Monday, April 11, 2011
I'm not really always convinced I like running, especially when it is running for exercise. Running for exercise is not my favorite kind of exercise. I like to run with friends or my wife but by myself is mostly a dread.
I do like to train for something; there is an end goal. I need something to strive for, something to win. This weekend was my opportunity to test my training for a 5k race. I have been running, pushing myself hard to get my 5k times down to a competitive level. I do need to define the competitive level I’m looking for as average people competitive. You can go run almost any 5k in Austin, and find people in most age-groups who are capable of running in the top tier of any age-group. You’ll have 60 year-olds who can out run most of the 30 year-olds and 30 and 40 year olds who are just as fast as high-school and college students who are in peak performance.
Luckily the cost of most Austin races starts at $25 which is prohibitive for budget, when my wife and I both like running in races. This forces me outside of Austin, where normal people exist and have regular lives where they go to work, hang out with the family and try to fit exercise in as best as they can. Best of all is the cost of races goes down. This weekend, my wife and I ran in the Blue Bell Fun Run. My wife did the 10k and I did the 5k. Our original plan was for me to push Mayzie but since my wife was nursing a neck injury we decided to push our little girl, which turned out great because she fell asleep in the stroller which gave her plenty of time to get a nap something, that she probably wouldn’t have gotten on my short 5k. Both races only cost $15 per person, but included a day trip and lunch with a lot of friends.
I finished with a time of 21:13 which comes out to a 6:50min/mi pace. Overall not bad, that is 8 seconds faster than the previous weeks 5k race in Lockhart. My mile splits were 6:26, 13:42, 20:32. That 2nd mile has always been a slower mile for me. Unless I run with my GPS, I always run a slower 2nd mile. The course was really hilly, which I knew from the previous year, but I still managed to scrape together a 2nd place finish in my age-group (30-39.) I got a nifty plague too. There were 138 men in my age group, and I finished 41 seconds behind the first place guy. There were a total of 1680 people in the race, but they were average people not crazy fast Austin people.
This weekend I’m running in the Dragon 5k in Wimberley. It supports the school I used to work for and will be a great opportunity to try to get my post baby 5k time under the 21 minute mark. My ultimate goal is to get back to the sub 20 minute range, which I hope to do before a race ($15 with Groupon) in Austin this June. I am looking forward to this weekend’s 5k because I have not been back to the school I worked in since 2004. It has been a long time and I can’t wait to see how it has changed, plus I have a long-shot chance at winning this small event. I should at least get a top 5 out of this one.