Fastest 5K of 2011! OMG!

How’s that for a silver lining?

(Obviously, because today was my only 5K of 2011.  Or…any race.  Since October, as a matter of fact.)

And it almost wasn’t.  Here’s the trouble with afternoon races, especially races that I am not pre-registered for: I will invariably sit around all morning being grumpy and thinking of reasons not to attend.


Fortunately, Twitter shamed and cajoled me in to putting on my big girl panties and getting out there.

Knowing that I wanted to get some extra miles today, I started off with an easy 35 minute warm-up.  It was a beautiful day for racing, I thought to myself, as I meandered around the community center and watched the 500+ runners assemble near the start.  I positioned myself a little bit back from the line, maybe 3-4 people deep.  I was certainly not going out to win this one and didn’t want to tempt myself to go out at a sprint.

And then we were off.

Mile 1: Hey, we’re going downhill!  Nice.  La de daaaaa….STILL going downhill?  Okay then.  This feels too easy.  Why do I have a feeling I’m going to pay for this later?  Mile split: 6:40.

Mile 2: Um….we are still descending.  Here is the part where I will attempt to convince myself that we will somehow avoid making up this loss of elevation, in spite of the fact that the course starts and ends in the same place.  Oh  hey, finally, a little uphill.  It actually feels good after all the downhill pounding.  Mile split: 6:53.

Mile 3: And, climb.  Climb, climb, climb.  And: O HAI, headwind!  Where did you come from?  I guess you were at my back for the last two miles.

I hear toddler voices behind me: “Daddy, where are we?”  And: “Are we going very far?”  I’m confused until the guy with the double baby jogger passes me.  FML.

We climb more and I’m afraid to look down at my Garmin – so I don’t.  I feel like I’m in major oxygen debt; the Bank of URFD is going to foreclose on my pathetic ass.  Finally, I can see the top of a steep hill: I know that the finish is just around the corner so a mile marker must be near. Turns out, it’s just at the hill’s crest.  I cringe as I glance down at my chirping wrist: 7:55.  Wow.  Just…wow.

Finish time: 22:30.  I am definitely on the wrong side of the 7-minute mile mark here.  That is tempo pace, not race pace.  Hmm.

But somehow, I still managed to place third in my age group.  So I hooked up with a couple of faster friends and logged a few more miles while waiting for the awards.  Total on the day: 11.76.

I guess that’s one way to get a long run done, huh?

So, yeah.  I could whine about my time, but I won’t.  Instead, let’s count all of the positive things that came out of today:

  • Enjoyed gorgeous sunny weather
  • Spent time with running friends instead of with my iPod
  • Made back most of the entry fee with AG swag
  • Got in a long run that didn’t feel long
  • Got in a speed workout that was really only tough for that one (uphill, headwindy) mile
  • Officially race-christened the Brooks Launches that I bought oh-so-long ago (at Chicago Marathon expo!  Actually didn’t love them for this distance, but more on that later.)
  • Laid down a time that should be easy to smash in my next race

Success?  Yes!  And I’m glad I went out and did it, in spite of my lackluster performance.  I feel like I should be more upset with myself for running a time that’s 2+ minutes slower than that of which I’m capable, but I kind of just can’t muster it.  I’ve been cranking hard in February and I am tired. I guess I’m not surprised that I’m not racing well.  If I’d wanted to run a good 5K today, I wouldn’t have piled miles on in spite of soreness, or strength trained on Friday, or passed on the usual pre-race rest day.

Anyway, I’ll get there.  That’s the point of the overload, right?  It kills you…and then you take it off and you fly.

Today’s EAT: So, I do most of the food shopping around here.  Given the hubs’ long work hours and the, um, flexibility (to put it charitably) of my professional schedule, this is a no-brainer.

But this week he volunteered for grocery duty, and I didn’t object.

As a result, we now have a giant box of jumbo bakery croissants to work our way through.  (Two of them fueled my run today.  Lackluster performance, what?)

Whenever I end up with an abundance of a random ingredient, I do my best to create meals around it so it doesn’t go to waste.  Tonight’s effort was Open-Faced Shrimp Po Boys:

So easy and delicious!  Yes, you could grill or saute the shrimp instead of frying them. But I say it’s not a true Po Boy unless it’s packed full of battered things.  And…it’s seasonal, because it’s almost Mardi Gras.  Right?

Recipe: Open-Faced Shrimp Po Boys [original]

Today’s DRINK: A shower beer was the first thing on my mind when I returned from my afternoon running/racing extravaganza.  Seriously…if you aren’t familiar with the glorious amalgamation of sensations that is sipping a good, cold beer while being pelted with hot water, you must try it.

Today’s RUN: Sunday weekly wrap-up!

M – OFF
Tu – 7.5 easy (1:06, 8:50 pace)
W – 5.0 easy (treadmill, 39:20, 7:52 pace) + bootcamp
Th AM – 3.6 easy (30:00, 8:24 pace)
Th PM – 7.1 w/ 5@ tempo (53:53, 7:36 pace) + yoga
F – 6.0 easy (55:41, 9:16 pace) + full-body strength circuit
Sa – 5.3 easy (45:23, 8:38 pace)
Su – 11.8 w/5K race (1:39:25, 8:27 pace)

Total: 46.2 miles.  Shooting for something in the 45-55 range again this week.  And coming this week: TRACK IS BACK! This, I am excited about.

Today’s QUESTION: Struggling to think of something topical and cohesive here.  So, um…tell me about your weekend?  Did you race?  Or create random meals?  Or enjoy shower beers?  Any ideas on how to use up these croissants?

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32 responses to “Fastest 5K of 2011! OMG!

  1. I raced. First in my AG. Smallest race ever = awesome!

  2. Afternoon races DO suck. I don’t know about you, but its the figuring out what to eat thing that sucks. BUT…YOU GOT OUT AND RACED. Which I think needs to be done with some frequency or it gets way, way too easy to forget how it feels. As someone who also laid down a 5k in 22 something recently, I think this goes triple for short races ;p

    Still too cold for shower beer up here. Though when I saw you tweet it? I contemplated bringing my hot chocolate in the shower with me. (NO JUDGEY. ITS GOOD AFTER A LONG RUN IN THE COLD.)

    • You are totally right. This race was actually part of a winter series and I’m thinking of just signing up for the whole rest of the slate…even though I missed the first one, there are still 6 more to go. It would be good for me. And probably build character. Which is something that I lack when it comes to racing.

      I have no memory of being cold enough to enjoy a hot beverage in the shower (O HAI I LIVE IN THE SOUTH NOW), but if you say it’s wonderful, I won’t second-guess ya!

      • Sign up for the rest of the series! It makes a huge, huge difference in motivation – even with early spring goal races. It really does force you to look at the same groups of people and just…get out there. DO ITTTTT

  3. That po boy looks fabulous. I agree–not a real one unless it’s fried! I definitely don’t make enough seafood at home and need to change that.

    Maybe you could make some kind of breakfast casserole with the croissants, like a french toast eque casserole with syrup, butter, powdered sugar and croissants?

  4. ha, i’ve only broken into the 22s once and it was the most thrilling experience ever 🙂 all relative, right ?

    that course sounds sucky and i also hate afternoon races. i think you can subtract at least a minute for that!

  5. You’ll go faster next time. The bank of URFD is going to be taken over by the FDIC within days. And in those days you will train a wee bit more and the wind will totally die down and you’ll pick a race that doesn’t cackle at the faces of its runners in the last mile.

    I’m glad you got out there. As soon as I saw your tweets, I was like, “OH HELL NO. I know that feeling. And that feeling is called self-defeat. RACEWARD HO, ho.”

  6. That’s really cool of them to lay it out so the last mile is all uphill. Really cool…

    Either way, you did a good job. Glad you ended up going for it!

  7. Croissants make yummy croutons: cut into cubes and bake at 350 until crisp. They will keep at least a few days in an airtight container…maybe longer, don’t really know b/c they get eaten quickly in my house!

  8. I like all of your positives about the race – nice work! I would feel all out of sorts with an afternoon race.

    I enjoyed wine this weekend. Next up…I may just try a shower beer!

  9. Congrats on placing! Still a solid time after working hard all week.

    Afternoon races are weird. I highly prefer rolling up to the starting line in a half-awake daze.

    What type of lower body strength training are you doing? I go through phases where I’m actually pretty good about lifting, but I always wimp out on the leg stuff for fear of sabatoging my runs. What works for you?

    • Pretty much just body weight or light weight stuff. Think: lots of hold squats, squats and lunges with a 15-20-lb bar, etc. I know I’d be tarred and feathered for saying this in certain circles, but I do think you can gain some strength without lifting heavy weights. And I find it really challenging to lift heavy while I’m running a lot and trying to have quality workouts…there aren’t enough days in the week! I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work for me. So, weenie runner weights it is. 🙂

      • Hah…Barbie weight lifter. Psssht. Seriously?

        Right, so I got my butt kicked once again this morning by NROLFW’s Barbie weight workout + body weight matrix. At least one level of NROLFW is all Barbie weights.

      • Squats and lunges. Damn. Guess I should be doing that too. Glad to hear I don’t need to buy more weights though. Sounds like a very balanced approach.

  10. I talked about this in my post today, but I really hate 5ks. I feel like I’m just getting warmed up and in the groove, and they are ending. I used to be a big fan of the shower beer in college. Haven’t done it in a while, may have to bring it back.

  11. Congrats on the AG award! I also managed 11 miles this weekend, but it was all in one chunk so I don’t think it was as fun as your 11.

    That supper looks amazing. I think the last time I had a Po Boy was in New Orleans, so I’d say definitely Mardi Gras seasonal and appropriate 🙂

  12. Congrats on the award! I am not a fan of afternoon/evening races either.

    As for your croissants, tuna salad or chicken salad always pair well with croissants!

  13. That race layout sounds so ridiculous; I’m not an expert, but wouldn’t it be better to have the uphill go first???? idk.

  14. i’m glad you put on your big girl panties. congrats 🙂

    and shower beer?! oh MAN i wish i had thought of that after my long run!

  15. Using up the crossiants question can be answered with that which answers 90% of questions in life: Put Nutella on them.

  16. WHY have I not experienced a shower beer yet???

  17. Uphill at the end? Who are these people who design race courses?? Obviously not runners…….
    But congrats on taking home 3rd! Nice work!

  18. Turkey-cheddar-apple croissants! or something with brie! some kind of sweet+savory tastyfancypants sandwich! That last uphill mile just sounds RUDE. I love brushing my teeth in the shower but have never thought to drink a beer…

  19. You can drink beer in the shower!?
    Nice long run/race! Afternoon races are kind of a pain. Not sure I would have gone if I wasn’t registered already.

  20. Oh, afternoon races, no way. Ugh! Also, in my experience, croissants make really bad running fuel 🙂 Look at it as a great workout, complete with unnecessary uphills, and don’t be disappointed with your time!

    Now on to more pressing matters, namely: croissants. One word: Nutella 😀

    My weekend did not, sadly, involve shower beer, but a lot of nice hanging out in parks in the sun and eating pizza. A couple of workouts. It was nice. I’ve already started the mental countdown to the next weekend.

  21. afternoon races are just all bad. congrats on yours, i would’ve been on the couch. and yum, does that look delicious!

  22. An AG award? Imma win me one of those when I’m 70 and I’ve outlived by AG.

    I love the hot shower cold beer combo. Brings me right back to college.

  23. I want a hot shower and cold beer…at 8pm on a Monday. Is that justifiable? I vote yes…

    But about my weekend – I got my long run in but I am a little bummed about the pace. I don’t know what my problem is but I’m in a funk with my pace…next weekend will be better…right?!

    Congrats on your AG place! 🙂

  24. Ran a 5k this weekend where I PR’d and yet the 60-69F winner and the 10 and under boy winner kicked my ass. Not that it’s so difficult. Also saw “love monkeys” and a finish line proposal (barrrrf).

    I am a huge showerbeer fan though I have a stone/tile shower so I have to use a plastic cup…the glass is kinda risky. Maybe I need to live a little.

  25. Dude, that po boy looks awesome! *adds to list*

  26. Ummmm. So, honey. U ran 11 miles. And you have only an apple(70-90cals), 2 slices of bread (120-200cals), and shrimp (liek 100 cals) plus ur cream(50 cals tops)= 340cals- 440cals… Um that’s enough to lose weight w like mayb a 3 mile run(u should still eat more if u run tho)… So r u like trying to lose weight?

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