TITLE: A New Personal Best in the 5K
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: June 11, 2005 12:22 PM
DESC: I PRed my first race of the year, an evening 5K.
My first race of the season was a
Last night I ran the Loop the Lakes 5K here in Cedar
Falls. The conditions weren't ideal at the start --
80+ degrees Fahrenheit and muggy, with a few raindrops
-- but I knew that I had a chance to improve on my
personal 5K best. The last few months I've been
doing speed workouts of 8 miles at 6:40-7:00 minutes
per mile, and my best 5K time was 21:26. But with the
weather and the hills of an outdoor run, I knew that
things might not go as smoothly as a track workout.
Any worries were quickly erased. I ran Mile 1 in 6:28,
my fastest recorded mile ever. Then Mile 2 passed in
6:34, and I was well on my way to a PR.
Then came Mile 3. The raindrops had turned to a heavier
sprinkle, but worse was the stiff head wind that greeted
us at the beginning of the mile, next to the big lake.
After 2/3 of a mile or so, we turned out of the wind...
right onto a steep incline to finish the race. Everyone
slowed down a bit, and I completed the mile in 7:08.
After a sprint over the last 1/10 of a mile, I reached
the finish line in 20:50. A fine time, which I am most
I even won a prize. I finished 2nd in the 40-49 age
group. The guy who came in first beat me by only 4
seconds, and we nad run within reach of each other the
whole race. I've won two age group prizes before, but
they were flukes -- my slower times were good enough
only because my age group didn't have many participants.
This prize was legitimate; the times we ran in 40-49
were in reasonable range of what the other age group
Now comes the rest of the season. In two weeks, I run
Sturgis Falls Half-Marathon,
and then comes a three-month push to prepare for the
Twin Cities Marathon.
My speed goals now turn to long, sustained pace. To run
a 3:30-hour marathon, I need to run an 8:00 minute/mile
pace. I'd like my next few months of training to turn
the pace I now find comfortable for 8 miles into a
comfortable but somewhat slower 25 miles. The mindset
for this sort of training is much different for me. I
can't push myself to my limits too soon, but instead must
start slower with the idea that this will become my limit
in a few miles -- and then keep at it when it gets hard.
That's the challenge in training for a marathon, at least
for me. I'm beyond the point where long miles bother me
much, but setting the right pace for the long runs is still
But for a day or so I'll enjoy my new PR.