Yesterday, I headed out for the Zombie Runner Bay Trail 5 Mile.
It was the largest race they'd ever hosted with about 700 participants between the marathon, the half marathon, and the 5 miler. Nice local race, although expensive -- $50 for day-of registration for the 5 miler if you opted out of the t-shirt. If I'd been more on the ball, it could have been $40 for advance registration, but work and life have been much too crazy for me to even see the race registration ball, much less be on it.
My goal was simple -- string together some faster miles to prep for
next week's 5K. I'd run some mile repeats in the 8:30/mile range
earlier in the week and had been amazingly sore the next day, so I was interested to see what pace I could sustain and how painful it would be to do so.
At the start, it was quite cold for these parts, in the high 30s -- you could see everyone's breath. I started in running shorts, knee-high compression socks, a long sleeve technical shirt, and my running jacket. I never took my running jacket off -- I just wore it to the finish line and on my cool down. It didn't really warm up too much by 9 AM. At the finish, my hands were steaming, which was something I'd never seen before. (I am *not* one of those runners whose hands get cold on runs.)
The majority of the race was an out and back on portions of the trail I regularly run, around the golf course and the airport. They did add a section I'd never realized was part of the trail system -- a sort of back route to the duck pond, so that was a nice discovery.
I started with a mile at 8:43, thinking I could probably sustain 8:45s for the full distance. It looked like the course was actually 4.8 from the aid station information, so I was hopeful that I could really push it for such a reasonably short distance and then I could do a nice slow 2+ mile cool down.
Ummm. No. 8:43; 8:48; 9:03; 9:04; 8:51 (mile pace for the last 0.7 on my garmin). While the first two felt good and relaxed, like I was holding a little something back, that third and fourth mile were a struggle, and the last bit was at almost full effort. Certainly, the gravel and trail sections slowed me down a bit compared to the pavement (first and last mile+), but I wasn't too impressed with myself, regardless. After mile 2, I don't think I passed a single person whereas somewhere in the range of 10 people passed me despite me trying to prevent it each time.
I did Bikram last night, and while I didn't wake up sore, I do wonder if perhaps stretching, holding poses that require muscle tension, and sweating an insane amount for 90 minutes in a 106F room isn't the best thing to do the night before trying to push on speed. On the other hand, perhaps it was just what the doctor ordered and prevented me from pushing too hard and injuring myself. Hard to say.
Overall, it was 4.7 miles at an average pace of 8:54. Then another 2.35 to cooldown at a leisurely jog. A great run, for sure. Beautiful day, hard effort, and a nice friendly group of people. But it definitely showed me that I have some work cut out for me to get my speed back.
The good news is that this morning, I am nowhere near as sore as I was the day after the mile repeats. So that's a bit of progress of sorts. Today, I've got a nice easy 3.25 on the calendar with E and that'll be the end of the running week.
An enjoyable week of 25.6 miles, all at average paces in the 9s or 8s. Nothing too long. Nothing too fast. But focused on recovering some of the spring that the marathon always seems to suck out of me.