Rebecca Run 5k Race Report

on Saturday, July 5, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Did 5k race this morning. The Rebecca Run is a 5k race I've done before. It's organized to raise awareness about Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Race kit was stuffed with quite a bit of material, including a technical T-shirt, though a lot of the stuff was for women. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the leg shaving razor they included though. I tried shaving my legs once in high school (for a swim meet) and I ain't doing that ever again. Letting the hair grow back is TORTURE.

Still wasn't sure if I was in sub 20min shape, but decided to go for it anyways. Still not quite familiar with the 4min/km pace yet so I ran this with my foot pod which I had calibrated on Thursday for that pace.

Anyhow arrived with about 45 minutes before the start and did a very brief jog warmup and a couple of accelerations to 5k pace to check to see that the foot pod was working okay. Probably about 15 minutes warmup tops. The last time I did a 5k, I spent about 30 minutes warming up and I think that was too much.

The race runs around a park with narrow trails and it's important to start near the front if you want a good time. Thankfully, they were telling people that were at the front who shouldn't have been at the front to move back. The running surfaces for the race are a little mix of everything. The first little bit is on pavement, then switches to a dirt trail and then to a boardwalk, back to a paved trail and then onto crushed gravel and then onto pavement again. We had to do a second loop of part of the course so we had to do the crushed gravel thing twice.

So the race starts and I try to hold back a bit. Right off the bat, there was a group of people to run with so I start off behind them and they seem to be going at a good clip. Onto the dirt trail and boardwalk and i kinda felt like the group was holding me back a bit. The trails and boardwalk were just too narrow to pass at this point. The group finally goes into single file and I pick up the pace to try and drop them. Pass this first km marker at 3:49. As usual too fast. Foot pod measurement is way off though and measures it as being 966m. One problem with the foot pod is that it's sensitve to the type of surface it's being used on. Switching from pavement, to trail, to boardwalk confuses it and so the measurement is off.

After the 1km marker, I'm basically running by myself. The people ahead of me are way ahead of me except for the first place woman who was about 40m or so ahead. Try and slow down a bit, but the effort is definitely feeling tough. The 2nd km is entirely on pavement and I run that in 3:58. Foot pod measures the distance as being exactly 1 km. Pretty accurate. By the end of the 2nd km, my HR is in the high 180's. One thing I wanted to do in the race is to try and keep the HR above 185 for most of the race.

About 3/4 of the third km is on crushed gravel which doesn't exactly give good footing. Plus I kinda feel myself starting to fade. The third km marker was misplaced and I hit that with a split of 5:22. Shortly after the 3km marker, we pass by the finish line for the first time, but we still have to do the gravel loop again. The 4km marker was short and I hit that split at 3:06. For the two km together, I averaged 4:14/km or 6:48 pace. Looking at the split I see I have to makeup about 13 s to go sub 20, but it just wasn't in me today. I did set out to catch the first place woman who was ahead of me which I was able to do. In the process, some guy came blowing by me in the last km to finish at least 18 seconds ahead of me. That sucked. The last km I did in 4:08.

Lap Time HR Max HR Avg Dist(km)
03:47.8 186 169 0.966
03:57.6 189 186 1
05:21.6 189 188 1.265
03:05.9 190 189 0.716
04:08.0 193 190 0.978

So the footpod didn't fare too well with the varying surfaces. The fade over the course of the race probably didn't help much either since for most of the race I was running at a pace that the foot pod wasn't calibrated at. Final finish time of 20:21 though it's probably 2 s faster or so cause I wasn't right at the start line and they didn't have chip times. Averaged 6:33 pace. Was able to keep the HR up for most of the race and topped out at 193 right at the end.

Interesting thing was that I came in first in my age group! I got a medal and a book about Lance Armstrong as a prize. The book has a picture of Armstrong on the front and I originally thought it was the book written by him, but it appears to be a motivational book written about him.

So my first ever age group first place finish, except for that time two years ago when I was robbed of a first place finish overall. I still don't like where my VO2Max is as I just couldn't take in enough oxygen to make the legs go any faster. I also would have liked to see how I would have done if I had run the first km on pace, as I think it would prevent me from going into oxygen debt which would then highlight my lack of VO2Max ability which produces my nice patented 5k fade.

There's another 5k race next weekend and I was thinking of doing that in another attempt at sub 20. It takes place at the same time as a 10 miler that I did last year. it's quite crowded, but more people means more people to pace off of. These races are starting to add up though and I have to start half marathon(maybe full?) training at some point if I expect to PR in the half in the fall. I seem to be in perpetual taper mode for these 5k's as I'm afraid to put in too much mileage the week before the race. Even if I get in a 15 mile long run tomorrow, I will only have done 30 miles for the week.


Sonia said...

Good work Fran!! Congrats on the first place AG!! That's pretty neat =) The sub 20 mins is very close.

yumke said...

Congrats on the award! I think the gravel path doesn't help as well. The Nissan is a good place to make a sub 20 attempt.. there should be some speedy people to pace with who will be doing just sub 20 as well

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice time! Way to go! And yeah, gravel is tough...

L*I*S*A said...

WOW...please consider coming to MI to train me in some shorter distances!

Great job. :)