Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”....

Well, apparently, I have a serious case of race insanity. The number one rookie mistake in a race is going out too fast. I have done this over and over and over. My 5K and 10K PRs are the two rare races when I held back in that first mile and managed to run consistently throughout all the miles with fairly even splits. But inconsistency and positive splits (running each mile progressively slower instead of evenly or faster) have become my running trademarks.

Yesterday was no exception. On a very hot and humid day, I unwisely lined up near the front of the race, flew across the start line, actually keeping up with the faster runners.... for about a quarter mile, and had a new ONE MILE PR---8:36 (and that was even holding back a tiny bit). Unfortunately for me, this was not a ONE MILE RACE, but a 3.1 mile race. Doggone it!

I know better, but race-day adrenaline almost always gets the best of me. When I looked down at my Garmin at about the 1/2 mile point and was running at an 8:10 pace, I though briefly, "Well, maybe this IS my new 5K pace and all that speed work in recent weeks has paid off." (Yes, in my DREAMS.) I knew I should slow down, but I was stubbornly seeking a PR on a day when weather conditions were certainly not ideal. That first too-fast mile caught up to me when my energy was basically depleted by 1.5 miles. My chest was tight, I was having a hard time getting a deep breath, and I was pretty much done. Many walk breaks later, I crossed the finish line.

I won't even post my finish time on here (it was over 30 minutes and it's been over a year since I ran one that slowly, which is rather depressing...). I didn't run smart and I know that. The question is, will I do the EXACT SAME THING in the next 5K on August 22. (Probably.) No, seriously, I'm going to break the cycle of insanity NEXT TIME. I hope.

After the race, I came home and ran 4 more miles to end the week with 20 miles total. My goal for last summer was to run at least 10 miles a week and this summer is to run 15-20 miles per week. I think easing back into training with a stronger base will be helpful.

Supposedly, half-marathon training starts tomorrow for the Music City Half-Marathon on October 18. But I don't really feel ready to jump into a formal training plan at the moment. Mentally, I'm just not there yet. Half-marathon training plans don't HAVE to be 16-weeks. I think I'll go with a 12-or 14-week plan this time. It's going to be a LONG training cycle anyway culminating with the December 5 marathon (hopefully). I'm not ready to give up my "freedom" to run whenever and whatever I want just yet....


Jhoanna said…
Oh Donna, sounds like you had exactly the same kind of race I had on the weekend! I ran my first 5km race on Saturday too. I started way too fast, swept up in the flow of the crowd and then bonked just before 4km. My legs felt like dead weight. It is definitely something I hope not to do in my next 5km race in two weeks!

But you crossed the finish line and that is important too. You didn't give up as hard as it was in the end. Congratulations on seeing it through to the end.
Bethany said…
You can make that change in August! No doubt about it. I agree it is way to hot. I want to try to run 10 miles in a week also... I figure it will give a solid base to grow from, but I really need to re-evaluate my runs. Running at lunch is just way to hot... Good Luck in starting your training again!
You'll do better at your next 5K I'm sure. Of course, I had to laugh as I read this because I just attempted to add some speedwork into my routine. I was running not quite as fast as you and made it to a mile and a half before I decided I had enough.
NY Wolve said…
Welcome to the club and going out too fast. I am reading the book Run Less, Run Faster, and they stress the importance of pacing because of the impact on muscle/glycogen/lactate. I don't nderstand it all, but made me want to pace evenly!
Wow, does this sound familiar! What makes me laugh is how I convince myself -- every single time -- that this time is different. That my faster pace is really my new pace, as you say. But, hey, if it all comes together perfectly every single time, where's the challenge in that?
Mama said…
BTDT, too many times. Sigh.

Good job getting in 20 miles this week.

MCM Mama
I have those "maybe this is my new pace" daydreams, too. Had them today, in fact. I figure it's got to happen someday. Right?! Anyway, congrats on finishing even though it was a hard one! And way too hot!
Amen! Preach it, sister. We did the same thing. Except that maybe I would've done a little better if I wasn't in the back. I should've started up by you. Too many walkers on that narrow, narrow trail for me to get around is what cause my first mile to be even faster than yours. And I came in, what, 4 minutes after you? Ugh. Worst. Race. Ever.