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Azalea Classic 5k - Run5k

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University Park, Maryland
United States
65F / 18C
Total Time = 18m 32s
Overall Rank = 4/350
Age Group = M40-49
Age Group Rank = 1/50
Pre-race routine:

This is the local 5k race in our neighborhood, organized as a fund-raiser and fitness-raiser for my daughter's elementary school. I have been doing it almost every year since it started in 2002. For the first few years I would get slower every year as I aged and got fatter. After leaving the couch a couple of years ago I've been going in the other direction, getting faster every year. I had wanted to make this one a priority race, due to its sentimental value, but being almost entirely grounded from run-training for the past 6 weeks undid that plan. So my main goal was to finish respectably and hopefully to beat my time/place from last year. Zoe (age 10) was also doing the 5k, hoping to beat her time from last year. A bunch of friends from our Ragnar Relay team turned out to race too, adding to the fun.
Event warmup:

Jog around and run some strides. The ongoing achilles tendon problem continues to bother me, but it did seem a little better than it has of late.
  • 18m 32s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 05m 58s  min/mile

I settled into a comfortable pace on the gradual downhill at the start. My main worry was that I not go out too hard and kill myself on the many hills in the first half of the race. Within the first kilometer the field had sorted itself out fairly well, and I was running in 4th place. 1st place was blazing ahead, and 2nd-3rd were a few seconds ahead of me. I didn't see anybody in close attendance behind me for the rest of the race. The uphills were predictably tough, but I was pleased with how the legs recovered on the in-between parts. I figured that if I could get to half way without killing myself then I'd be ok, as the last mile is a very gradual downhill.

I passed mile 1 in 5:44, which was roughly where I wanted to be. I knew mile 2 was going to be slow, given the number of climbs, but 6:18 was a little worrying. I hoped that I could step things up a little in the last mile to average under 6:00. This was the first time that I've ever raced with an HR monitor (thanks to new Garmin 910XT), and I was surprised at how high my HR was - in 190s for much of the race, especially on uphills; I can't get it that high on the bike. The last mile did go ok. 3rd overall was out of reach ahead of me, and there was nobody in sight behind (very twisty course). Lots of people that I knew at the finish, which is a nice added feature of being a neighborhood race.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This was as good as could be expected, given that I've done almost no run training in the past 6 weeks, and have gained some pounds in that time too. Too bad that I wasn't still in the shape that I was in at the end of Feb., but such is life. 1 or 2 places higher might have been in the cards, to make the overall top-3. Oh well, next year perhaps.

Although I was listed as 1st in M40-49, and won two schmancy pairs of socks for the honor, there was actually a 47-year old ahead of me in 2nd OA at 17:44.
Post race
Warm down:

Jogged around a little to try to stop the achilles and calf from tightening up too much (heading for a 14-hour flight this evening, which won't help.) I tried to keep loose while cheering in the many people who I knew in the race. Lots of people to cheer for, including the kids who took part in the after-school training camp that I had run in the lead-up to the race. Larry was 1st in M60+, Yakov and Jeff beat their best recent 5k times, Tess was 3rd in F30-39, Annie 1st in F20-29, Pam 2nd in F60+. And my daughter Zoe came in at around 30:45, which was more than 2 minutes faster than last year. She was gutted for not beating 30 mins, but I'm sure she'll get it next year.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of run training in past 6 weeks. Excess of eating while traveling in past 6 weeks.

Event comments:

I love this event. It's not a prestigious race, but it's as good as any that I've seen in turning out children and adults of all ages and getting them excited about being in shape. The kids love dancing with their teachers at the post-race dance party on the school yard.

Last updated: 2012-04-21 12:00 AM
00:18:32 | 03.11 miles | 05m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/50
Overall: 50/350
Performance: Average
Mile 1: 5:44 Mile 2: 6:18 Mile 3: 5:58
Course: Hilly route winds through neighborhood. About 6 hills in the first 2.25 miles.
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-04-21 12:06 PM

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University Park, MD
Subject: Azalea Classic 5k

2012-05-06 2:05 PM
in reply to: #4164385

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Extreme Veteran
Budapest, Pest Megye
Subject: RE: Azalea Classic 5k
Wow! 18:32 at over 40 and 6 weeks of no running prior to that. You are a beast!
2012-05-07 12:04 PM
in reply to: #4164385

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Azalea Classic 5k
Another great race Colin! keep it up man
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