Race Day! 4/19/21
Well, today was the day! Participation in the UVM Wellness Environment 4/20 5K!
We went over to Burlington yesterday to pick up stuff for the event and had a pretty good experience. The sponsors of the race gave the kids drinks and I got a really cool shirt to run in. For the first day in months, I did nothing. There was no running, no cross training, no moderate walking, nothing! It was a true rest day before the virtual event.
If you read my last post, you might remember I said this event is more of an exhibition (event though it counts). I’ve been looking at it as a trial, a let’s see where I’m at, let’s see how the knee holds up, and let’s get an idea of how I’ll fair on Saturday in Montpelier.
The nice thing about virtual races is you get a home field advantage. You get to race on your terms, on your favorite course. Of course, I picked the Loop! Five laps is a 5K and I can go one way and work the incline of Brown Farm Road or the other and go down hill. Well, for the virtual race I chose to work the terrain. By going up Brown Farm Road rather than down requires crossing Red Village road each lap. So, I picked 5:30am as a race time. An early start means no cars on the busy road.
Last night, prior to snoozing, I prepared a 5K mash-up in my studio. For me, running isn’t just about good nutrition and physique; it’s also about something I talk often about on my podcast, “the extra motivational lift.” Sometimes you need that voice in your ear to push you along. I mashed up quite the mix that included themes from Top Gun, Rocky, Batman Begins, Moneyball, and songs from Tom Petty, Van Halen, and Survivor. Included in each track was a brief clip from Secretariats 1973 Belmont Stakes triple-crown victory. I estimated my time and strategically put in the clips/songs. I’m not sure if my estimation of time was just accurate or the pace of the music just pushed me along but I hit my best time so I’m going to go with my “extra motivational lift” theory and say it worked!
I went to bed after I made the mash-up and I woke up at about 4am. I may or may not have fallen back asleep but I can tell you I was up at 5:15am, well before the alarm went off. I went downstairs, downed 14 ounces of water, and suited up. I put my brace on, tried to find the sweet spot, and started in on stretching. Once I was done stretching, I strapped my phone to my shoulder, water to my wrist, and off I went. I made the fifty to seventy-five yard walk to Abenaki Loop and put a bottle of water in my path. I started the Goals-Fitness tracker 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and off I went!
I ran the first mile in about eight minutes and I would say it wasn’t until about mile two that I started to feel a slight discomfort in my knee but nothing that wasn’t too unexpected. I slowed up on mile two to about eight minutes seventeen seconds before hitting the final mile and speeding back up. At this point, I certainly was putting more pressure on my left side but I could tell the strength work from last week was really helping. I finished with a time of 25:36 but the tracker added five seconds because I couldn’t get it out of my arm sleeve to hit stop. During the run, I was definitely pushing my maximum heart rate. I started out near 146 bpm on the first mile and got it cranking up to about 174ish, which is max for me.
After running, I took a photo to send in and walked about a half-mile and then back to the house. I had been sipping water throughout the run but continued to drink on the way back at the end. My hydration was definitely good and I just felt overall good about the result.
It felt good to compete in a run that counts and do it on my home turf. It also felt good to hit my best time despite having a banged up knee. I think the ultimate positive in the day was what I’m doing in cross training seems to be working and although the knee is a problem, it proved to be of minimal concern during the run.
So, what’s next? Well, the results for this one should be in Saturday, the same day as the Montpelier race. In preparation for Saturday, I plan to take it easy this week. I’m going to focus more on cross training which includes riding the bike and moderate walking while also strengthening my hips and glutes. I don’t expect to run much. It will certainly be minimal and Friday will be like yesterday and a complete off day.
I did it! One down, thanks for reading!
Date: 4/19/21 What? 5K Time: 25:36 Weight: 138 lbs