Didja hear it? That was an old, old PR going down this weekend!
And I cherry picked it. After last week's 30 second PR on the track with 2 miles at 6:45, I knew i could run a 5k PR. The issue?
I am tired! this was the third week at higher mileage for me on 6 days of running per week. I'm at that time of the month. I raced last week. Did I mention I am tired? So tired that i fell asleep on my lunch break one day this week at work.
Last week, I ran two miles at 6:45. The Valentine's Day Dash 5k is a flat course with a speedy field. If I planned it right, I could break that 7 year old PR. Yes that 5k PR is from 2006. I don't even consider it a true PR because I am pretty sure the course was short. The course was marked in kilometers and I even walked in the last mile. I finished that 2006 race in 22:30 and although it was a PR, mentally i always attached a little asterisk to it. Technical PR but probably not a true 5k. I'd never come under 23 minutes again until 2011 and just did that by 10 seconds. I considered that my master's PR and have been proud of it.
However, remember that 6:45 pace. If I ran 3 miles at 7:05 - 7:10, I'd still come in to a PR time. 20 seconds should feel significantly easier. I could do that, right? Did I mention that I was tired?
The other goal was to run even splits. It has been very challenging for me to do that with the 2 mile races. I've always gone out fast and slowed the second mile. Even splits would prove to me that my chosen pace was a solid effort for me but a safe effort. I could do this.
And I DID! Woohoo! It was a bit chilly with maybe a hint of a breeze. It's a big field for this race. I've learned with the 2-mile race series that I really do need a long warm up so I got in almost 4 miles before the race. I got to the start line with about 10 minutes to go and lined up just right.
I couldn't believe it! I ran in control and felt strong and didn't freak out that i was running fast miles. At mile 2, i had to give myself a stern talking to about not squandering the hard work I'd put in. One more mile. I worked hard for that last mile, made the turn towards the finish and was delighted to see the clock just ticking over to 22. Could I have run 3 seconds faster? No, not today and not when i was so tired. I could another day though.
What has been the deciding factor in all these PRs lately? I"m pretty sure a big factor is increased strength and consistent weight training. The higher mileage has helped maintain weight but I am actually heavier now than i was. Why is that? I am a lot stronger and have more muscle. The body fat scale i have confirms that. The readings are consistently higher for muscle mass. It's not a lot but makes a difference. I still look like i have noodle arms but those noodle arms are strong!
I completed a 90 day p90x lean program and probably only hit about half the workouts. I skipped all cardio workouts and got in maybe half of the strength workouts (I've been aiming for two a week). But those workouts forced me to do strength moves I've not done before and the sessions got easier. No i still cannot do a pull up but i am willing to try especially when I can run faster and stronger than ever before.