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Veteran's Day 5k - Run5k


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Fairfax, Virginia
United States
35F / 2C
Sunny
Total Time = 29m 35s
Overall Rank = 54/196
Age Group = F 35-39
Age Group Rank = 8/36
Pre-race routine:

It really is a routine, now. Get good sleep two nights before, practically no sleep one night before. Up 2.5 hours before go time for 12ish oz nuun and black tea with milk and splenda. Into the shower, get dressed, pack the bag, collect the husband, and then a quick drive to Fairfax Corner. Gingersnap Honey Stinger waffle in the car on the way there.
Event warmup:

It was seriously chilly on race morning. I would be racing in short/tshirt since I warm up so fast during races, but I warmed up with my long pants, hoodie, gloves, and hat on. Not too far, maybe 1/2-3/4 of a mile? Got the blood flowing and then hopped back into the car to stay warm until it was time to line up.
BTW - the national anthem was incredible. I don't know if it was live or a recording, but the singer was phenomenal. I'm not one to normally be moved by the anthem, but I was this time. Hand on heart and everything!
Run
  • 29m 35s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 09m 32s  min/mile
Comments:

I met up with my friend K, who had paced me at Heroes vs Villains back in April. We had been planning for roughly 9:15 down to 9 min/miles, hoping to get me a new PR. My existing PR is 29:03, set on this course back in 2007, when I was about 40 pounds lighter. I was convinced my year of hard work was enough to bring the speed.
It didn't happen.
We set off and all was going well, but I didn't glance at my watch at all, which turned out to be a mistake. I was hitting low to mid 8s during the first mile, and I think it came back to bite me. If I could have started in the 9:30s even and then negative split, it could have been a very different race. But I just got too excited.
It actually started feeling tough during mile 2. K was a great pacer, keeping up a constant stream of chatter, making sure I knew I didn't need to respond. I just focused on forward motion. As we passed the water station at the halfway mark, he even asked if I needed any water! Such a great race partner! I was starting to feel the hurt at this point. My breathing switched from 3-in-2-out to 2-in-1-out. I started talking to myself in my head, convincing myself that I could keep it up.
We passed mile marker 2 with a 9:30 pace, and my heart sank. Slower? Already? K was still feeling positive. He said we could still get that PR. As we made our way down the hill, I saw his wife and my family. My mom was shouting and waving her sign. I smiled for the camera, and then settled in for the long set of hills in the last mile.
At that point it became a battle in my mind. My legs got so heavy, and I actually had to convince myself not to stop, curl up on the sign of the road, and take a nap. I have NEVER felt like that in a race before. K kept spurring me on, convinced we were going to make it. I wasn't sure, and at that point thought maybe he was just lying to me to keep me going. We climbed the last hill, and after the turn I could see the mile 3 marker. I tried to find a kick, and K started telling me that it was going to be close, and to kick as hard as I could. I took the last turn and focused on the finish line, knowing that the pain would stop as soon as I crossed the line. I saw my mom again with the sign, right by the finish line. I didn't see the clock, or anything else. I just stared at her sign: USE THE FORCE
As soon as we crossed the line, I knew I had given it literally everything I had. I could hear K saying he really thought we had it, but we hadn't missed the PR. I looked at my watch, and reassured him that it was a my fastest 5k for the year, and if it hadn't been for him, I would have surely stopped and walked.
I have never fought such a hard race before. I didn't have a faster time in me this year, but I tried to be mentally tough, and I think that toughness is what got me to the line faster than back in July.
What would you do differently?:

Start out slower for the first mile. I think if I'd run closer to a 9:30 for the first mile, I could have negative split and perhaps been in better shape to have a good kick toward the end.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked a little bit past the finish line and was having quite a time catching my breath. Once our families caught up to us, we swung by the snack tents and I went for a super firm banana and some water. I probably should have put on my warm clothes sooner, but I really felt like I was on fire, and couldn't bear the thought of wearing more clothes.


What limited your ability to perform faster:

Let's say it again for the umpteenth time this year: aerobic capacity! I naively thought this time last year that a year was enough to transform my aerobic engine into a thing of beauty. Not so, and this winter I have my work cut out for me.
I'm disappointed, because I really did think that sub 29 was going to happen this year. I think that I was in better shape when I was swimming and cycling, too. I thought running more frequently would be enough, but the higher volume that I can handle with swim/bike really does make a huge difference in my fitness. I'll remember that for next season. It only stings a little....after all, I did still get faster.

Event comments:

Third time running the 5k course at Fairfax Corner, and this location never fails to impress. The parking is plentiful, even with the new construction that's going up this year. Lots of potties, good food/drink (especially considering its a 5k) and impeccably run. I'm sure there are easier 5k courses, but this is the one I keep coming back to again and again.




Last updated: 2016-09-16 12:00 AM
Running
00:29:35 | 03.1 miles | 09m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 8/36
Overall: 54/196
Performance: Average
Mile 1 - 9:06 - AV HR 175* Mile 2 - 9:30 - AV HR 186* Mile 3 - 9:43 - AV HR 9:43* .1 - 1:15 - AV HR 191
Course: Gently rolling loop, all right hand turns. Approx 160 feet elevation gain
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
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] 4

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2016-11-14 3:25 PM

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Master
2414
2000100100100100
Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: Veteran's Day 5k


2016-11-15 10:25 AM
in reply to: #5204997

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Veteran
410
100100100100
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k

"My legs got so heavy, and I actually had to convince myself not to stop, curl up on the sign of the road, and take a nap. I have NEVER felt like that in a race before." 

Am I sadistic for this being my favorite line of the whole report? I would never wish you pain, but I do wish you VICTORY and pushing through in those moments is what victory is all about. You've gotten the consistency down, just gotta add the intensity and duration to get that PR. 

2016-11-15 11:59 AM
in reply to: #5204997

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Master
6589
50001000500252525
Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k

Great effort! Your average HR was crazy! You were working it for sure. Kudos to K for pushing you.

 

2016-11-15 2:21 PM
in reply to: InnerAthlete

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Master
2414
2000100100100100
Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k
Originally posted by InnerAthlete

"My legs got so heavy, and I actually had to convince myself not to stop, curl up on the sign of the road, and take a nap. I have NEVER felt like that in a race before." 

Am I sadistic for this being my favorite line of the whole report? I would never wish you pain, but I do wish you VICTORY and pushing through in those moments is what victory is all about. You've gotten the consistency down, just gotta add the intensity and duration to get that PR. 




Now that its over, its my favorite part of the race to think back on. I've never had to test my mental side before, and it's there! Can't wait to see what another year will do.
2016-11-15 2:24 PM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Master
2414
2000100100100100
Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k
Originally posted by rrrunner

Great effort! Your average HR was crazy! You were working it for sure. Kudos to K for pushing you.

 




Thanks, TJ!
K is active duty, so it was great to be able to run a Vet's Day race with him. Our families have been friends since before we were born. He's got a PCS coming up soon, so we may not get to race together again on this course.
2016-11-15 3:25 PM
in reply to: #5204997

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k

Laura - great effort, great test of physical, mental, and emotional limits.  As much as you would've loved a new PR, you weren't that far off from achieving that goal.  Cut yourself a break - you've had some other challenges going on in your life that take a toll on one's performance.  The best part of the race report for me is seeing your strong optimism and looking to the future.  Nice work out there!



2016-11-15 8:38 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Royal(PITA)
14262
50005000200020001001002525
West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k

You worked really hard and had a great 5K...That PR is playing hard to get, cause 5K PR's are a tough breed to knock much time off of.  But I think you're determined enough to fight for it.

Like certain baseball teams said for 100 years.....There's always next year  

 

And yeah, the line about your legs being so heavy that it was all you could do to force yourself to NOT STOP and curl into a fetal position?  YES, that says just how hard you worked for this race!!

2016-11-15 8:38 PM
in reply to: melbo55

User image

Royal(PITA)
14262
50005000200020001001002525
West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k

You worked really hard and had a great 5K...That PR is playing hard to get, cause 5K PR's are a tough breed to knock much time off of.  But I think you're determined enough to fight for it.

Like certain baseball teams said for 100 years.....There's always next year  

 

And yeah, the line about your legs being so heavy that it was all you could do to force yourself to NOT STOP and curl into a fetal position?  YES, that says just how hard you worked for this race!!

2016-11-17 8:23 AM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Master
8013
500020001000
Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k

Great job out there!  Personally, I think that 5ks are harder than half marathons!  You done good!

2016-11-17 10:25 AM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Master
3900
20001000500100100100100
Toronto
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k

Great job out there. sometimes you really need to feel what it's like to push it - and even without a PR you know you did everything you could! 

That PR is coming! I know it is!

2016-11-18 12:45 PM
in reply to: juniperjen

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Master
2414
2000100100100100
Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Veteran's Day 5k
Melanie, Judi, Janyne, Jen: thank you so much! Always my own worst critic, as many of us are. So happy to have your positive words around me


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