Anthem 5K Race Report

Official Results:
Avg Pace Per Mile: 6:29
Division (M 30-34) Place: 37th out of 465
Gender Place: 171st out of 3678
Overall Place: 192nd out of 8495
 This is the first race that both Jessica and I have run. So we had to get the kids to her Mom’s house and get down to the start line by 8am…not an easy task. Those with kids know that it always takes longer than you expect to get out of the house. So we were running a few minutes behind all morning. We got downtown so late that we ended up having to park a good 8-9 blocks from the start line. We jogged a little bit and by the time we got down near the start, the National Anthem was almost over. So I hustled up to the front and tried to push my way through the crowd. I knew that in a race with 8500 people, I wanted to be near the front. I was constantly trying to squeeze closer and closer to the start line and was still trying to move forward even as the race started.
I obviously didn’t have time for any sort of warm-up, so my legs were very tight right out of the gate. I wanted to break 20 minutes, so I had a goal of maintaining a 6:25 pace for each mile…thinking if I could get close to that pace, I would be able to finish strong and get my goal.
The first mile was spent weaving in and out of traffic. I get very annoyed with slower runners starting up at the front…I’ll save that rant for a different post. I got to the 1 mile mark in 6:23, but my legs were already heavy. It usually takes me a good 10-15 minutes of running to warm-up and feel good, so not having a chance to jog or do any dynamic stretching before such a short race was not good. My average heart rate for mile 1 was 159 bpm.
The second mile has a little bit of a hill and that’s where I really felt my legs burning. It’s like they were asking me what I was thinking trying to push them this hard without a warm-up. I was wearing my Garmin, so I was able to glace down several times and see my current pace. After the hill, I was holding steady around a pace of 6:30-6:33 per mile – not good enough. I did the second mile in 6:32…I was now 5 seconds off of my goal pace after two miles. My average HR for mile 2 was 171 bpm.
My breathing started to become labored at this point and I had to dig deep just to maintain my current pace. I was still passing people and never really caught up to the runners that were running my pace. The constant running all over the road to get around people didn’t do me any favors. I was now incorporating my arm swing more than usual, trying to use every bit of energy I had left. I ran the 3rd mile in 6:30, but it was too late to make up the now 10 seconds I was behind my goal. My average HR for the 3rd mile was 177 bpm.
I ran the last tenth of a mile at a 6:06 pace, but by this time I knew that breaking 20 minutes wasn’t going to happen. My heart rate jumped up to 182 bpm as I crossed the finish line. Believe it or not, this heart rate tells me that my cardiovascular system wasn’t maxed out. My legs were the limiter. I have a feeling that a proper warm-up would have made a difference. 
While I was disappointed in my race, I was impressed beyond words at the performance Jessica turned in. Her goal time was 34 minutes and she knocked it out of the park with a 30:22! I’m very proud of her and can’t wait to see her running continue to improve!

One Response to “Anthem 5K Race Report”

  1. Matthew Smith March 7, 2012 at 10:54 AM #

    Man, I feel like if you had gotten a proper warmup and been at the front so you didn’t have to dodge people, you would have broken 20. You had a really great race anyway, so don’t be too disappointed! Jessica did awesome too!!! Way to go, guys!

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