Now, it is is another training day in the ever-lasting training schedule of some half or full marathon. I have run the Armadillo Stampede nearly every year since we move to Leesville. The only time I did not run it, was when I ran the Mini Marathon in Indianapolis (twice) and the Flying Pig half marathon in Cincinnati (which are both held the 1st weekend of May).
My usual goal was just to finish and still be breathing and walking at the end. But, now that I have gotten faster, I change my goals. Last year, I finished my 1st 5k under 30:00. I have added speed work and tempo runs to my half marathon schedule (like I should have done anyway) and my times keep getting faster. I have done enough reading to know that the speed work for a 5k is different than that for a half marathon - but any speed work has to make me faster.
So this year I had the lofty goal of running under 27:00. That is probably just under a 9:00 pace. I had 2 friends who run much faster than me, and thought that if they pace me just a little faster, I wouldn't have any problem. Then life interferes with everything. One friend got injured and isn't running and another had a daughter's softball game. I was on my own. Now of course there are 200 other runners, so I would just have to find someone to keep up with.
|The family before the run|
I found some other friends, but their goals ranged from 19:00, 24:00, to 30:00 or just have fun. No, I needed someone serious (in my ability range.) The race started and I just kept glancing down at my Garmin. I knew that I needed to keep up about an 8:50 pace the first mile. I have such a hard time with an internal pace. I have to just glance at the Garmin. I finally found a good pace and some people around me that I kept close. But I ran the first mile a little too fast and I paid for it later.
Louisiana is relatively "flat", but there are hills. This course has one very steep hill that hits at about the 1.25 point in the race and is about 150 yards long. I kept up with most of the runners around me and even passed some of the young boys who had gone out way too fast.
When I run full or half, I usually drink an Ensure or Slimfast walking to the start. That is usually far out enough that it is digested well before the race starts. I did the same for the 5k, but it probably wasn't far enough I guess. At about the time I was getting to the top of the hill my stomach started feeling like a volcano was going to erupt and I was going to vomit. The combination of probably going out too fast, the hill, and the heat (probably 80 degrees with 80% humidity) was just too much. But I was still able to keep my pace - the legs felt so good. All the speed work was working.
The last mile was tough and by my calculations, it was going to be close. Even if I didn't have make my goal, I was going to have a PR. But the last half mile, my stomach eased up a bit and I was able to still keep a good pace. With the finish line in site, I knew that I was going to finish under 27 and I sprinted. I forgot to shut off the Garmin until I had walked a bit, so when I looked, it shut off at 27:02. I really didn't know how long I had walked. But, the official time was 26:33!!
Garmin: Mile 1: 8:10 Official time: 26:33
Mile 2: 8:48 Garmin Time: 27:03
Mile 3: 9:20 Garmin Distance: 3.1
.1: 0:49 (8:07 pace)
|Fran...sprinting towards the finish line|
But to add more excitement to the day, I found my daughter after the race who couldn't find my 7 year old grandson. He was running the 1 mile fun run but did not finish with the other runners. We figured that somehow he had taken a wrong turn and ended up running with the 5k runners. I alerted one of the officials, who also radioed all the guards and bicycle police. So everyone is looking for a lost 7 year old.
I took off and started running the course backwards and saw him about 3/4 mile from the finish. He actually had passed several other runners who knew him. He was very red faced but was hanging in there. He is going to be a great runner one day.
|Corbin and Fran finishing a very long 1 mile fun run|
All in all it was great race. I have my eye on a July 4th 5k. With the proper speed work - I might be able to break 26:00??? Stay tuned