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Laps for Lexi XC 5k - Run5k

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Sandy Spring, Maryland
United States
Sandy Spring Friends School
65F / 18C
Total Time = 19m 34s
Overall Rank = 1/167
Age Group = M40-49
Age Group Rank = 1/32
Pre-race routine:

I wouldn't have done this race if it wasn't a charity event put on by my daughter's school, and we had both been planning to run it. My preparation leading up to the race was atrocious. I've been working my tail off and barely sleeping for the past few weeks due to a big event that I was organizing at work. And in connection with that I had around 100 people, mostly energetic 20-somethings, partying at my house the night before. My pre-race eating and drinking were perhaps not ideal for optimal performance -- but they were quite delicious, since you asked. Really didn't want to get up in the morning, and Zoe was even less enthusiastic about getting started.
Event warmup:

Very different kind of race. I like my daughter's crunchy Quaker school, but let's just say that their version of race management is a little out there. 30 minutes after the race was supposed to start, they were still giving speeches, strumming guitars, and releasing bags of purple balloons into the sky. I just ran around for a while to try to get the rusty old legs moving. I've struggled the past few weeks with lower leg problems, mostly achilles, and I think I'm due for a repair-hiatus after next weekend's Ragnar Relay. Still a bit dazed from the previous night's partying, but the legs felt surprisingly good.
  • 19m 34s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 06m 19s  min/mile

To my surprise, nobody went haring off at the start, and so I found myself immediately in the lead. The course is real XC, with about half of it on relatively good trails and around the edge of sports fields with thick grass. The other half is on rather tricky and twisting narrow trails through a forest. Quite a pleasant route, but not fast. The course starts by doing two half-mile loops of mixed field and forest. By the time I entered the forest on the second of those short loops I was already hitting people at the back of the field who I was lapping.

I passed the first mile in 5:57. I would have been disappointed with that in a regular road 5k, but under the circumstances I was quite pleasantly surprised. I haven't raced or run fast at all since the start of August, and the terrain certainly slowed me. The second mile of the course is the most technical trail section, The fact that I wasn't surprised to slow to 6:54 for that mile tells you everything. And that was with dry ground. When the terrain is softer, it can be much slower than that. Emerging to smoother trails and fields for the 3rd mile I was feeling tired, and I was more concerned than I should have been about whether there were runners chasing me down (impossible to tell that in the forest section). We finished by doing another lap of the initial half-mile loop, before heading towards a big finish banner next to the school's baseball field. Mile 3 was completed in 6:15, which was again faster than I would have expected, given the terrain. And I was happy to finish under 20 minutes, in 19:34. I have run faster on that course before, when I was in better shape, but I would never get close to road times.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing in the race. The preparation was not at all ideal, but I wouldn't have changed any of that.
Post race
Warm down:

I ran around a bit after the finish. Mostly quite relieved that the legs held up well. without significant injury flare-ups. I cheered on the incoming runners. The second place finisher was about 1:15 behind me. I soon saw Zoe coming in for her final half-mile loop, and cheered her around that. She finished in 44th in 29:03, which was 1:30 better than she had done the previous year. She was pleased with her time.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Where to start ...

Last updated: 2013-09-28 12:00 AM
00:19:34 | 03.1 miles | 06m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/32
Overall: 1/167
Performance: Average
Course: Cross-country, some quite rough.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2013-09-28 7:15 PM

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University Park, MD
Subject: Laps for Lexi XC 5k
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Laps for Lexi XC 5k

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Is it good to listen to music while lap swimming? Are there any devices to help you keep track of your laps?
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Provided one was proficient in setting up the different functions of the Lap Track, I think that a short-course triathlete would benefit most from this, since it only records splits up to 50 laps.
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When the air horn went off, I did my best to simulate laps in the pool, but that dang panic came over me again, causing me to breaststroke until I could calm my breathing.
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Once you caught your breath, it occurred to you that finishing even a short triathlon might be harder than you thought. After a few "laps" you thought, "I can't believe I'm so out of shape."
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Have no endurance? Try this routine for your first few months.
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Overview of two walk/run routines for training for a 5K.
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