Notes to Self....

Hey, Self. Here are a few things to remember on Saturday:

1. Do NOT go out like a maniac when you hear the starting gun. If you look at your Garmin and see an 8:15 or 8:30 pace, immediately slow down! You are NOT THAT FAST!

2. Negative splits, negative splits. Practice what you preach! (On Monday evening, I taught the half-marathon training group about negative splits and then we ran a 2-mile run with negative splits.) If in the 3rd mile, you look down and see 8:30/pace, that's awesome!!

3. Run your own race! Don't get into the business of comparing yourself to other runners. It's not about THEM, it's only about YOU.

4. It's also not about getting a PR every time, it's certainly not about winning (overall or age group). It's about doing your BEST.

5. But remember, 5K's are supposed to hurt. When maintaining the pace gets tough and your breathing is ragged, think "This is what a race is SUPPOSED to feel like." (I got that little nugget from my Boston-qualifying friend Lana.)

I'm very excited to see how this race pans out. My last two 5K's were not good efforts on my part. I ran one in my childhood hometown exactly two weeks after the Country Music Marathon. I was not remotely recovered from the marathon! My toenails hadn't even fallen off yet. I still had aches and fatigue in my legs. My feet really hurt. Then a month later I did another one. I had recovered from the marathon for the most part, but I didn't run smart. I went out too fast and by 1.5 miles, it really caught up to me.

For the past 5 weeks, I've been training in a completely different way. I've been increasing my aerobic endurance by running 5 days a week, but all at an easy, conversational pace. I ran 25 miles last week, but at an average 11-minute pace. My goal pace for a 5K is more like 9:00-9:15 minute miles. Our trainers in the coaching seminar assured us that increasing endurance through those slow runs will translate into faster race times across the board. The theory is with increased endurance, you can run harder longer. The trick for me is going to be to find my lactic acid threshold--the fastest pace I can maintain without too much lactic acid buildup in my legs. That's why you slow down in later miles when you go out too fast---the lactic acid builds up in your legs and they get "heavy."

I'm hopeful that the science behind this training works. Running lots of 11-minute miles doesn't seem like it would help one run three 9-minute miles very easily. We shall see.

I'm having a mini-taper today and Friday for Saturday's race. I think I'm going to walk a couple of miles today instead of running and then take a yoga stretch class tomorrow.

Goal One: "Best day ever" Under 29 minutes. Running less than a 9:10 average pace for the race (my PR in this exact race last year) would be great. 8:59 would be phenomenal, but is probably not in my reach.

Goal Two: Under 30 minutes (Considering the slow training, this might be the most likely goal. It's a 9:39 pace/per mile, I believe.)

Goal Three: Under 31 minutes. I've run lots of 5K races and training runs under 31 minutes. If I don't get under 31 minutes, I'm officially kicking myself at the end.


Wendy said…
I hope you have the "best day ever"!
Lisa said…
Good luck on your 5K! I am sure you will do GREAT.

To answer your question about the new training focus: the jury is still out. I was actually 4 minutes from my PR. I did finish pretty strong after dragging on the final hill, so that speaks to my endurance. However, this training cycle was focused more on training others than training myself. My long runs were much slower than my goal training pace. I am not sure if that had something to do with it. Also, the past couple of weeks have been crazy, so I am not sure if it is a fair test. Hmmm... long answer to a short question.

Anyhow... I love your race plan for your race. Your reminders are GREAT and I really like your goals. Have fun!
great post.
I hope you have the best day ever as well.
Good luck on Sat.
Jennifer P said…
Running a great 5K is part art (not going out too fast) part science (finding that threshold). They are tough races. Maybe that's why I prefer 1/2s. Good luck!
Good luck this weekend! Hope you have a "best day ever!"
NY Wolve said…
Good luck ... hope the training and discipline pay off.
I hope you cross the finish line with a smile on your face! : )
Shelly said…
Good luck Donna!
Meg Runs said…
I really like your notes to self!! I want to copy them and keep them for my next race!

Have fun and enjoy your race, you'll do well!