for this.
- Race start – there’s a free kid’s 1 mile race right before the 5K race start. I think this is great for the kids and it’s cute to watch but I’ve been caught off guard twice now. The start happens 5 seconds after the last kid finishes.
Overall, it’s been fun racer short events. I like to switch up my distances, otherwise I get too bored. I’ve been itching for a good marathon to race, however. Any good marathon suggestions for November or December?