It has been a long time since I have updated my progress towards establishing a sub-26 minute PB at Maritime Race Weekend in September. Though I have been absent here, I have not been shirking my training schedule.
Coach Jackal has introduced speed intervals, in addition to the hillz drillz and strength training. In the last couple of weeks I have done 600m and 1000m intervals, with one minute and two minute recovery respectively.
As part of the training process, I had signed up for a local 5k event on March 18 to measure my progress. When I decided on this date several weeks ago I had hoped to improve my time from 30:06 to sub 29:00. It was a huge goal but I had been working hard so was confident that I could do it. Based on my interval training, Jackal told me that I was capable of sub 28:00 but I wasn’t convinced. I was fairly certain that I MIGHT be able to do 28:30 IF all the conditions were right AND if I pushed hard, but there was no way that I could do sub 28.
One of the reasons that I chose the March 18 race was that it fell on my birthday and I really liked the idea of smashing a PB on my birthday. It was like a present from me to me. It was a no frills race with no bling and no shirt but it was a fast course with a lot of downhill. In other words, it was perfect!
The day dawned sunny but cold. I mean, really really cold! After a couple of weeks of temperatures hovering slightly above freezing, this day was bitterly cold. … -12c with a real feel of -20c. We hadn’t had temperatures that cold since January. I wasn’t sure about my ability to smash a PB in those conditions. I knew that I could probably run a Personal Best but it wouldn’t be by a wide margin.
Before the race started I did my usual warm up routine… dynamic stretches and an easy run. Brrr.. it was cold. Even after my 15 minute warm up run I was still cold. It did not bode well but I was going to do my best.
Desi Storm was also running in this race. She is much faster than I am but she wasn’t feeling 100% at the Start Line and at the last minute she offered to pace me. I agreed, though I told her to go ahead of me at any time if she felt like pushing herself.
The first 1000m was slightly uphill but I pushed hard because I knew that the next couple of kilometers was downhill and I could take advantage of that and Recover on the downslope.. We ran much faster than our planned pace and Desi kept asking if I was okay. I could manage short sentences to reply so that was a good indication that I wasn’t pushing too hard. We ran much faster than I thought possible and with 1000 meters to go I realized that I could walk the remaining distance and still get a respectable time. Of course I didn’t walk.. that would have been silly! A slight uphill slowed me down some but then we were only 500m from the Finish Line. I gasped to Desi that I had nothing left in the tank and that I couldn’t Sprint to the finish. With 20m to go she grabbed my arm and literally pulled me across the Finish Line.
Finish Time 26:36
I kid you not!
I was hoping for sub 29, wondering if I could sub 28 and I ran a sub 27!
It was amazing and wonderful and unbelievable all at the same time.
I still don’t believe it, but it’s on Strava so it must be true.
Happy Birthday to Me !
PS.. Based on the results of this race, my 5k goal has been modified to sub 25.