It was a recovery week but I decided to sign up last minute for a 10K tune up race (recap at the end of the post). Not sure if it was a smart choice. I guess my performance in training this week will let me know if I require more time for recovery. But before I get ahead of myself – here’s the breakdown of Week 5 of training:
Monday 4/25 – Easy 20min indoor cycling (8mi) + 20min strength (push-ups/pull-ups, squats, lunges, hip mobility and core work)
Tuesday 4/26 – 6x800s/400R (5mi)
I swear I wanted to take it down a notch during this workout. This is the trouble with the ‘group effect’ – mentioned in my book review of Matt Fitzgerald’s How Bad do You Want It? Even though it helps increase your level of perceived effort and push you, it could lead to over stressing your body.
Our tight-knit group was in shambles as the guy who usually leads our group (and happens to be the President of the track club) had to leave early assigning someone else to take the reins for him. The pacing was off for me as the lead started at lightning speed and eventually slowed down for the second lap. I continued to run with the group but on the last lap, the assistant coach who was the timekeeper reminded us that it was a step-back week and we shouldn’t be pushing the pace. My brain immediately switched gears as he said this and I backed off which I should have done in the very beginning.
Lap breakdown (mostly in lane 4 =.52mi) 1 – 3:30 (6:44/mi), 2 – 3:31 (6:47/mi), 3 – 3:30 (6:44/mi), 4 – 3:28 (6:42/mi), 5 – 3:30 (6:44/mi), 6 – 3:36 (6:57/mi)
Wednesday 4/27 – OFF (Zoo day with Iz)
Thursday 4/28 – Trail Run (Easy 6mi – 9:09/mi)
The rain clouds loomed and the wind picked up as I debated if I should run on the trails or head inside for an hour on the treadmill. No raindrops yet so I ventured out on to the trails near my house. Luckily, the rain held off and I was in my happy place enjoying an easy run outdoors.
Saturday 4/30 – ACT Today for Military Families 10K (Total: 7.5mi)
I wanted to do a tune-up race in the middle of this training cycle to gauge my fitness level. The ACT race was the only 10K available around this time and I was hesitant to sign up for it because of the course looping around Fiesta Island – an area located within Mission Bay and while it’s surrounded by water, the scenery is ‘blah’ in my opinion and the winds are at times brutal when the weather is less than ideal. What made me decide to do it? Actually who and it was a friend who wanted to test her potential. How can I not support her?
Saturday morning, up at 5am I looked out the kitchen window and noticed the trees in the yard swaying back and forth. I immediately checked the weather forecast that indicated clouds and winds around 12mph. However, rain started to pour once I arrived at the start line to pick up my bib. My first thought, a PR goal may be out of reach today.
10K Goals: A) PR – 45:08 or faster B) Faster than my previous 10K in Feb – 45:59 C) Finish strong and run goal half-marathon pace – 7:37/mi
It was a small race – 200 runners total, supporting Military Families who are affected by autism. This was actually the first and only race I ran with a stroller (did a 5K) five years ago when my first kid was 8 months old. So back to the rain and wind. I arrived early at the race for bib pick up and to run a couple of miles beforehand for a warm-up but it started to rain. I didn’t want to get wet before the race started so I blasted the heat in my car to warm up instead.
The rain stopped at start time and a vision of blue appeared in the sky. I wore a light windbreaker but wondered if it was the wrong choice. Miles 1 and 2 (7:16/mi) – a little faster than planned. I wanted to start at a 7:20/mi pace but I allowed the pace to come to me without forcing it. The mile markers came up short – maybe 400m? My watch beeped between 1 to 2 min after I passed the markers.
Miles 3, 4, 5 (7:27, 7:48, 7:39) Mantra during these miles – Fight the Wind! I started to feel warm around mile 3, tempted to take off the windbreaker, then couple of minutes later the rain hit again and I got cold. The final miles on the course particularly around mile 4 is when the wind hit hard. Unfortunately, not too many people were in front of me so I couldn’t draft off anyone. I caught up to a young dude who didn’t want any company at all as he sped up the minute I was next to him. I stayed at the same pace, caught him again and he did the same thing. This happened 3 or 4x! He finally pushed off at a faster pace during the last mile and I think he finished a minute ahead of me.
Mile 6.1 (7:29, final .1mi was around 7:00/mi) The distance between mile 6 and the finish line was longer therefore when I finished, the course was only .1mi short (still it was short). Official finish time was 45:31 placing 1st in my age group! It was a small race so I had a better chance of placing but didn’t expect the 1st place finish. I was satisfied with the results since I ran with the best effort I could give that day. My friend who convinced me to sign up finished with a PR time and 5th place in her division. I was so proud of her since she seems to doubt her racing abilities and this time she pushed herself to do her best.
Sunday 5/1 – Family Hike – Kumeyaay lake trail
This is becoming our normal Sunday routine -an afternoon hike on one of the many trails in San Diego. We picked an easy one around a lake and packed a picnic lunch. It wasn’t as scenic as the previous week but we witnessed the San Diego Fire helicopter hover over the lake to get water. We weren’t sure if there was an actual fire since we didn’t see smoke nearby so they may have been doing drills. Girls were excited to see it.
This wraps up my week. Ever run a race that measured short? Race during a recovery week – smart or not? Would love to hear your opinions.