18 Minutes of Pain

How best to finish a particularly poor week? I lined up a 5K run race for mine. Getting up at 5am this morning I was less enamoured with the whole idea. Having yet again had a restless night I wasn’t feeling all that great when the alarm went off. Out of bed and something isn’t quite right. A quick stretch of the right quad and shit that’s sore. It feels like I’ve got a nice big knot up near the top of the quads. Perfect! Still I’ve paid for 5km of vomit inducing effort may as well get my money’s worth.

So I rode the 15km from home to Runaway Bay for the first in the Sports Super Centre Fun Runs. It’s a monthly series of runs building up to the Gold Coast Airport marathon. There’s a 5K every month and a longer race building up by 5K month on month for those working towards the marathon. Nice idea and the great thing with running races is they’re cheap and the only equipment to worry about is your shoes. Incidentally this was my first chance to properly test out the new Saucony Fastwitch trainers I bought last week.

The series draws a pretty big crowd and there were typical self-seeding issues on the start line. Not that I felt I should be there today – 5Ks aren’t really my thing and there was my knotted up quad too. Still I pushed my way to what I thought was a reasonable position. It helps wen guys in front see a mate and briefly comment on planned times. 20 minutes, yep I should be standing in front of you. At least you can while away the final minutes before the gun goes off speculating on who should or shouldn’t be up front!

When the horn did go it was hard out from the start. My pace didn’t feel great, I lacked rhythm. I just felt I was pushing and breathing hard, but not getting the speed I wanted. The first kilometre marker went by at about 3:40 on my watch. So that’s not PB pace for sure. Guess it means I better push a bit more. Which is pretty much the story of the rest of the race. I slowly moved up keeping a solid pace. One little surge in the middle which was really bloody hard, but this kid who’d dropped pace tried to stick with me when I came past and I wasn’t having that!

I tried to keep up a solid pace all the way, the last kilometre was certainly a struggle. Especially with a grassy sharp incline thrown in just to really put some hurt into the legs. Then a nice bit of mud to take away the new shoe shine! The finish was on the sports centre track I didn’t have enough to take any of the guys in the bunch I was tagged onto, but I did out sprint the woman leading us in the last 100 metres! Well it is a race, whether they call it a fun run or not. My time crossing the line was a disappointing 18:15 highlighting the lack of speedwork in my current regime! I have no idea of my placing, but there were some decent athletes in the field. Brit Stuart Hayes won in a time in the 15 minute range I believe.

So the net result is I’m not any faster than I was last time I raced short. I may have had mitigating circumstances that may have slowed me a little though. That’s a lot of maybes though. I’m not worrying too much as a mate kindly commented I don’t train for 5Ks. The new trainers were great, very happy with them. Fit was spot on and they were comfortable so should be perfect for the marathon come the end of an Ironman.

I’m now largely packed for my trip down to Geelong tomorrow morning. Looking forward to a change of scene and a chance to kick start the final build for Ironman Oz. Hopefully my knotted quad will clear up with a bit of encouragement and I can get properly stuck in to training. Then I can put this mediocre week behind me and look forward to the next race.