Saturday, February 19, 2011
I finished my first race of 2011. I didn't realize it had been over 3 months since my last race. Last year I ran 5k's exclusively but this year I think I'm ready to move up to the 10k, that is, I've improved my form to the point that I've earned the right to add distance. My goal last year was to break the 20 min. barrier in the 5k and I ended up just a few seconds from breaking the 18:00 min. barrier (18:02 PR) so I was very happy with what I did last year.
Today, I started with a 5 mile race. I finished in 31:58 (6:23 pace). I finished 9th out of 400+ runners. I'm thrilled as I used this race as a good tempo run and I never pushed too hard. I ran pretty even mile splits and gave a 7-8 effort. It was nice to be able to start the race at a nice pace as opposed to the full sprint from the beginning, required for the 5k. The 6:23 pace is a :15 sec. per mile improvement from my last 5 mile race 2 years ago.
Best of all I feel great. I attribute that to the increased barefoot mileage I've added daily. I warmed up with a 15 min. barefoot run, then laced up the Mizuno Wave Universe 3's. I added an insole to the MWU3's. Yes, I added an insole and it was a good decision. The race was on concrete which I hate and I've learned for races, I need at least 8-10mm of protection for my forefoot (metatarsal protection as a forefoot runner). I've taken to heart what Fred Rohe said in "The Zen of Running," when he said:
" . . . you will be able to run tirelessly if you follow this simple rule: run within your breath and do not run ahead of your breath (you have to run to discover what that means)."
My last few races, I've run within my breath and if I start to run ahead of my breath (other than a 400 meter sprint to the finish), I slow down. This probably costs me a few seconds per mile but the trade-off is worth it in that I feel great coming across the finish line. I feel like I could keep running and my body feels great and, at the end of the day, that's the most important thing.
For 2011, I'll be concentrating on the 10k distance. I have a feeling the 10k will be my best race distance because it's the perfect combination of speed and endurance. I also love locking in the 6:15 - 6:25 pace range (it's like being on cruise control). I also like being able to take a progressive pace approach as opposed to coming out of the gate in a full sprint. I also seem to get stronger around the 4 mile mark. I'm all smiles with this as a start to the 2011 racing season.
Posted by - at 11:33 AM