Today I ran the Hillsborough Fun Run 5k. I’ve run this race once before, approximately five months after my heart surgery (2014). It isn’t far from my house so it is an easy, fun way to get add a race to my calendar. In the past, I’ve done most races alone, but today there were five of us so that was fun. I stayed around for an hour or so afterward to see if I won an award, and that was fun.
I was not particularly well prepared for this race. I ran a 5k about two months ago, but had some down time immediately after that and have spent the last four weeks catching up. Those four weeks have been very good, but I haven’t done a single interval workout so did not expect much.
This race starts on a downhill-the first mile is all down and is pretty fast. This gave me a bit more confidence than I should have had, and the subsequent two miles are almost all uphill, though never brutal. Given this, I slowed considerably over the course of the race. I tried to keep up with a woman I noticed from my previous 5k and whom I’ve seen on a few local training runs, but she was much better paced and was able to pull away over the uphill portion of the race.
A few lessons learned:
- As alway, I’m not prepared for hills. I added some hills to my long run last weekend, but that was too recent and not enough to make an impact today. In addition to long hilly runs, which will help with my half marathon, I need to do some hills at a faster pace.
- I over tapered. I did this more to have a rest week after three straight longer weeks, but I didn’t need as much rest as I gave myself. So either the lack of stimulus this week or the fact that I carried many books up stairs yesterday led me to feel sluggish and weak.
- Related to the above, I think two days off before a race is too much. In the past, this served me well, but recently I’ve felt sluggish. I think this is because my body is used to running more frequently than when I was younger, when two days off wasn’t that unusual.
- I’ve got a lot of work to do to get ready for my next half marathon in nine weeks. My endurance is pretty good right now but I need to increase top end speed. I’m hoping to beat my SF HM time from last year, but my 5k race times indicate this is going to be a challenge. However, I need to keep my eyes on the prize, which is still a full marathon in October (Munich).
- Every time I race, even when not well prepared, I enjoy the experience. I need to make sure I do not have huge gaps in my racing schedule.
All things considered, today was a good day. I had fun, finished 2nd in my age group and was the 2nd masters male to finish.