Baltimore 5k - Run

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Baltimore, Maryland
United States
Baltimore Running Festival
62F / 17C
Total Time = 22m 39s
Overall Rank = 98/1219
Age Group = M 40-44
Age Group Rank = 7/144
Pre-race routine:

As this was an "A" race, I tapered this week and made sure to get plenty of rest. The night before I enjoyed my usual pre-race pizza dinner and a beer or two. Slept decent considering the next day was race day.

I've been following Daniel's Running Formula the last few weeks, so we'll see if having some direction to my running makes any difference. :-)

Goal was to break 23 minutes, which would be the first 22:XX post high school XC.
Event warmup:

As I was shooting for a PR, I wanted to make sure I was really well warmed up for the race. I got up at 4:30 and ate a light breakfast of a little cereal, half a Zone bar, and coffee. Around 6:15 I jumped on the trainer for about 15 minutes and slowly got my HR up to low Z2. I then stretched and did the foam roller for a bit.

Jumped in the car, parked, and then we walked around the runner's village a bit. At 7:30 I began my race warm-up. Did a mile slowly increase to "T" pace and holding that for about a minute. Stretched a bunch. Walked to watch the marathon start, then did some strides and continued to stay loose.

Lined up for the start and we ended up going about 5 minutes late, so I had plenty of time to get crazy nervous. My HR was like 30+ beats over my RHR, so I guess I was good and warmed up.

Anthem, countdown, and off we go.
  • 22m 39s
  • 5 kms
  • 04m 32s  min/km

This course is uphill the first half, and then downhill the 2nd, so The Plan was to get a strong negative split by trying to go (7:40, 7:20, 7:00, kick) and see what happens.

Crossed the timing mat and immediately was boxed in by 10-year-old kids, run/walkers, people weaving all over the place..what a mess!! I thought I had gotten myself up far enough to avoid this, but I guess I didn't. So, the first 1/2 mile was just navigating the crowd. I hit the 1/2 mile make at 4:15 so that basically meant I was already 25 seconds behind target pace. UGH!!! HR was already crazy high.

Once I got some open road I settled in to about 7:15 and tried to hold it for the rest of the uphill section. Race marker said 7:52 for the first mile, Strava 7:42. There is one small steep hill and about mile 1.5 so I really slowed down going up it to not fully cook my legs. Mentally once I got to the top of that hill the hardest part of the race was over. Downhill the rest of the way!!

Opened up my stride length and got down to 7:00 pace through the mile 2 marker (sub-15:00, so now ahead of pace). Started to enter the Pain Cave pretty good about there, but just focused on keeping the stride length up and the Garmin insta-pace reading 6:XX.

Got to Camden Yards HURTING. HR was reading the highest I've ever seen it, and some folks were starting to pass me. I knew I was going to crush 23:00 and even had a shot at 22:30.

Tried to kick with about 300 meters left and I was just done. Good Cop and Bad
Cop were cheering with about 100 yards left...they said I looked awful. :-) Strided it in and finished 22:40ish. PR by almost 30 seconds...woo hoo!!! :-)

Splits from Strava:

Mile Pace GAP Elev (ft) HR Cadence
1 7:42 7:13 81 143 82
2 7:16 7:13 -0 153 83
3 6:54 7:23 -89 153 84
0.1 7:01 7:19 -6 158 82
What would you do differently?:

Not get caught up in the crowd, but honestly it probably kept me from going out too fast. Once I cleared the mess I executed perfectly and gave every breath and heartbeat I had.
Post race
Warm down:

After spending about 30-45 seconds doubled over and getting the volunteers worried for a bit, I jogged around the runner's area, sipped on a water.

Felt pretty good the rest of the day. Got a little hot tub session in and wore compressions socks the rest of the day.

A little sore today (Sunday) but not too bad.

Event comments:

Another A+ showing by the Baltimore Running Festival folks. Great expo, great race set up and course, cool finish area and amenities.

This year's race had more of a local, community feel after Under Armour stopped being the title sponsor. Without prize money, none of the elite international runners participated. Hence, the fields were much weaker (which is why my 22:39 got me in the top 100...a couple of years ago we're talking MOP).

A local schoolteacher and XC coach won the marathon, and the honorary starter was Erika Brannock, the last person out of the hospital from Boston. Cool symmetry and very inspirational.

I'll do some part of this festival every year I'm physically able.

Last updated: 2013-09-04 12:00 AM
00:22:39 | 05 kms | 04m 32s  min/km
Age Group: 7/144
Overall: 98/1219
Performance: Good
Hit highest HR I've ever seen on my about Pain Cave...
Course: uphill first half (+100), downhill second half (-106), last 1/4 mile through Camden Yards :-)
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5