Saturday, September 20, 2008

Obliteration of a Personal Record (PR) - NOLA 5K

The New Orleans Rebirth 5K Run was this morning in Alexandria. I had also signed up for the ten mile training run beforehand but was legitimately too tired from the week to get up that early and run. Also, I am not a really fast runner, so if I had a couple bad miles at the start of the training run, I would be looking at cutting that short just to get to the race in time. As it turns out I had to hurry up just to get there, more on that later.

I did get about 9-10 miles of running in between the race and running to and from the race location. But, even with a bit of extra sleep, I was running really late to drive to Belle Haven Marina, where I was going to park because it would force me to run to and from the race. I went out of my house, started to drive there, then realized I had to turn around because I forgot my timing chip! Oops #1. Construction forcing me to go around and take another road. Oops #2. it's 8:21, I'm 3 miles or so from the race location, I better haul ass to get there. So here I am, eating a Clif bar while I'm running like mad to make sure I get there. Made it with 15 minutes to spare, stretched a bit, saw a lot of my friends from the running group, and decided to run this race hard.

Hard, as in I'm going to really push to get a great time, instead of running it for fun. I got into the competitive mood after running pretty hard to get to the race: fear of missing the start time, especially for a 5K, is a great motivator!!! So the race starts on a flat stretch of road that I had run south to north plenty of time, this was the other way around. I know I was passing a lot of people, but when I got to mile marker 1, I was under 7:30 in "crossed sensor mat, started watch" time, which is really fast for me. After cruising up the short hill just aftwerwards, I decided to go for broke and try for a personal record.

Did I get it? I got some water at mile 2, a friend from the Fun Run group was handing some out (I will be returning the favor in many events in a couple months). I'm hauling still, with no letup at all pace-wise. That was really encouraging since I have sagged in that aspect in some races, hello W&OD Trail 10K! I looked at my watch as mile marker 3 approached and realized that unless I tore a hamstring, which was slightly tight to tell you the truth, the personal record was mine! It was just a matter of how much I would break it by.

I didn't go into quite a sprint at the end, but I did pick up my pace. I crossed the finish line in just over 24:00, which would be a PR. My estimated sensor to sensor time was 23:12, 1:23 better than my previous record! I was estatic, especially to set it in a race to benefit New Orleans. I finished the day by running back to my car at Belle Haven, joining many of the people from Fun Run group who were getting in extra training miles.

I'm happy with my day. But it's gorgeous out, it's 4:10 pm, so I'm going to head back outside and walk around somewhere, if not run again.


djwiersma said...

Congrats on the PR!

maryjanejeff said...

Thanks man. I'm still fired up about it. I didn't run again that day, but did get outside for a bit. I can't wait to run afain on Tuesday, even if it's the same course I've run 200 times.

charlotteharris said...

nice, good to work towardas a goal and accomplish it! how do you get faster - speedwork? track workouts?

maryjanejeff said...

How do I get faster? Very good question. I think there are several reasons why, that have not yet involved track workouts. I could go to a speed workout tomorrow but I'm not sure I'm ready for sprinting yet. Don't have track shoes either.

Just running my first race in March gave me confidence that I can run at a decent pace in a fairly competitive environment like that. I immediately noticed a :20-30 seconds per mile improvement at my Tuesday and Thursday fun runs.

At the same time, I started taking extra supplements once a day: Iron, Multi-vitamin, Weight Management, and since July, B-12. I seemed to have a bit more energy and seemed to be less prone to getting lightheaded half way through a 5 mile run.

Just knowing I could run faster than I had been was a huge boost to my confidence. I started to add miles to some runs, and stopped getting discouraged if I had an off-run. It happens.

I also try to run once a week with a co-worker who was USMC for 20 years, he pushes me to new limits, I get sprints in during these runs, which are shorter but more intense than most of my runs.

All that discussed, I think the biggest factor in my newfound running ability is 25 less. That is, I'm down 25 pounds or more since January 1. Carrying around less weight gives me more energy and confidence than anything else. Finally having a secure job takes some of the stress out of life too, that also helps. But the weight loss makes running and hiking much easier.

What I want to do from here is maintain this weight loss, do more weight work, and start some interval training.

charlotteharris said...

well it sounds like getting faster is a personal thing - no magic formula. congrats on getting it together for yourself! my trainer suggested intervals to me but i have yet to get out there with a stopwatch and try!