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Oh yeah!

I think I can safely declare that I am now in the best shape of my life.

I've blathered before, but I've long held that that summer/fall 1996 was when I was in the best shape of my life. Over the last 2 years, I've bested my times in everything but the 5K, which made sense since that was the (non-track) distance I'd specifically trained for.

So today was the Murray Memorial 5K, which I have now run 3 times. (I actually won the race in 2004 because no one faster showed up). I'll probably run this race every year that I live here because I usually have a good time, and maybe I'll eventually win one of the awesome door prizes :)

The weather was kind of weird ... it was grey and it occasionally sprinkled. It almost looked like it would rain for the race, but it didn't. It was just enough to wet the ground in parts and make the footing bad.

The race is 1.5 loops around the lake, with the finish on the opposite side from the start and the post-race goodies kind of in between the two. I decided to park at the pavilion for the post-race instead of the start, since I'd need to go back out for 3 miles to make my mileage for the day. I walked over to get my packet, and started my warm-up on the way back to the car. I ran a pretty slow mile, and then did a little bit of stretching before switching to my race flats and walking back over to the start area.

Before finishing my stretching at the start area, I had to go find the bathroom to put on my HRM chest strap. I'd decided to wear my HRM in an attempt to see what my MHR is; I put electrical tape over the heart rate display so as not to distract myself. After getting all situated, I finished my stretching before doing a few strides. My pre-race strides are pretty short, I think they probably should be called stride outs or pop outs or something.

As usual, I never know where to line up for races here. I decided to put myself a few rows back from the start, towards the edge so I could hopefully not deal with people who'd put themselves too far forward. (Like the little boy that petered out about 30 seconds in). Basically my strategy was to run hard, run harder and then run super hard. Or at least that was the idea.

I got off to a decent start, and was pleased with my first mile split of 6:37. As I mentioned above, there were some spots where my race flats did not have good traction, usually going around turns. I was a little worried about wiping out, which would suck a lot. The second mile I got a strange little boost when we came back by the start and there was a track club guy that's known for racing every weekend (and doing 10+ marathons/year) who actually cheered for me by name. He pronounced it wrong, but I didn't even know he knew who I was. I picked up a bit, and hit the 2 mile point with a split of 6:35. So I knew I had to not suck it up and I could actually PR!

The 3rd mile I was fighting to stay strong and run hard. I felt like I picked up through that mile, so I'm surprised by my 3rd mile split of 6:57. I think it was maybe misplaced, but whatever. I really fought to kick that last 0.1 ... especially seeing the clock tick through the 20:30s. Go go go!

I crossed the line, looked at my watch and thought about puking. 20:42 - PR by 1 second. I'll take it, considering I didn't know if I'd ever get that close again. So goodbye 9.5 year old PR!!

1 | 6:37 | AHR 186
2 | 6:35 | 13:12 | AHR 193
3 | 6:57 | 20:10 | AHR 195
5K | 20:42 | 6:40/mi | AHR 192 | 96% PE

I sat for a few seconds to catch my breath, and then grabbed a water bottle on my way back to the car. I was a little thirsty, since I don't stop at water stops for 5Ks. I switched over my shoes, and then headed out for another 3 miles.

After my long cooldown, I finally got to hit the post-race goodies. The muffins were all gone, but I got some cookies and a banana. You know, I want to like bananas, but I generally don't. I'll eat them after races because they're good for you but they are not my favorites. I knew I wasn't going to collect any hardware since there aren't AG awards, only OA awards, and I know I finished 5th female. The first place girl broke 19! (Hence why I call my victory in '04 a fluke). I had hopes for a door prize, but sadly didn't win anything, again.

My HR data annoys me. I was hoping that my MHR was higher than the 199 I've been claiming, but I only hit a max of 198 today. That sucks! I really wanted it to be higher, but the 96% PE matches what I'm supposed to achieve for a 5K ... so I guess I really do run all my runs too fast. OH WELL! It doesn't seem to be hurting me ... yeah, OK, maybe I could be faster if I trained right but I'm pretty damn happy with my '06 - if you go look at my race history I've PR'd at everything I've run this year. And I'm not even training for 5Ks or 4 mile races, so to PR at them is awesome for me. Almost makes me wonder if I could get under 20 if I did train specifically, but I have to admit that 5K training just doesn't appeal to me anymore. Well, the racing, I guess - I don't hate doing intervals and track work, but doing a 5K just doesn't feel "big" enough to me to make it a focus.

So yeah, I'm once again feeling good. The McMillan calculator shows some interesting stuff for 10K and 1/2 marathon. I hope the weather is nice towards the end of the month because I think I'm going to try and bust ass at the 1/2. I think the prediction from the 5K is probably too aggressive, but we'll see.


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Great race!! You've made quite some progress. I don't think there should be any doubt that come race day you'll be able to BQ!

Awesome! Congrads on the PR!

Awsome story and way to go, sweet. Very cool enjoy it, PR's Rock.

Nice times and congrats on the great PR...maybe after you get the BQ and run Boston, you could try focusing on shorter races, just to see...that's kind of what I'd like to do.

Awesome race! Just awesome! Congratulations on the PR, you are having a great year. :)

Nice work. It's cool that your name, at least, is starting to be recognizeable!

Congrats on a great race and the PR!

LOOK AT YOU!!! Fantastic!

Wow - what a fast 5K! Congrats!