Parkland 5 Mile Holiday Run


Today, I ran the Parkland 5 Mile Holiday Run in Parkland, Florida.  This was to be a test of how well I am doing and whether I can race without albuterol.  I got to say this test was a success.

I did no taper for this; in fact, I've run a lot of miles this week.  So, my legs were tired and so was I.  Still, I thought I could still PR.  After all, my PR of 44:50 is soft and from two years ago.  In April, I attempted a 5 miler race and had a huge asthma attack, coming in at a disappointing 46:33, which was the story of my first half of the year.

But I knew I felt much better now and my runs have gone well, so I was ready to see how well I could do.  I've been doing multiple marathons so I also knew there is no way to get a huge PR in any of my races and the closer to my second maniac star, the tired I'm going to be.  So, this weekend worked perfectly.

I woke up at 5am with a migraine.  Not as bad as others, but still a bother.  I drove to Parkland, which is around 45 minutes away, picked my packet and went out for a warmup run.  By the time I was in Parkland, I was nauseous from the headache.  At least the weather was nice, 71F and 69 dewpoint, but that means the humidity was close to 100%.  I was soaked before I even started the race.

Instead of my usual racing flats, I went with regular trainers (Mizuno Precisions).  Since I've twisted my ankle three times this week during runs, I didn't want to lay low on the support and have more issues.  The extra weight of the Precisions did not hurt me and I don't think I could've shaved that much time by using a light shoe.

The race was advertised as flat and fast.  It was fast, but the last two miles were not flat.  My plan was run by a HR of 172 and not to look at the pace this time around.  This has worked well for my asthma and I knew it was the best to control it if I was not taking any medication.  And off we went!

Mile 1 - As is typical of a run by HR, the first mile is always faster than the rest.  The most important part of this is that my HR and pace show a very nice improvement as compared to a month ago.  Pace: 8:01.

Mile 2 - At the end of this mile, I started coughing, which is a prelude of an asthma attack.  However, as recommended by my doctor, I refrained from using the inhaler to see if I would get an asthma attack or get over it.  Pace: 8:32.

Mile 3 - At this point, the temps were close to 75F and the humidity was still high.  There is no shade on the course, as is typical of South Florida, so I am sweating like a pig, but still running a good pace.  I was still coughing throughout this mile but by the end of the mile, the cough just went away.  Pace: 8:31.

Mile 4 - As soon as I passed the Mile 3 marker, I saw the uphill and I was dang, who puts a hill at the end of a race?  But I tackled it and pushed on until the end.  Then I noticed that there was no downhill, only another uphill coming up, bah!!!!!!  Pace: 8:46.

Mile 5 - This mile starts uphill and continues uphill until 4.85.  At this point, I see the last turn and the finish.  I know my Garmin is pacing long but I know I'm close enough to finish and way ahead of a PR.  Pace: 8:53.

Finish time: 42:46.

I checked the results and got 4th in my AG and 53th overall.  I think that is the highest I've ranked in the OA results for any race here, as our races are typically large.

Overall, this was a success.  First, this was a PR without any asthma medication, no taper, and no speedwork training.  For me it's more important to have run strong and asthma free than to PR.  That I accomplished both is a miracle I'm going to enjoy for a while.

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