Sunday, October 16, 2016

Is a 5K 3.1 Miles?

Yesterday, I ran the Illini Mentor Program (IMP) 5K race on the University of Illinois campus. I finished in 20:00 (my watch said 19:59.5). Good enough for 1st place in my age group (30-99 years old). And I think 3rd place overall, but full results have not been posted. I'm happy with the effort, which had me at HRavg=170, but I think my pace was slower than expected. This was not a full 5K, more like 2.9 or 3.0 miles. It could be the course was just short, or the lead group (including me) may have somehow cut it slightly short. There were a lot of arrows on the sidewalks around the Quad! We could have easily missed a turn. It doesn't really matter. I placed well and got in a tough tempo run. Maybe slightly slower than full race effort, but still mighty good for this ultra guy. Plus, the race was a fundraiser for a fantastic mentoring program between University students and community kids. All good.

The extra awesome news is that I felt wonderful just a few minutes after finishing. The race itself sucked (5Ks are hard!), but recovery was quick. The day after and I am still feeling fine. In fact, I did a nice progression run today finishing under 7:00 pace. No problems. I need to do more tempo runs and speed sessions. This speed stuff is fun.

The not-so-great news is that I skipped my long run this weekend and I have a 50 mile trail race coming up in 4 weeks. I suppose 5Ks are not the ideal way to prepare for an ultra. But it was a nice break. I needed the change of pace--literally and figuratively. I'm feeling refreshed and ready to toss in a good 20 miler next weekend. Hopefully that will be enough to get me to the finish at Tunnel Hill 50 on November 12.

No comments: