As I alluded to in my last post, I did a 5K last weekend and was underwhelmed by the results. After talking to my coach, I decided to jump in another local 5K this weekend, the main goal being to test out whether it would help me to do a longer, harder warmup.
What I learned is this: yes, I definitely feel better after a more intense warmup (sort of like an abbreviated track workout without the track). In fact, I felt so much better that I breezed through the first mile probably 15 or 20 seconds faster than I should have, which didn't really seem like an issue until about mile 1.5.
Here's how I looked at about mile 2.9:
It's a little hard to read my expression, but I think it says something like, "S***, I took that first mile out too fast."
If you look hard, at the far right of this picture you can also see a runner in a green shirt. About 100 yards later, she passed me, about 200 yards from the finish. I said, "Good job," and resigned myself to finishing as the 3rd woman (it was a very small race). Then I did a double take (only without actually doing any double-take type movement, because that would have required me to expend energy, of which I essentially had none at that point), thought "What the f*** am I thinking?" and dug as deep as I could to pass her back. This left about 100 yards of staring at the finish line straight ahead of me, trying to keep up my kick, trying not to think about how much I wanted to throw up. I resorted to running through Adam Lambert's "If I Had You" in my head, and promised myself I'd get to the finish line before I had to mentally sing the line about "girls in stripper heels." And I did, but probably only because there's a bit of instrumental bridge before that part of the song.
After both Ms. Green Shirt and I were able to stand upright and walk (thankfully, we were NOT wearing stripper heels), we congratulated each other. It was close to a PR for her, and while not quite that for me, my race was definitely 10 or 15 seconds faster because of her, and I was perfectly happy with the time. Unfortunately, I had to hightail it out of there to take the kids to my son's preschool potluck, so I could not stick around to collect the pie I think I might have won. (It's possible I won a bag of potatoes instead. Awesome prizes, either way.)
Other thoughts about the race:
1) Most of it was on dirt tractor roads through fields and/or along the dike by the Connecticut River. Beautiful and fun, but I don't think very fast. By mile 2 it was really taking it out of my legs to deal with the uneven terrain, puddles, etc. Not that I'm complaining--it was a gorgeous course, and it certainly gave me something to think about other than the Darth-Vader like sound of my labored breathing.
2) I loved the low-key vibe of this race. The starting "line" was the end of a driveway where the pavement started. The course was well marked, with bored-looking (can you really blame them?) boyscouts at all turns.
3) I ran into several people I knew at the race. The best was the guy who sheepishly admitted that his wife didn't know he was doing it--he told her he just went out to pick up applications for them for another race in a couple weeks. We agreed that if the odd 5K is the biggest secret you're keeping from your spouse, your marriage is probably pretty solid.
4) The first-place woman was also first place overall. Gotta love that.
5) When Adam Lambert says he's "got the right amount of leather," exactly what is that amount? Is it safe to assume that Adam and I have different calibrations for this?
As you can probably tell from the photo (on the off chance you don't live around here), it was an astoundingly wonderful fall day. The only bad part of the whole day was when, on our way to said potluck with a crockpot full of black bean soup on the floor of the passenger seat (you can see where this is going, right?), someone pulled out in front of me and forced me to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them. The resultant tsunami of black bean soup required a lot of cleaning out of the car, and I still fear there is soup in places I can't reach. While my kids assured me, "But it smells really GOOD, Mommy," I have a feeling they're going to rethink that in a week or two.