After getting ridiculously close the last two years, I finally cracked the 20-minute barrier for an official 5k. My frustrations were growing high when in early June I ran a dumb race and finished in 20:03. My training over the winter/spring was fairly consistent- around 25 miles per week with 2 track workouts mixed in. It was a matter of running a strategic race and I know I could easily get under 20.
The June race featured good weather, but a course with some hills, and tight turns. I went out in what felt like a conservative pace, but hit the mile in about 6:04. My training in May wasn’t as consistent as it had been so the quick pace killed my legs. Mentally I was toast that day and as I struggled through the 2nd mile I had a tough time rallying. As I approached the finish and saw the clock, my frustration increased. Even with a really crappy run, I was so close to 20 that I felt like kicking something crossing the line.
The race and an acceptance of where I was with my training made me reconsider plans for doing a 10-miler on July 4th. I decided to enter the 5k instead and my strategy was to go out slow, very slow. So I picked a spot further back from the starting line and waited until we finished the incline to start to pick up the pace. We hit the 1k mark in 4:06 and I thought the shot of breaking 20 was in danger again. I found someone who seemed to be running a good pace and hung on as we took advantage of some decent downhills. The next split I remember seeing was 4k and the 20 minute barrier was still in reach. I was hurting down the stretch, but was able to finish in 19:48 and the realization that there was still work to be done.
But before worrying about increasing anything, I gave my legs a few days off last week. Starting back this week was a little easier after some recovery. Now it’s time to pick things up and getting those miles in….oh and there was no break from donut eating, just a bit of moderation.