Thursday, November 24, 2005

S.O.M.E. 5K

Short report: 30:26 finish time (9:49 min/mile pace) for a 5K PR by over a minute.

Long report: Got up early and headed over to snag some parking for the So Others Might Eat 5K in West Potomac Park in Washington, DC, about 5 miles from our place. It was a simple out-and-back on Ohio Drive running along the Potomac River, with one small hill in the first and last kilometer over the channel into the Tidal Basin.

I checked in, picked up my sort of ugly turkey shirt, and dropped it back in the minivan. We got numbers, which were just numbers, no tear-off strip at the bottom like most bib numbers. I noted with approval that the distance was marked in km, which does make it a little easier to pace than every mile. The weather was cool, but not cold, about 40*F, some drizzle, and there was little wind.

We all gathered at the start line just before 8:30. There was a clock at the line, but there didn't seem to be any preparations for finishing corrals. Hmm, it had said on the website that results would be posted....

The organizers said a few words about their principal mission, feeding the homeless of the Washington, DC area. Then the horn sounded and we were off. I settled into a brisk but reasonably comfortable pace. I knew I had a chance for a PR on such a flat course, and that I needed to run at 6:20 per km or better to stay on a PR pace.

Kilometer 1: 6:10, even including the first little hill. Check the heart rate meter - less than 170. Maybe I'm being too conservative? Kick it up just a notch.

Kilometer 2: 5:51. Run the straight lines through the curves, even though everyone else is following the road. This is starting to feel hard. My breathing is 2:2, fairly high effort level. Uh, yeah, heart rate meter is in the high 170s now.

Kilometer 3: 6:26: The roadway is crowded since we're now in one lane, with the returning runners coming back in the other direction. Gack, they let a truck in the opposite lane, and those fast runners look very annoyed. The water stop was right at the turnaround, with a lot of congestion around it. It was hard to get all the way to the turn point marked on the pavement without running into runners cutting the corner a bit short.

Kilometer 4: 5:58. Keep up the intensity on the way back. Concentrate on breathing. Damn, that heart rate meter is way too high! 183. Back off just until you're a little more comfortable, but keep it up.

Kilometer 5: Getting tired in the home stretch - keep up the tempo back up and down that hill again! Cross the finish line with 6:01 for the last km, 30:26 total time for a personal record a minute better than my fastest 5K of this decade, from 11 months ago. No one seems to be recording times at the finish line. I guess this is just a "fun run". Oh well.

My average heart rate for the run was 175, which is as high as I've seen it for any race. Strong overall effort! Using a more consistent pace on a flat course on a cold day I could probably break that magical 30-minute barrier, but not today! Still, it was my first race that averaged under 10 minutes per mile (9:49 min/mile). Yay!

They had leftover Halloween cookies (stale) and candy after the finish line. Pretty lame. I won't be coming to this race again! But I always like the flat courses in this park - lots of races are run here every year. I'll just go to the ones that are organized by runners and not by fundraising charities! Even if they have a good charity cause, they can still put on a better-quality race.

14 comments:

Susan said...

Way to go. Congrats on the PR!

Comm's said...

"personal record a minute better than my fastest 5K of this decade"

Thats is awesome. Even after a long vacation you pulled a great, great time. Very proud of you Nancy and congrates on a PR. They seem to be very popular today.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Yeah Nancy! You go girl!

a.maria said...

WOOO!! congrats on the PR! impressive!

Wil said...

Nice job out there!!! And WTH on the finish line food?? That bites!

Bolder said...

well done Nancy, well done.

TriFeist said...

PRs are awesome, especially at that speed. Well done!

bunnygirl said...

Great run! Good thing you weren't doing it for the food, though. Maybe they figured with all that turkey and pumpkin pie at home...?

Flo said...

Congrats on the PR!! That's awesome!!!!

plods said...

You're fast! Congratulations!!

Keryn said...

Great race! Awesome PR! You ROCK!

Downhillnut said...

Good thing you timed yourself. And apparently when they named it S.O.M.E. they really meant the O. part!

A hearty pat on the back on the PR! What a great way to start back into your training! WELL DONE!

Phil said...

Nothing wrong with a PR every now and again! Congrats.

Wylee said...

Congratulations Nancy! Well done, too bad about the stale cookies though, what were they thinking? ;)