Choose to Move 5K - Or How to Crash and Burn at a 5K and Still Beat Your Goal (Follow Me for More Training Advice!)

 After my 10K where I surprised myself and ran faster than I thought I could at this moment, I set my sights on my next race, a 5K. I wanted to sign up for one before it gets too hot here in Indiana and since we had a couple of days where we hit 90F but still had days in the 30-50F range, I wasn't sure what race to sign up for, as I didn't want to risk having to run in 60F which to me feels like 100F now.

Then we cooled down a bit and the race for the Choose to Move 5K was looking fine. I have run this race a couple of times before and this is where I tried and finally succeeded to break 30 minutes in the 5K once again (for reference, my PR is 24:07 but it's from 10+ years ago). In 2021, my fastest year in 5 years, I broke 30 minutes at this race and two weeks later ran a 2:36 half marathon (my fastest in 5 years). Then all turned to shit and I finished the Carmel Marathon in 2022 with a 6:15 and hardly any training due to the injuries and other menopause issues I mentioned in my last post.

In late 2022, I ran this same course at the Gobbler's Jog 5K in a time of 36:12. But the runner I was there has changed. I have been struggling to even run more than 1 minute before having to walk, something that has gotten a bit better but hasn't resolved yet. My VO2Max is super low now, something some women athletes have gone through during menopause. Although most say it's temporary, it can take a few years to sort itself out, so I'm in the in between phase.

Starting HRT has helped immensely, I have to say. In March, my doctor increased my HRT doses and I noticed much improvement from the two months prior. My running was better, I had more energy, and my runs sucked less. Progress!

I also recently started a new medication which leaves me some days with terrible nausea. This week I was in the office three days back to back (which I hated with every fiber of my being) and I had nausea for two of those three days. It was fun...not.

Even with all that baggage, I was looking forward to seeing what I could do in a 5K. The last time I raced this distance, really race it, was when I broke the 30 minute mark in 2021. Although my last 5K was all running, it was all running at what felt like a pace I could run the whole way through not a balls out effort.

So I headed to the end of the week with instructions from my coach to start relatively pushing the pace but not balls out and getting faster as the miles go on. I am very good at negative splitting (I once ran a marathon the day after a half and finished with a 9 minute negative split, running the whole way through and getting faster every mile). But apparently, that does not translate to a 5K because I'm an idiot.

We had a Covid scare during the three days in the office but I tested Friday and was OK, so I planned on racing this beast. I had chosen a short sleeve shirt and shorts since the starting temps were to be in the 40s and cloudy. You hear that? Cloudy with a chance of rain. Of course, when I woke up at 7am the day of the race, the sun was brightly shining through and not a cloud in the sky. Fortunately, I had time to switch my outfit and ended up wearing a tank and shorts.

The race was in my old neighborhood nearby and I knew the route like the palm of my hand, having run it and race it hundreds of times in the two years we lived there. So I knew that for a successful race on this course, a slow start was best as Miles 1-2 include a full uphill followed by a long ass rolling hill before it flattened out.

So this is why my brain decided to start all out. FFS.

Mile 1 has us leaving the neighborhood called Saxony and out to Olio Road before we tackled the uphill towards 126th St. I felt great so I kept pushing the run/walk pace I had started with hoping I could hold on to it. My brain didn't realize this was the fastest mile I've run in 6 months. 10:21. Yikes!

Mile 2 had us running through the long ass rolling hill before heading north and back into the neighborhood for some flat. I grabbed a water from the water station and stopped to throw some water on my head and drink. It was probably just 50F but the sun was making me feel like I was about to explode. I actually got home still purple an hour after the race. 11:39 (this was the pace I was hoping I could do from the get go, but brain fart!)

By now, the residents were cutting the grass and my throat was filling with tons of phlegm from starting out too fast and the grass cutting. I had to stop for a moment to try to cough that shit out and also walked an extra minute to calm myself down. The rest of the race went well and I was able to continue my run/walking but this mile was my slowest at 12:39. Well deserved, jackass.

As I head into the last 0.10, I see my watch says I'm giong at around 9mm when the walk break comes through and I haven't seen times like that least of all outside in probably months. Last 0.10 pace: 11:03.

I crossed in 36:07. I was expecting and would have been happy with a 38 minute one (based on the 10K three weeks ago), so I was extremely happy but disappointed from having run it like a jackass. And I bet if I hadn't gone out that fast I probably could've broken 36. Oops.

I still don't feel like I can race a half or a marathon. I have done 10-12 miles recently on the TM but physically I feel like it would be a slow run/walk with issues. The last two races are pointing in the right direction so I think a half in the Fall might be possible. I know I can finish one in 3+ hours and a marathon in 6+ hours, but I really want to see 2:45-2:59 on my next and a sub-6 marathon next and won't try unless I feel I can do that.


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