Doral Freedom 5K Run Race Report

Today, I ran the Doral Freedom Run 5K in my backyard.  This is the second year for this race and it's always in support of our troops, the victims of 9/11, and our police and firefighters.  Since the Southern Command is right in my backyard too, it is a nice local race that involves the military and we get to run inside SouthCom, which we never get to see because it's all secret and closed.

This was to be my second time trial before Berlin.  I already did a time trial with a distance that is better for gauging my progress but it was a month ago and I wanted to see how far I've come since I've noticed in the last month a huge improvement in my asthma and my paces.

Asthma Update:
Back in May, my asthma was out of control.  At the beginning of my marathon training, my breathing capacity was at 62%, four of the last five races had me having asthma attacks during them (and the one I didn't was only because I took it slow).  On top of that, I got severe asthma during Week 2 of marathon training, leaving me in bed for close to a week.  My chest hated me.

But, my coach worked a really good plan for me that would help me heal my lungs while at the same time improve my paces.  However, I don't think my coach ever suspected I would improve this much.  I gotta say I am surprised as well.

Training has gone well, with no asthma attacks during any of the runs (except my time trial in which I got an asthma episode at Mile 4).  As my asthma got better, so did my paces (as those of you in FB have seen with my WTF was my coach thinking LR workouts, LOL).  Overall, I was very confident going into this 5K to know I would do well.  However, how well was to be determined.

Training has had its ups and downs, including the week I got severe asthma and the weekend my kitty died.  Add that a lot of extra work that included me having 4 judges to cover and 55 hours a week, getting everything done was challenging.

I have been training by HR (which will anger LTH, haha), mainly because most asthma attacks have occurred after spikes in my HR.  So watching my HR was better than watching my pace because I was able to prevent asthma episodes during some runs where I was close to one.  So, on my easy runs, I would reduce the speed whenever I hit 145bpms and would run all my paced runs by its approximate HR for the distance.  I started to see an improvement in my asthma and paces around 5-6 weeks into the training.

So, since doing this race was not on my calendar, I was not to do any tapering for it.  I did my usual week (which is my peak week), finishing with a 6 miler late last night.  I woke up this morning, drank my coffee and left.

Since this race was at the park where I do my group runs, I ran 3 miles to the park as a warmup run and arrived there with 5 minutes to spare.  I knew it was humid (77 dewpoint) when I left the house because I was soaked by Mile 0.25.   It was also 83F already and by the time of the race, it was 90F and 76 dewpoint, which if you know what dewpoint does, you'll know it was horrible weather to race.

Because of the dewpoint, my HR was 10bpms higher than normal, so I knew watching it today was most important, as the purpose of this time trial was to do well while not having an asthma attack.

The race started at 7:35am, way too late for this weather, but what can you do.  The course is flat but as usual, cloudless, sunny, and shadeless.  However, since I do this route almost every day, it was fun to know where the turns and the finish line would be.

Mile 1:  I started strong, reaching 175bpms almost immediately and I just tried to hold on.  The pace felt easy even though it showed a number that is impossible for me post-asthma.  Mile 1: 7:43

Mile 2: We get into SouthCom and start the loop around the facilities.  I am already reaching 180bpms and my job at this point is to lower the HR (by lowering the pace) every time I would reach 182.  180 for me is asthma attack territory, so I was not willing to push it that far.  Mile 2: 8:05.

Mile 3: We head back into the park for the final stretch and I am still running strong.  I don't get the feelings that I'm about to get an asthma attack, which usually happens between Miles 2 and 3, so I am happy.  I also know I am not pushing it as hard as I can, but that was not the purpose of this race and I am nothing if not dedicated (and if I don't follow his instructions, I am afraid my coach would whip me).  Mile 3: 8:06.

Mile 0.14: I do a final kick knowing my HR is at 185, so this race better be over soon before I have an asthma attack.  My kick is 7:12mm, of which I am happy with.

The best news is that my pre-asthma PR is 24:57 on a much cooler day (75F) and today I ran....24:57, LOL.  In way worse weather.  I am very happy with my performance, because it served its purpose.  It gave me an idea of where I am at while also showing me that I am back to my paces of a year ago and that my asthma has turned a corner.

Oh, I won 2nd in my AG, and here is the medal.  6th AG award of my career.

Next stop: the Marathon.


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