Whitby 5k Race Report

on Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Did a 5k race yesterday and tried to break 20 minutes, but as usual, was not able to do it. Short story is 20:25, but i think the course was short so it should be slightly more, maybe 10 to 15s more.

I arrived with about an hour to race time to pick up my bib. By the time I had changed out of my work clothes and pinned the bib on, there was about a half hour to go. Went out for a short warm up. Ran out onto the course to check to see if the course was marked. Warmed up for about 20 minutes with some strides and then headed back to the start line. One reason why i picked this race is that the start line and finish line are at the same place and that in the past, they've always offered chip times which allows me to start not too close to the start line. Unfortunately, this year they decided to use manual timing which means i had to start close to the start line, which usually results in me going out too fast. In order to avoid this, I ran with the garmin and my HR monitor watch. I was going to use the garmin to pace me for the first mile and then i was going to ignore it for the rest of the way.

So i lined up close to the front but not right at the front. It probably took me a second or two to cross the start line. Motor along initially trying to keep an eye on the garmin to monitor pace. Pass the first km marker, hit lap on my watch and it reports a 3:45 first km even though garmin says I was right on target. Course was mismarked. Keep motoring along and garmin beeps and says I did a 6:20 first mile which is slightly faster than the 6:26 pace i wanted but things felt good. I continue on and pass the 2nd km marker and it reports a 3:32 km. Now at this point, I know for certain that the course is mismarked and I decide to ignore my watch for the rest of the way. Looking back, the HR monitor indicates that the HR spiked shortly before the 2km mark. I basically tried to ignore this and continued running. There weren't a lot of people doing my pace and I ended up passing 2 people during km 2 and 3. During km 4 I got passed by 1 guy who may or may not have been one of the 2 people I passed earlier. With 1km to go, I seem to have gotten a second wind and try to increase the pace a bit. Finish with a time of 20:25.

As I said before, Im pretty sure the course is short. They used a new course this year compared to what it was in previous years. Garmin reported a distance of 4.99 km but this includes about 40m of walking after the finish line so the actual course is shorter. Funny thing is that the guy who ended up winning broke the course record and won a $200 bonus. I bet the race director now regrets not marking out an accurate course with the extra 40m now.

So the data from the race can be seen here.
Looking back at the HR data, my HR stayed spiked from about 2km through to almost the end of the race. It returned to normal with a little over a minute to go. Other than the HR spiking part, I hit a max of 193 which is what it was last year. The HR spiking thing causes me some concern. I've been reading up on it and it seems to be a form of exercise induced tachycardia. When it happens, the heart becomes less efficient at pumping blood which would sort of explain why i slowed down during the middle to late part of the race. I was able to pick up the pace at the end, but don't know if that was because the HR was returning to normal or it was just guts that allowed me to do so.

The route was fairly nice, but off near a wilderness type area with a lot of brush which means lots of bugs which means lots of big bites which mean lots of scratching the day after. As Ned Flanders on the Simpson said about mosquito bites, "Mmm mmm! Sure are fun to scratch! Satisfying!"


jen said...

Congrats! That's a great time and even a few seconds longer for the full 5k would be a very impressive time. Well done!

Interesting about the HR spiking. Is it a bad thing? Are you going to follow up with your doctor? Keep us posted.

Love the Ned Flanders bit. No race report is complete without a Simpsons quote. :)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Congrats on a great race, I'm sure you will get your 20min goal very soon. :)

yumke said...

You'll do it soon. Lets run a 5K together one day, maybe if you knew someone else was aiming for a sub 20 it'd help pace you. I think every time I've gone under 20 I had a good group to run with.

Arcane said...

Jen: Not sure if the HR is a bad thing or not. I mentioned it two years ago to my family physician but i don't think he took it seriously when i mentioned it returns to normal when i stop running. I should probably push a bit more to see if i can get referred to a specialist.

Kenny:I could use the help with the 5k. Thx! I'm pretty sure I could have done it if the HR hadn't spiked. Just have to learn how not to get the HR to spike.