Race 13: Veteran Moves

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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-12 at 4.17.20 PM.png

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!



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