Thursday, May 19, 2016

I'm Racing This Weekend

For today's TOL, I'm revealing my goal for this weekend's 5k, even though I told Matt and Elizabeth over the last couple weeks that this goal would remain a secret.

Keeping my race a "secret" at A1A turned out really well for me, but I wanted a place to think this through, so I'm letting you all in on it. (Maybe if I don't make it I'll reconsider ever telling people when I'm racing again! Just kidding...kind of.)
Thanks, Amanda, for hosting TOL!
My plans for 2016 have always been to focus on shorter distances and speed, to keep things simple, and if I manage a PR in the process, great.
Remember this?
This weekend, I'm running a 5k. It's the foot-race portion of a Sup and Run event at a park near my parents' house where Matt has had various races and where I've run with Montana before. It's a sunny, beautiful route around a huge lake (built for crew races) that is lovely to run but pretty brutal. The race starts at 8am. (Matt will be running the 5k and paddling a 5k; I'll only be doing the foot-race division.)
See? Gorgeous.
Obviously we're looking at sun and temperatures in the 80s (and possible storms), but I'm stupidly going to aim for a PR.
Only in Florida do you see a sun AND raincloud on the same weather image and think, those two things might happen concurrently.
I was going to keep that goal a secret. But I need to remember the lesson I took to heart after BDR: there's no shame in failing to meet a goal. Failing means you took a risk and faced a fear; most importantly, there's no growth without failure.

My current 5k PR is 27:40, and I earned it in 2013 in a July race. I know if I could "beat the heat" then, I can do it now. I won't have my sister to use as a rabbit, but I have the knowledge that I've been doggedly consistent in my training and speed work. I'll find another rabbit to stalk on race day.
A PR and the first time I ever placed in my AG!
My A goal is to run this race in 27 minutes flat, which seemed easy enough until I did the math and realized that I ran my 27:40 at a pace that scares me even now. I was sitting here going, "I'll run like an 8:58 pace to PR!" and then realized that actually I need to run closer to 8:50.
According to McMillan, if I can get my 5k PR it will mean I'm on track for a 10k PR when FISH rolls around in October.
So I guess my B goal is a PR of any kind, and my C goal is to beat 29 minutes. (Usually my 5k goal is to come in sub-30 but this weekend that's just not going to cut it for me.)

I want to run a smart race with even splits; I don't want to go out too fast and fade at the end. I want to warm up beforehand because my legs don't feel good before mile two of most runs these days. And I want to remember that I want this at the moment when easing up looks tempting.
I'm excited for this race. Nervous, but excited. I'm ready to see what I can do; I'm ready to see if I can turn off my brain for a bit and just haul ass for 3.1 miles. It'll be the first time in a long time that I push beyond "discomfort" and into "OMG WHY" territory during a race.

5ks don't scare me; I've noticed that very fast runners hate 5ks because they know how brutal they can be when raced all-out. I'd like to join that club. I hope this weekend's 5k makes me hate 5ks!

Are you one of those fast runners who hates the pain of a 5k?
Any advice on race strategy?
Will you still like me if I fail? Ha, just kidding. But no, really...This is a huge stretch goal for me, so I can use all the encouragement I can get!

ABK

28 comments:

  1. I'm really excited for you! I've been really impressed with the consistency of your training and your paces. This will be such a great opportunity to use all of that hard work to earn a reward. If you don't PR for whatever reason it's not that big of a deal - it's been so hot and humid. Plus all of the gains you've made in your running over the last few months are still there!

    Will some of your Sub 30 Club friends be there?

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    1. I'm trying to remember that even if I don't PR this time, it will mean I'm making gains and I have more to make. You're right - it's not like my progress from the last few weeks will just mean nothing suddenly!

      No Sub30 friends at this race. Matt and one of his SUP team buddies will be there, and I hope my friend Brittany will stop by post-race, but this one will be all on my own!

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  2. I don't need to give advice, you already gave yourself good advice: warm up, be consistent, tell yourself you want it! You have had very consistent workouts, added speed and strength. Feel confident in that! The PR is right there for you, I know you can eat an 8:50 for dinner. 1 mile at a time. Git er done!!!!

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    1. One mile at a time...I need to just forget each past mile and each upcoming mile haha!

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  3. You can do it Ali! You've been killing it in your speed work runs lately. You've done the prep. Now just be confident in yourself!

    My best advice, which I know is easier said than done, is just try not to overthink it. You're clearly pumped up for this, so use that excitement to your advantage, feed off the adrenaline, and just go out there and let it fly. Take what the day gives you and run with it, literally. Run free and let whatever happens happens.

    This article by Lauren Fleshman has some really great advice on pacing 5Ks (the whole article is good, but scroll down to the part about "Race Strategy"): http://asklaurenfleshman.com/2014/08/how-to-run-the-perfect-5k/

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    1. Yes, I want to avoid overthinking. I'm going to need to keep an eye on my watch but also let my body do its thing. I need to trust it!

      Thanks for the article - that is some good advice!!

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  4. We must have very similar running paces :) well, that is before i was injured anyway.
    The day I PR'd my 5K I warmed up about 3/4 mile slow... I felt ready to roll. I took off and told myself to hang on! I got lucky and was able to latch on to someone visually who was just a head of me and never looked at my watch lol I could barely breathe lol
    Good luck!! and hang on :) you can do it!

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    1. I definitely plan to warmup and do some dynamic stretches pre-race. I know it'll be so hot that warming up will seem silly, but I also know my legs will thank me for it!

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  5. You can do it! I ran a 5k last night and whenever I wanted to slow down, I just thought "You're going to regret slowing down once you're done", which was able to help me hold onto my pace. I love 5ks before and after, but during is a different story. :)

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    1. OH YES! I'm totally stealing that mantra. I don't want to regret my performance at the end. Even if I don't PR, I want to feel proud of my effort.

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  6. I wouldn't say this is a huge stretch goal. It is an obtainable goal, you just have to mentally let yourself win! My mind hates me before a 5k. The last one I ran I pr'd and I swore I was running too slow but I finally did myself a favor and didn't watch my Garmin. When I let go of the time, I let myself run. You are more than capable of a PR just don't let the numbers beat you. We all do it.
    Read over your training. Look at all the speed work you have been killin'! You've got this!!

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    1. Well, my PR is from 2013 or something like that. I haven't come CLOSE to anything like it in three years. So it's a stretch based on current performance. I'm hoping my body remembers how to push.

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  7. I feel kind of silly saying I hope this weekend's 5k makes you hate 5ks too, but if that's what you want thennnn.... :P Either way! Good luck on your race! I have a good feeling about "A"... and it has nothing to do with the fact that I have 3 of them in my name ;)

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    1. I've always liked A's too, so maybe the A goal will be good luck!

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  8. I find 5ks and 10ks the hardest to 'race' 5ks because there just isn't enough time to gain speed. Although I've found that if I do a 2 mile warm up, it greatly improves my overall speed. 10ks are hard because I often go out like it is a 5k only to realize at the halfway mark that I'm only halfway! We have similar PRs for those distances, I hope to crush it this weekend!!! I am hoping to race close to mine early june!

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    1. ** I hope you crush it this weekend!!

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    2. A 5k is so hard to pace correctly because you need to "go out fast" but not "go out TOO fast" because you're right, there's not much time to make up for lost seconds as the race progresses. I hope your June race goes well!

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  9. I think you will do great! I'm no expert, but do you do any Active Stretching? I find those help my legs be ready for the 5Ks, and speed up my runs. I feel like a weirdo doing them, but they have worked for me.

    I'm not a fast runner, but I love the 5K distance. I love to give it my all for those 3.1 miles, and the pain that comes with it...I'm weird like that.

    And of course we will still like you! In fact, I admire a lot that you are putting your goals out there and the commitment you are giving it! Can't wait to read how your race went!

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    1. I love dynamic stretching warmups. I use some from Meb's book and they really make a difference, but I rarely use them for anything below a half distance. Saturday I'm going to, though. I'll do a warmup mile or so and then dynamic stretches and hopefully that will help get me ready!

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  10. Good luck this weekend!!! I'm sure it'll go great. I find 5Ks to be really hard and I never race them because they really put you in that very very uncomfortable place. You also never really get to settle in. I like having a nice long time to prepare for that uncomfortable place.

    I can't wait to hear how it goes!!

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    1. Yes, see, you're one of those fast runners I was talking about! I want to find 5ks to be hard, too!

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    1. I'm going to be a basket case Friday; hope you don't mind. Usually I hardly blink when it comes to 5k, but I'm nervous!

      This is going to be a fun day, though!

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  12. I admire you for both setting a big goal and sharing it. Both are challenges for me! I'm not fast but 5ks do scare me because I know I'm in for a whole lot of pain. I also know that going outside of your comfort zone is so important for building mental grit, so 5ks are good to do. Go get that A goal!

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    1. I hate setting goals because I used to feel so bad if I missed it; and sharing them is even worse! I'm trying to decide if being held accountable by sharing my goals is helpful or not for me; I guess we'll find out this weekend!

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  13. I am very excited for you and eager to hear how it goes! Everything you say sounds good.

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  14. You can do it....your cross training has made you stronger...allowing you to put your energy into your running and not about just having good form. Remember....its 5k...and it will be over fast...you can rest after it's over!! Go get it girl!!!

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