Kings Park 15K

I usually only write race reports for triathlons but . . .

The day leading up to the race I took off from work. This day off wasn't necessarily to prepare for the race but to get a lot of errands and misc stuff done ( life of an age grouper, right?) One item from my to do list was to find out about the race. As of Friday I had done no homework; I hadn't driven or run parts of the course, I didn't know the exact distance, I didn't know where or when to pick up my number etc. I began my research Friday afternoon and was able to find out I missed the day-before pickup and was able to download a PDF file of the race course ( hand drawn) Its settling to know exactly what your up against.

The morning of I woke up at 6 to put down some calories and to allow myself time to get to the race site, pick up my number, warm up and enjoy race morning. ( I freaking love race morning. There is no other feeling like it. Hundreds of people focused, positive, motivated, the sun is rising, crisp morning air, dew on the grass, the energy in the air is palpable). Here is what I ate before, 1 bowl of kashi go lean, one cliff bar, one kashi go lean granola bar, one scoop of ignite naturals, half a glass of water (total calories about 680). I grabbed two reload energy gels for emergency purposes. Since number pickup started at 7:15 I wanted to get there no later than 7:30 to avoid the chaos and lines. I walked into the gym around 7:30 and there was no lines, barely any people and the crew was still setting up the start/finish shoot. I forgot that race morning for running and triathlon do not require the same amount of time for set up/preparation. I didn't really care about having some extra time on my hands since I could spend more time enjoying all of the emotions, sights and sounds of race morning.

I ran into some good friends and saw a bunch of familiar faces as the morning developed. As I have gotten older and wiser I realized that warm up is essential for me to have a good race. I figured I would start my warm up around 8:15, get a solid 30 minutes in and then spend the last 15 minutes positioning myself at the starting line, shoot the shit with my friends and fellow runners as well as refocus and visualize my race, goals and what I need to do to be successful.

Warm up went well, I positioned myself about 20 rows back and to the side. " don't go out too hard" " mile two to three is all hill" " negative split each 5k" " smooth speed". Air horn. Time to do work.

I definitely had to consistently hold myself back from taking off and resist the urge to race those flying by me. I maintained my focus and stayed focus on the task at hand. I stayed very relaxed and kept reciting in my mind, "smooth speed." I steadily made my way through the crowd as I progressed through mile one, up the long hill of mile two and then through the finish of the first 5k . (8:15/mile)

The second 5k, miles 4-6, felt mostly down hill and I had to remember not to hammer the downhills because my quads would pay for it later. I did run slightly faster because of the downhills but kept it under control, relaxed and smooth. I finished the second 5k (7:42/mile). Just one more 5k, time to increase the effort and hopefully speed.

For the entire last 5k I visualized finishing the last 5k of my upcoming 70.3. I kept my cadence high, focus sharp, and effort level steadily increasing. Physically I felt great and my breathing was on point. My goals were in focus and achievable.

I crossed the finish line at, 1:13.XX. I missed my goal of negative splitting by 16 seconds (7;47/mile). Despite not reaching that goal I was still very satisfied with my effort and result. If I continued to run at that pace for another 5k I would have PR'd my half marathon! This realization got me very excited and put reaching my half ironman goals into grasp. Yes, I know running off the bike is different but feeling that I could have run another 5 k at the same pace and hypothetically PR my HM was a great feeling

As I write this the morning after the race my legs are pretty sore, my motivation high, and my focus even more fine tuned on reaching, crushing and re establishing my triathlon goals.

Harriman 70.3 is just over a month a way


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