Potomac River Running‘s Veterans Day 5K made for the 13th race of the 30@30 campaign. The 30 degree weather scared away a lot of would-be runners but aside from the temperature the race conditions were terrific.
The theme for this week: Discipline.
This was a workout race… Coach Matt instructed me to run two miles before the race in Zone 1-2, race in Zone 3 (about 155-160 bpm) and run another two miles in Zone 2 afterward.
Goals for the Race:
1) Don’t get injured. (✓)
2) Complete my two mile warmup run just as the 5K race begins. (✓)
3) Stay disciplined and run the entire race in Zone 3. (✓)
Coach was very explicit in his instructions: “Do this in Zone 3. Be disciplined and don’t race! You’ll have plenty of opportunities for that coming up.”
Go slightly slower… no problem, right?
I suppose I’ll take it as a positive that I still have a competitive bent… but man, it was hard to hang back.
I raced with a heart rate monitor on so that I would be sure to keep my pace steady and that was immensely helpful. Given how much my heart rate fluctuates with the slightest inclines/declines, keeping a tight (155-160 bpm) range almost gamified the race and made the event more fun. Although slowing down when I felt particularly strong and watching other runners surge past me was frustrating.
I did manage to stay in Zone 3… until the last 100 meters. A younger kid tried to pass me and I wasn’t having it, so I picked up the pace and then passed another few people.
As you can see in the photo, my hips are terribly weak. As I get tired, my form deteriorates and the most noticeable result is my overlapping knees. Not good.
Aside from that, I was pleased with my overall result: 22:26 (7:14/mile in Zone 3 – 43rd/358 overall, 36 men, 3rd in age group).
Just over two months ago on Labor Day, I ran a 5K on the same course and struggled to a finish of 22:09 – so this morning’s workout-race felt like progress.
I cruised another two miles afterwards to complete the workout and immediately got in the car to warm up.
No races for a few weeks but I’ll be back in Boston for a 5K on December 3rd. Join me!