Previous Chip Time Record: 45:41
New PR: 44:35!!!!
As this was my third race I had been working to improve my control of my race as my previous two races, while fun and good, were over adrenaline hyped runs where I felt out of control through the entire race. During my first race the experience was new, adrenaline ruled my pacing. It was a good race but I was unable to exert as much control over my pacing and I found my legs tiring earlier than in my weekly runs. My second run I was able to control things a tad better, but nutrition decisions crippled my time. This race I controlled my pace perfectly. If I found my pace too fast I slowly and deliberately worked to slow the pace down to where it felt comfortable and sustainable. On climbs I pushed a little but enough to keep myself in the fifteen minute per mile pace. On straightaways I picked up the pace a bit, but not too much to where I would wear myself out. In the end of the race I had a bit left in the tank for a tenth of a mile sprint to the finish line!
The course was pretty flat except for one incline halfway in the first mile and a second one near the end. The incline at the end of the race was the killer, it was not slow and gradual, but pretty brutal on tired legs. Control of my pace helped me to get up it and still have left over energy for pushing it to the finish line. As I reached the top of the hill and started downward I could see the finish line. My watch indicated I had a tenth of a mile left, I bolted, moving as fast as possible, sprinting for the finish line. This was the first time I ran all out for the finish line and I think I left a little early as I was almost across the finish line and I had nothing left with inches left to go. I pushed hard as my tank ran out of gas and my body was pushed to the limit, I wanted that finish line and I wanted it badly.
Turns out time wise I beat my previous chip timed 5k time, which was 45:41, with a time of 44:35. For two weeks progress, I am ecstatic with that time. I know part of it was the push at the end, but the other part of it was running a well paced race. I did not go out too strong and I was able to finish the race while controlling each miles pace and not dropping off too much between each mile. I did give myself two ten second walking breaks, one when getting water and the second before the last hill. But these were planned and managed to give a quick breather.
I liked the nutrition formula for this race that I used. I woke up and downed an oatmeal and a chobani yogurt. On the way to the event I drank a sports drink and ate some peanuts. Fifteen minutes before the race started I popped a gel and some more water as I stretched. Overall, I had sufficient energy and fuel on the run and did not feel like I ran out of energy on the run. Compared to my last event where I experimented by removing the gel before running and ran out of energy and almost felt like I could not finish, the fueling strategy was perfect for this race.
I loved the low key nature of this event. Most people were Bartow/Cartersville natives and this truly had a small town feel. The course was challenging and scenic. The event was extremely well planned out and the fact it was chip timed was perfect. I managed to get a PR in this race, which even if I did not, I would have been happy I perfectly managed and controlled my race, which was something I had been trying to do in my previous races. Two hours after this race and after some major food gorging (chocolate almond milk protein shake , an Italian sub and a chicken salad croissant ) I went for a 20 mile bike ride (details will be posted later). Overall this race was a great local smaller race that I will add to my calendar for next year. Til next time.