I was pretty excited about this race. I had yet to run this course. Despite running a lot of the trails at UBC, I had not yet been to this side.
Since starting my 10K running plan, I have gotten faster. I know this because I have started using Strava, and my training plan is such that my second run of the week is always 30 minutes. I have run the same route over and over again for this run and Strava does this neat thing where it matches all your attempts on the same route and plots a graph of your pace. This way, you know whether you are trending faster, or not.
Based on this information, I went into this run believing that I would run a pretty good 5K. I did all the right things leading up to the race; went on 2 easy runs (< 30 minutes) and tapered my resistance training intensity as well (that was not for the purposes of the race specifically, that was more to do with where I was in my resistance training cycle). I was definitely not prepared to feel my lungs work so hard, and I responded by slowing down my pace. I was remembering how hard it was to push through that feeling during the last MEC race, that I decided it was not worth the discomfort. It is definitely possible that I started the race too quickly; my pace in the first km is definitely the fastest and I did spend the rest of the race slowing down. I am still getting used to taking it easy in the beginning; I find I get overwhelmed with the excitement and the people and trying to get into a spot where I am not passing too many people or where I am obstructing the path.
There was a fairly significant incline around the 3KM marker, and I walked up it, upon seeing that my heart rate was in the 170s. For some reason during this race, any time that I felt like I was working near my max output, I backed it off. I found the accompanying physical sensations to be unpleasant and that the physical result of “pushing through it” wasn’t worth it for me, this time around.
All that being said, I would definitely consider this race, again. Perhaps even try the 10K version (2 laps of the same course). This race served as a reminder that I need more hill training and speed work!
Comparing historical data across all of my MEC 5K road races, this most recent race does not sound like as poor of a performance as I thought.
Mar 19, 2017 – total time: 35:52, pace: 7:10/km
Jan 29, 2017 – total time: 32:35, pace: 6:31/km
Dec 04, 2016 – total time: 35:43, pace: 7:09/km
Nov 06, 2016 – total time: 34:59, pace: 7:00/km