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Fiesta 5K - Run5k

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Baltimore, Maryland
United States
The Packard Center
60F / 16C
Total Time = 21m 55s
Overall Rank = 61/2100
Age Group = M 40-49
Age Group Rank = 10/101
Pre-race routine:

I've been running Daniel's 24-week, 5-to-15K plan over the past several months, with 4 weeks ago to my "A' OLY race. This was a recovery week in my OLY plan, so I had a bit of a taper going into this race.

I've been chasing a new VDOT over the last 5 weeks or so, running a 22:15 5K within a longer race and holding the target pace for 5+ miles in a 10K before melting down up the last hill. I figured with another month of running under my belt and a taper, I could shoot for sub-22.

Event warmup:

Drove to about 1/4 from the race site and parked in Little Italy, strategically placing my car where I could actually drive somewhere after the race with all the road closures going on for this race and the other events happening this weekend.

I walked over and signed up for the race, then jogged back to the car to start my warm-up. I dropped off all my excess stuff and then did a slow increase up to 'T' pace and held it for a couple of minutes. Stretched and did a few sprints. Walked back over to the race start and waited to begin.
  • 21m 55s
  • 5 kms
  • 04m 23s  min/km

The Plan was simple on this pancake-flat course: go out a little under 7:00 the first 1/2, hold around 7:00 for the next two miles, then attempt to kick through the inevitable pain.

Normally I don't line up in the front, but my recent experience has been to get caught up in a ton of traffic at the beginning of races so this time I lined up about 5 rows back. This would allow me to get into my target pace almost immediately and not have to make it up later.

The first mile went as planned, settling into just over a 7-flat pace. My Garmin has fits going through the tall buildings in Harbor East and generally adds 0.1 miles for reasons I still can't figure out, so I planned for this discrepancy in my 0.5-mile autolap and mile markers on the course. I hit mile 1 at 7:09, a little slower than planned but I felt good. HR in the low 140s, stride nice and relaxed.

Mile two started to get a little harder as I tried to up the pace just a little. We approached a turn-around and I let my pace drop and eased through it, taking the welcome break. I built back up to 7 mpm again and it started getting tough. We went up a small false flat; only maybe 5-7 of climb but the HR started to spike a bit and crossed 150. I hit mile 2 at 14:12...right where I wanted to be.

Mile 3+. This HURT. I knew I needed about 6:55 the rest of the way to break 22, so I pushed. And strained. And thought how much this sucked. And thought how easy it would be to just let off and stride through. I just kept at it; the flat course helped. I just ticked off the minutes in my head...just 5 more, just 4 more, just 3 more...

Turned onto President Street and saw the mile 3 looked about a mile away. I just looked down and pushed through the pain, the coming nausea, the fatigue haze. My legs actually felt OK, or maybe they were just numb. :-)

I knew getting to mile 3 was the "end" of race; I know I can just turn my brain off for 200 yards (note: trying to work on doing this longer...), and I knew I had to be there around 21:10 (my race number, strangely) in order to get sub-22. As I approached it I accelerated to about 6:30 and got through it around 21:08: I'm going to make it!!!

At that point, I was done. I kicked but didn't throw down the hammer or anything...finished around a 6-flat pace. 21:55 chip time. Garmin read 3.2 miles but I know where that came from.

Splits were (kind of guessing a little to adjust for the Garmin):

Dist Time Pace Avg HR
0.5 3:28 6:56 130
1.0 3:36 7:12 140
1.5 3:35 7:10 145
2.0 3:36 7:12 147
2.5 3:32 7:04 150
3.0 3:24 6:48 152
kick :40 6:00 155
tot 21:55 7:04 145

What would you do differently?:

Nothing...executed my race strategy perfectly and crushed my official 5K PR from last October by 45 seconds.
Post race
Warm down:

Came close to puking after the finish. RATS!!! Guess I didn't run hard enough. :-)

Jogged around a bit, sipped on some water. Drove home and hit the foam roller and rode the bike really easy for like 5 minutes.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm carrying about 5-7 lbs more than I want to...but everything else went right. Training has been good, perfect race weather, well-executed race on a tailor-made PR course.

Event comments:

Charm City Run, as usual put on a great race for a great charity, ALS. The only complaint I would have is that the water station wasn't ready for the leaders to go through. For a 5K that probably didn't matter (though I could've used some out there...), but for a longer race that would be a big problem.

Decent t-shirt, great post-race food spread. No beer this time. :-(

Last updated: 2014-04-22 12:00 AM
00:21:55 | 05 kms | 04m 23s  min/km
Age Group: 10/101
Overall: 61/2100
Performance: Good
Course: Flat course through downtown Baltimore and Fells Point
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
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? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2014-05-04 7:42 AM

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Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: Fiesta 5K

FINALLY got that elusive VDOT.

Edited by jmhpsu93 2014-05-04 7:43 AM

2014-05-05 12:33 AM
in reply to: #4991274

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Bellingham, WA
Subject: RE: Fiesta 5K

Great job Mike.  Nice to hear about a race that goes according to plan.

I hope the rest of your training is going well.  Rock Hall is just around the corner.

2014-05-05 11:39 AM
in reply to: popsracer

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Subject: RE: Fiesta 5K

Speedy, speedy, speedy!  Congrats on truly crushing your race time and PR from last year, 45 seconds is HUGE!!  I'm going to use your pushing through the pain description and strategy in some races this year, probably in about 2 weeks!  Again, great job!!

2014-05-05 1:32 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Subject: RE: Fiesta 5K

Yaaaaay, new VDOT!


Great job, Mike!

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