Sunday, January 22, 2012

1st Race of 2012

Yesterday marked my return to racing and my first race to open the 2012 year.  The University of Maryland Indoor Track Invite is a perfect meet for this, because I can enter in a short distance like the 5000m and get my turnover going along with ideal racing conditions during cold snowy times in January.  It's fun to wear a pair of shorts and a singlet during the month of January and feel comfortable.  Although I had to warm-up outside and dodge the snow and ice that had fallen overnight.  I was a bit rushed to get to the start line in my spikes but soon realized I still had enough time to do a few strides and I began feeling more relaxed and loosened up.  I kept reminding myself that this race was not a peak race, it was a race for me to get toughened up a bit.  To remind myself of what racing feels like.  To face and push through pain.

I was seeded 9th in the fast heat and lined up correctly.  The gun went off and I tucked myself comfortably behind several collegians and Georegtown Running Co. guys.  Hit the first 1k in 3:00 so I was right on 15:00 pace.  My goal was sub 15 and I knew even if I didn't break it, I would be close. Came through the first mile in 4:49, and I started to find myself boxed in by 2 guys in front of me who were letting a gap grow between them and the leaders.  I wanted to go with the leaders.  I began getting frustrated and knew they wouldn't budge so I needed to find a moment to go around them.  I finally went around them on the turn in the outside lane, and as I did one of them unintentionally of course spiked me.  I grunted and moved ahead of them and caught up to the lead pack of Georgetown Running Co guys(Sam, Ryan, Luke) and maybe another college guy.  We eventually passed the college guy and I suddenly found myself in 4th place behind Sam(1st), Luke(2nd), Ryan(3rd).  The 3K mark I hit 9:01, and the second mile was 9:38(4:49 split).  During the 3rd mile I ended up passing Ryan to grab 3rd.  Sam(Georgetown Running Co's MVP) was starting to lay the hammer down though and a gap grew between him and Luke.  I was drafting off Luke but he was gapping me slightly.  I then realized I had lost track of counting laps so I started figuring out the math in my head, all the while starting to overlap other runners, which kinda sucks because you have to go in the outside lane to do so.  Luckily I'm an expert on calculation in my head and figured out where I was.  The track was only 200 meters long which meant 25 laps.  Constant turning pretty much.  Before I knew it the race was almost over so I kicked as well as I could and knew I wouldn't break 15:00, but would be around 15:10.  I crossed the line in 15:11, a PR and grabbed 3rd place.  Solid effort overall and a good start to the year.  I would have been happy to break 15, but indoors is a bit slower than outdoor track, and I will attack the 5k on the track again later in the year.

Sam won in 14:55, Luke was 2nd in 15:03.  We did a long cooldown together of about 5.5 miles.  I needed it.  My warmup was brief because I was a bit rushed at the start.

This week was a lesser mileage week, only 62 miles.  Previous week was 78 miles.  I'll be back in the higher mileage zone this week as I set my sights for my target in March: Shamrock Half Marathon.  I have 8 hard weeks of training.  My mileage will be high enough to maintain aerobic fitness but not overkill because I will really be putting a huge emphasis now on quality workouts specific for threshold pace.  I love training for the half marathon.  It's bread and butter for me.  It's time to get ready for what I do best.

Goal: 1:06-1:07

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