Saturday, August 18, 2012

Greek Fest 5k

5k race in 17:00 or under

3 mile warmup
5k race in 17:21, 5:26, 5:38, 5:37, :38
6 mile cool down

Last time I ran this race--in August 2009--I ran 17:18.  I was running 60-70 miles a week and I was also not really training for anything other than local races in Charlotte in an attempt to make a name for the CRC.  Now, three years later, with 100 miles under my belt, I am not a stronger 5k runner.  I'm a stronger marathoner (or so I hope).  For some people perhaps running 100 miles per week would be that secrete ingredient to achieving a new road 5k PR.  But for someone like me, it just makes me tired.

It didn't help much that my hamstring had been exceptionally tight the entire week leading up to the race.  In fact, I wasn't even sure if I was going to toe the line and suggested to the generous Dr. Greenapple that perhaps he should provide the comped entry to someone else.  And I will admit, that a small part of me--no actually a large part of me--didn't want to back out because I didn't want some people--Aaron Linz--to say that I had backed out because I was scared of Dalena beating me.  I could include Alana in that list, but she's already beaten me; been there, done that.

So, I figured my hamstring would be just fine for a 5k, and woke up Saturday morning to meet the Wilmore Express, plus some foreigners like Dalena, Michelle and Thomas, for a nice warmup to the race.  When I toed the line, I was tired.  My legs were heavy.  My mind was exhausted.  I was spent before the gun even went off.  I put out a good race fact everything that I had.  Even if that meant I ran close to a 5:38 for that second mile as I watched all my training partners--Caleb, Brad, Phil, Chiquita Charlie--pull away from me. I even positioned myself perfectly...Kept myself a comfortable distance from Alana until the 1200m mark, where I pulled up alongside of her, close enough to wake her up and make her go faster.  Then Spada pulled up alongside me and it would be the Spada show the rest of the race.  I could feel Dalena on my left shoulder, and I knew she was executing the race strategy Aaron had told her (and me):  "Caitlin is running 95 miles this week Dalena, so stay on her shoulder, make her do all the work, and then kick past her in the final 800 meters."  Dalena did exactly that, and in doing so, achieved a huge PR, and when she did pass me, she said "Come on Caitlin!"  And it wasn't all huffy-puffy, like she was dying.  It was really energetic and sincere, like a friend would do.  That's what I love about Dalena...she's a fierce competitor and has no idea what she is capable of achieving in the realm of running.  Watch out 2016 Trials, she might be there!  Anyways, I'll tell you, I tried to go with her, but I sure as hell couldn't. My legs didn't react, like, at all. Oh and I even stuck my tongue out, as if that would help me go faster (see picture below).  It didn't.

Sticking the tongue out doesn't equal a great kick.
Photo Courtesy of Sandy McKeon
So I finished my second Charlotte race of the year in a 17:21, almost 7 seconds behind Dalena and 25 seconds behind all the guys I train with.  Instead of walking away with my head down, I actually felt pretty good about the whole thing.  What did I learn?  Running a 5k in the middle of the build-up phase to marathon training is definitely not easy for me. You have to be someone special like Pezz or Meagan Nedlo to be able to master that whole thing.  Additionally, it helped me think about what my plans are for 2013.  I figured that out pretty quick--train specifically for the 5k to run in the 16:40s.  I want to lower my mileage to 70-75 and focus on developing my speed.  Heck, as I cooled down with fifteen members of the CRC, I even thought it would be cool to travel to Stanford to run in one of their 7 heats of the 5k next spring just for fun (and for a PR, of course). This 5k was the fuel I needed to recognize what my goals are after the Philadelphia half.


mrn said...

a few thoughts:
1. thanks for the shout-out
2. who the f is chiquita charlie?? i leave for less than a year and i already feel like i don't even know you anymore.
3. sweet tongue-sticky-outy photo. i'm saying it's a framer.
4. i love you. and miss you. and it's not just the 2.5 glasses of wine i just drank talking.

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