Pumpkin Push 5k Race Report (Or: why sucking wind… sucks)

So, I did a short, fast race for the first time in a long time, doing the Pumpkin Push 5k on Saturday, the 30th. I realize why I like running races: it takes about 30 seconds to make sure I have the 3 S’: shoes, shorts and singlet, versus making my list and checking it 2304098x (screw you St. Nick). Race start was 10:00, I woke up at 7:00, ate an eggwhite scramble, and finished schoolwork before leaving (reading WTO trade classification panel decisions was probably the worst “race pump-up” I’ve ever done).

Got to the course, picked up my bib and chip, and it being cold and race time still being awhile away, I “warmed up” by sitting in my car with the heat and radio on (NPR… more great pump-up). Eventually hopped out and decided it might be smart to get my blood flowing. Did an easy mile, about a half dozen striders, some drills, and another mile, placing myself at the starting line with maybe 5 minutes until start. Nobody wanted to go on the front of the line, so I moved up. Eventually a woman dressed as Wonder Woman stepped up next to me, and fast-looking people joined me.

Gun went off, and I went out quickly, and for about a tenth of a mile, was in the lead. After a minute, I checked my watch and saw I was running a 4:59 split… way too hot. Eased off to a “comfortable pace”, and a pack of three guys ran by, followed by a fourth straggler about 10 meters behind. Joined the tail end of a pack of three runners, including one of the fastest female road runners in the area (who was clearly taking it easy and going for the prize poach), Wonder Woman and a youngish looking guy. We went through Mile 1 in 5:35.

Mile 2 began well, and I was relatively easily maintaining my mid-5:30’s pace. Of course, a giant hill was tossed into the second half of mile 2, and it toasted me. I lost the three people I was running with, and went through mile 2, at the peak height, at 11:35, making it a 6-minute mile. I lost another guy who clearly knew the course, and blew by me going back down the hill, and couldn’t convince myself to go with him, even though I felt physically capable… I just didn’t feel like wanting to feel pukey at the end of the race, which makes no sense, because it was going to happen anyways, but that’s symptomatic of not having run hard in a long time.

Mile 3 was kind of bleh… I lost focus from 2.25-2.75, going a flat 6:00-ish pace, just kind of surviving, and when I saw, after hitting 2.75, that I wasn’t going to PR short of running a 5:25-ish pace (which I might have been able to), I lost motivation for kicking hard. Crossed the line in 18:20, a little disappointing given how easy the first mile and a half was, but very encouraging based on my lack of anything resembling speedwork over the last 4+ months. I have no doubt that with a deeper field (more people to run with), a pancake flat course (Green Lake, here I come!), and focus/willingness to go more all-in, I can go 30 seconds faster. Excited.

As for that whole sucking wind/pukey feeling I didn’t want to feel? I keeled over as soon as I crossed the line, and after geniously throwing back a carton of chocolate milk a minute, yakked into a garbage can, turning myself into “that guy” right off the bat. Awesome!

Ah well, more aerobic running this week, and the Padden Mudfest on the weekend. Good times ahead.

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~ by cdviking on November 1, 2010.

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