Saturday, May 2, 2009

Berkshire Proud Dad's 5K: Assaulting the Taper

I said I wasn't going to do it. I swore it would be the last time. I thought, "No more until my marathon is over!"

Yeah. Well...I totally committed a felony on my taper today. This went past simple disrespect and straight into assault territory.

I ran another 5K race today. Once again, this was a race I had no intention of running; in fact, I was unaware of its existence before about 8:00 yesterday evening. To say this was a spur of the moment decision would be an understatement. Nevertheless, I found myself in a small crowd of people at 7:30 am this morning outside an elementary school in Beverly Hills (Michigan), ready to run in the most perfect running weather imaginable (about 45 degrees, sunny, and windless).

Since I ran a hard 5K race on Wednesday, I wanted to take it easy today. I was supposed to do 4 miles at marathon pace (8:30/mile), so I thought I would try to hold myself to that in a race scenario. Just relax, no pressure, run smart, don't overdo it.

The race started, and I trundled off at what I thought was an easy pace. My breathing was deep and slow, and I felt extremely loose and limber. I was in the groove. Zen-like. I was working the running mojo.

Mile 1: 7:34.


So much for taking it easy. I finished in 23:07. The whole time I felt ridiculously serene. I was just out for a spin around the neighborhood, enjoying the cool morning air. Oh yeah, and I was also running at a pace that a little more than a year ago would have been my all-out can't-run-any-faster I'm-dying-here PR-setting pace. No, wait, scratch that: I was running smooth and easy at a pace faster than that with which I set a 5K PR in March 2008.

Today, running at a speed which felt natural, effortless, and easy, I turned in my fourth-fastest 5K time ever. In the small field, it was good enough to snag me another first-place age group award. Two races in three days, two first-in-age-group placings.

Collecting my 1st-place age-group ribbon with race organizers Jeff Sullivan and Bill Reader (husband of local rockstar runner Marybeth Reader, who won the women's race today in 19:14).

Once I returned home, I decided to reorganize my "Wall of Fame." I wanted to have all of my race bibs and assorted paraphernalia in one place. They have been in a messy pile for the past 2 years. I arranged them in chronological order, with my bib from the Vision Builders 5K (May 2007) at the start. I ran that race in 28:44. Consider that for a moment: 28:44. In two years I have chopped six and a half minutes off my 5K time. I have gone from pushing myself as hard as I could to run a 5K at a 9:15 pace and feeling like I was going to throw up and collapse to moseying through a 5K at a 7:25 pace and feeling sprightly and fresh the whole time.

People, never underestimate the value of consistent training and what it can do for you. I am living proof. Never, I tell you, never in a million years would I have thought I could run a 7:30 pace and think it was "easy." Never.

28 races and counting...

The empty space under my race bib from today (far bottom right) is reserved for my bib from the Cleveland Marathon.

Two more weeks.

Final stats: 23:07; 7:25/mile avg; 1/8 AG; 3rd woman; 17th overall

I changed my blog banner picture; if y'all are used to reading this in Google Reader you should spare a moment and swing by my actual blog to check it out. :)


MCM Mama said...

Great job on the race! I'd love to someday do a sub-8 minute 5K. Not sure if my short fat legs are capable LOL.

Nice banner too.

Fritz said...

Nicely done! I really like your wall, too! :) A lot more organized than mine, that's for sure!

Girl on Top said...

People, never underestimate the value of consistent training and what it can do for you. I am living proof. Never, I tell you, never in a million years would I have thought I could run a 7:30 pace and think it was "easy." Never.

Thank you so much for those words!!!!

Tess said...

Congrats on the great race!

And thanks so much for this post today. After coming back from a long, slow, hard 12 miles I found myself wondering if I'd ever get faster than a 10 minute mile. Reading this was so encouraging and inspiring!

Spike said...

your taper has filed a restraining order! congrats on another ag award; two in just a few days, nice!

Carolina John said...

dang, nice! i'm still waiting for a 7:25 pace to seem "casual". good job, you're ready for the marathon.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes! You know, this is why it's so tough to do things "well"--when you're fit from great training, you want to friggin' use it! Well done, chica, well done!

Nitmos said...

I was going to say exactly what Spike said. Lame.

So, Congratulaitons.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Congrats on the great 5k pace! And the AG win! W00t!

I like the new banner because I like to see bodies whose heads have been severed clean off.

Usually, they are in the crawl space under my house. But up on your blog is nice, too.

If I run a mile at a 7:30 pace, I go immediately into cardiac arrest.

John Koupal said...

Happy to hear our 1st Vision Builders race was also the first on your wall! I don't suppose we can talk you into breaking your taper again to join us Saturday for our 3rd race, but it is worth a try :)

raulgonemobile said...

Nice job on the race.. I hear ya.. consistent training does amazing things.

Again, great race, great thoughts