My experience with 3 races in 11 days -
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#1 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 12:32 PM - Thead Starter
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I hate 5ks. OK, hate is a strong word but I really haven't enjoyed the one's I have done and I felt like I didn't really push myself hard enough when I ran one. So I decided that since I didn't have any long distance races planned for the fall I would do some short races to get over my 5k Fear.

I did a 5k in October which went ok then I set myself up for 3 races in 11 days (5k, 8k, 5k). The first was 11/11, a 5k right 10 minutes from my house. There is also a 10miler that begins at the same point. I wish I was ready to do that one but my longest run lately had been an 8 miler and I knew that there was a hill on the 10 mile route that made even the strongest runner want to cry so I stuck with the 5k. This wasn't a chip timed race so I had to rely on my Garmin for my time. I went out a little fast but it felt good so I kept within the 9min mile range, then came the first hill. It was substantial and long and my pace went down a bit. There was a another hill a little way further and it was short but steep so my time for the second mile was around a 10 min mile. I pushed hard the last 1.1 miles but I was hurting. I feel bad for anyone running near me as I was breathing heavy and probably annoying. I finished up at around a 9:25 pace. My Garmin time was 29:20 which is a PR for me! I was extrememly happy since it was a tough course. Average Pace: 9:30

I knew I pushed myself because that night and the next few days I was really sore (I had never been sore after a 5k before). I got in two runs that week but my left lower quad and lower hamstring were not happy so by Thursday I decided to give them some rest before Philly.

I was sooooo psyched for Philly. Not for the race, I was just doing that since I was going to be there, but for the oppurtunity to meet a bunch of 30s I hadn't met before and to see the one's I see often. I wanted to get in a run to loosen the legs up on Saturday but I didn't get a chance. Too many errands before we had to head out. So I went into the 8k Sunday morning with rested legs but I think not getting in a run the day before hurt me. I went out ok, but I could feel the heaviness in my legs within 3/4 of a mile. I really wanted to keep up with Jill, Brian and Norah but at a certain point I just gave up and backed off. I progressively got a bit slower each mile and by the last mile I had legs made of lead. During the last half mile I tried to kick it 3 different times and couldn't maintain an increased pace. At this point I was getting angry. It wasn't that my time was rediculously horrible but it was that it just didn't feel good and I haven't had a bad run in months so I was frustrated. I rounded the corner towards the finish and once I saw it I put my head down like a bull and charged. I wanted this race over so bad, I was so pissed off. I heard my wonderful friends cheering me on but I just couldn't take my eyes off the finish. Once I was done I was ready to cry. I thought that my DH and DD probably were cheering me and I didn't even look over to wave to DD! I found Jill & Brian getting their pictures taken and then Norah showed up and her funny picture in front of the flag cheered me up as well. Here was my race according to my Garmin (which doesn't make sense distance wise):

1st Mile: 9:49
2nd Mile: 9:40
3rd Mile: 10:09
4th Mile: 10:19
5th Mile: 10:17
.10 : 0:00:11 (huh? Um, its 4.97 miles, why is my garmin saying it was 5.1)

Overall time according to Garmin: 50:24 Overall Chip Time: 50:25
Average Pace: 9:53

It was an awesome weekend regardless of my run.

I made sure I got out for 2 miles the day before Thanksgiving to loosen up my legs for the Turkey Trot. I don't have the official results yet but it was a course PR (Last years time was 32:05) . Last year I did it with a friend who had never run a race before and she wanted to start in the back. I remember having to weave the entire first mile and I wasn't going to do that this time. I started in the 9min mile area. I went out strong but I still had to weave in and out a bit. This year the event was much larger than last year (probably because of the wonderful weather). There were lots of kids, dogs, etc to get around and it never thinned out the entire course. I watched my watch to make sure I stayed in the mid 9 min mile range the whole race. I was tired and I had a feeling I wouldn't have a PR but I still wanted to give it my best shot. I've never done so many races in such a short period of time so I really was just hoping for a course PR. Here's my splits:

1st Mile: 9:34
2nd Mile: 9:44
3rd Mile: 9:31
Last .1: 1:06 (8:26 pace)

Final Time: 29:55 Avg Pace 9:28

I was pleased. I think running these 3 races so close together taught me a lot:

1. Don't run 3 races that close to each other (lol)
2. I pushed hard each race but feel I could have pushed harder.
3. I probably need to go out just a bit slower so I have more kick the last mile.
4. I don't hate or fear 5ks anymore
5. I think I'm built more for endurance than speed. In looking at my average pace of my runs over the last month or so I think I can handle a decent pace for a long time but when I have to push for a shorter distance my speed doesn't match up. For instance. I could run 10 miles at a sub 10 min mile pace no problem but to do maintain a 9:30 pace for 3 or so miles is hard for me.

I'm hoping with my spring HM training to build more consistency in my running and hopefully the speed work, etc will help me increase my short distance race times.

All in all I'm very pleased with where my running has come in just a 1 year and 4 months. I started out running 13 min miles, so I don't think I'm doing to shabby.

Sorry for the long boring novel! I just needed to write it all out.
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#2 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 01:02 PM
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Hi Heather - congrats on your PR and overcoming your 5k fear .

I saw your post and was interested because I did the MCM (Oct 2 then starting two weeks later did a 5K, a 3 mile race and another 5K within two weeks. All 3 races were PRs, (my last 5k was a PR by only 7 seconds), but I could feel that my legs were a little zapped even in the first mile of my last race.

I've been told (not that I know) that you have to do speedwork to really get better at shorter races like the 5K.

I started running about the same time as you too...weird coincidence. Great job on your improvement. It looks like you're really coming along well - Keep up the good work!
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#3 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 01:03 PM
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Racing 3 races that close together IS hard, but you did it - nice job!
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#4 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 01:03 PM
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Yay! - you really packed a lot of racing experience into a very short timeframe. And did great at each race!

If you ever need a virtual running partner (or just a little virtual encouragement), let me know - we certainly have similar experiences (though when my lead-like legs came on you looked super strong as you pulled away from me!) and likely similar goals.

Great job! You deserve a nice little rest from racing...!

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#5 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 01:14 PM
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Excellent job!!!!!

3 in 11 days and a PR! Congrats.

I did 4 in 11 this past summer (3.5M, 50k, 5k, 15k) and it too was a learning experience. I PR'ed the 5k but I still fear and loathe them.

Congrats on overcoming your fear of the 5k and your outstanding acheivement!!!!

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#6 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 01:31 PM - Thead Starter
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This spring I did my first HM in 2:25ish and then did the Broad Street 10miler in 1:40 a week later. I think that accounts for the fact that I had actually trained for the HM well.

Absolutely. You were a great real life running partner that day!

I have the Christmas Classic 5miler on 12/8 so at least I get a 2 week break!
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#7 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 01:41 PM
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Heather, Great report! Thats alot of racing in such a short time, huge kudos to you for that.

I think alot of Garmins were acting up in Philly. I know mine was about 3 tenths of a mile ahead while we were out there and mine said I ran something like 13.5 miles .

It was great to meet you, your hubby and your oh so cute DD . You guys should be very proud of her!
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#8 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 01:57 PM
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hey my garmin wigged out completely in Philly.

Congrats on your heavy racing load! I'd say you conquered the short distance with that PR! Way to go!
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#9 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 02:00 PM
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Breaking 30 minutes again in the 5K with 3 races in 11 days is nicely done. Races are tough on the legs. Now get some rest and easy running.
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#10 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 02:30 PM
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You're doing great Heather!! You've attacked your 5k fear dead on and your times are excellent. Now it's time to train for and beat your HM time
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#11 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 04:21 PM
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I can't even fathom running 10 miles at a sub 10 min pace, but I can run a 5K at a 9 min pace...what's up with that?!

Way to overcome your 5K fear!
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#12 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 05:54 PM
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Way to challenge yourself. I am pretty sure I would not want to run 3 races in 10 days. Keep challenging yourself, base build for spring, and you should have a great 2008!
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#13 of 19 Old 11-24-2007, 10:37 PM
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Great races - congrats! Do you think you didn't push yourself as hard as you thought you could have b/c you knew you had other races coming up so quickly? I would think it would be hard to go all out in race #1, knowing that you have another race so soon. Hope your 5 mile goes well!
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#14 of 19 Old 11-25-2007, 05:29 PM - Thead Starter
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I think I pushed harder than I have ever pushed before, I just don't know my limit yet on how hard to push before I puke, ya know what I mean?

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#15 of 19 Old 11-25-2007, 10:32 PM
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Terrific job Heather! Three races at consistent paces - that's really awesome progress for someone who's been running at the relatively short time you've been at it.

Maybe one of these days I'll overcome my aversion to 5Ks (everything inside me feels wrong when I ramp it up that quickly) - reading your thoughts is reassuring in that when it comes down to it, it really can't be that bad in the end.

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#16 of 19 Old 11-26-2007, 12:35 PM
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Way to go!!! Three races of any distance is hard in that short a timeframe. I love that you no longer fear the dreaded 5K!!
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#17 of 19 Old 11-26-2007, 01:04 PM
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I don't know how I missed this... Impressive running, lady! Congratulations!!!

If today was perfect, there would be no need for tomorrow.
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#18 of 19 Old 11-26-2007, 02:45 PM
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Nice job Heather! That's a lot of racing in a short time. I did 3 races in 6 weeks this fall, and I'm beginning to think even that was too much for me. Great PR! I can't wait to see how you do this spring with your HM. (Which one are you doing?)

It was really great to meet you in Philly. I wish we'd had more time to talk!

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#19 of 19 Old 11-26-2007, 02:54 PM
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Great running! A very cool racing challenge to do that many races in such a short time.

(PS I don't think there is anything wrong with fearing the 5k. I do. Those suckers hurt).
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