Friday, August 2, 2013

Race for the Bacon Recap

One of the things I love best about any training cycle is that feeling you get when you're making progress. When you start to feel stronger and faster and like all of the miles and workouts are coming together to help you run better. 

I started feeling good about my running at the recent Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon and last night's Race for the Bacon 5k helped build even more confidence in my training. 

With my AG award

 Here are my results:

Time: 22:45
Pace: 7:20 min/mile
Overall Place: 54/655
Age Group Place: 2/76

When I woke up Thursday morning, I felt pretty good about this one. I knew it would be challenging but I was really looking forward to running fast. I still haven't done much speedwork since my calf injury in June but my legs are feeling faster and turning over better these days. 

As usual, I lined up further back than I probably should. I don't especially like tripping over people at the beginning, but I do love the confidence boost of passing people throughout the race. It's almost like a little game to me. Pick a person in front of me, keep pushing my pace until I pass, then pick a new person in front of me to chase. 

About midway through, I noticed one of the people in front of me was my friend Tracey. She had a decent lead on me so I wasn't really too concerned with passing her, but it was super helpful to have someone to focus on when I really started feeling the race. She was running at a good pace so I just followed along behind - it was a no brainer!

Toward the end of the race, all I could think about was being done. Before the race started, I had planned to kick about a quarter of a mile from the finish line. I did manage to pick up the pace a bit, but couldn't execute the kick I've been practicing (6:40ish pace for the first 0.15 and finishing the last 0.1 at 5:48ish pace). I was just too wiped! On the plus side, I knew I had given it my all so I couldn't be too disappointed about it :)

Probably praying my legs don't give out before I cross the finish line

Tracey finished just ahead of me and collapsed on the curb and I did the same after I crossed the line. There's no question it was my best effort for that night so I consider it a good race. Just another stepping stone on my path to becoming a stronger, faster runner!

It's kind of amazing to me to think that earlier this year I ran a sub-22 minute time and set my sights on running 20:XX as my next 5k goal. I'm still aiming for that time - I've been logging consistent miles at a training level that's appropriate for my current fitness. I know if I can stick with it and stay patient, I'll get back to where I was and then push past that point.

Yesterday, I saw this quote from pro runner Kara Goucher and it pretty much sums up how I've been feeling about running:

"Erase from your mind that your preparation must be perfect. Hard work + dedication = a shot at your dreams. Keep believing."

Yes, keep believing - anything is possible if you're willing to work for it :)

Discuss: What signs do you watch for that let you know your training is coming together?

That's it for now - I hope you all have a great weekend!

- ST

8 comments:

  1. Great run, Sun! I like that quote as well; training is never perfect, but we can always make progress. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree - and any progress is a step in the right direction :)

      Delete
  2. I always run better when I am trying to keep up with someone (pacer or just someone I want to beat). When I have a few really good runs, I know my training is coming together (ex. when my long runs become easier).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Easier long runs is a good indicator! When easy pace becomes even easier, you know you're doing well :)

      Delete
  3. Nice job! Love the name of that race, lol.

    My best 5k was 22:20. I know I was so wiped at the end. I remember trying so hard to kick it up for that last tiny bit and it was so difficult! Good times though.

    And I totally do the same thing - pick one person, follow, pass, move on. I think it takes the focus off any pain you're feeling in that short race.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So hard, yet so worth it :) Great job on your 5k PR!

      Delete
  4. Congratulations!! I ran the race last year and it was so much fun! I was unable to do it this year, but reading all the race recaps, it looks like it is still a fun time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely get it on your calendar for next year :)

      Delete