Saturday, April 26, 2008

2008 Festival International 5K

5K, 18:32.4, 5:59 pace, Max HR = 182, Avg HR = 168, 43% Zone 5, 50% Zone 4
Official Results at

I set a new PR (Personal Record) for a 5K today. My time of 18:32.4 means I ran a sub-6 minute average pace. That was my next barrier to break, but I had no idea that I'd be ready for this so quickly on the heels of my recent PR at the Trinity Lutheran Step by Step 5k.

My new PR wasn't planned or expected, and I entered this race without a goal except to have fun. I figured a good time was off the table due to the 93% humidity, 70 degree temperature and the winding race course.

But I followed my Step-by-Step 5K strategy of surging to the front and hanging on with the leaders, just to enjoy being in the race for as long I could. After everything was sorted out after a quarter mile, I found myself in sixth place.

Running against other runners as opposed to against the clock takes my focus away from monitoring my pace, and I cruised through the first mile in about 5:45 (not sure if the mile markers were accurate). I could hear footsteps for a good portion of the the last part of first mile, so I pushed extra hard not to give up my sixth position and the footsteps faded as I approached the first mile marker.

My cumulative time for the second mile was 12:00, meaning I slowed down to about 6:15 on this one. I didn't know I was slowing down, but I was holding steady in sixth place and started to think I could improve my position in the last mile since I wanted to push hard for the last third of the race.

Last year when I ran this race with Kevin, I caught up with him at about the second mile marker, and we ran the rest together. He pushed me to achieve what I still consider to be my best race, where I managed to run 2/3 of the race in zone 5 and set my all-time highest heart rate of 191.

Entering the last mile I wanted to give a similar effort to last year, so I picked up the pace and ran a 5:55 pace over the last 1.1. Early in the last mile I moved into fifth place and I thought that was the best I could do for the day. But ever so slowly over that last mile I noticed my gap behind the fourth place runner was decreasing. During the final quarter mile I realized he was within striking distance. I pushed to pass him and pushed even harder when I did pass him. With only 100 yards left, I didn't want to relinquish my new fourth place position. I finished really strong and ended up putting nine seconds on my competitor.

My fourth place overall finish was good enough for first place in my age group (30-39), and I won a metal as a result. But my biggest accomplishment was putting a 25 second beat-down on my time from two weeks ago, and showing the heart to run faster than I though was possible for me. My improvement over last year was 4:32.4.

Kudos to Julie, Dorothy and Kevin who ran as well. Kevin set a new PR of 22:37.2, an improvement of 27.2 seconds over last year. Congratulations to management of the race, the Cajun Road Runners Club, who hosted a great event which started on time, tabulated accurate results quickly, had a great post-race party, and posted the results to the web well before the weekend was over. I think I'm of the opinion that chip timing is subject to more errors than benefits for races this size (322 people).

I'll spend the rest of the weekend at the LafayetteFestival International and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, eating and drinking too much.

TDLY - (4/25/07) - PIM Warm Up, PIM Ladders 400,800,1200,800,400, Max HR = 183
(4/26/07 = rest)


elf said...

Congratulations on the new PR! Sounds like an outstanding race! Hope you had fun at Jazz Fest--watch out for the Hand Grenades... :)

Cory said...

You da Man, Jonathan!