Saturday, August 20, 2011

11 Are UABle 5K RR

This one will go down as a forgettable event. Neither very good nor bad so I will not even post this among my RRs on the side of the blog so this will be a limited edition post. LOL.

As my regular readers know, I am taking thyroid glandular supplements to combat the fatigue, low grade depression and apathetic blahs and I need an exact amount to feel well. At 500 mg, I felt perfect as of 2 days ago. At 475, I was too tight and at 525, I was too loose all the while the magic dosage is trending down ever so slowly. At the rate I'm going, I will be off this stuff around New Years and dare I say it, I could have a victory on 1 of the 2 fronts. Since capsules come in 150 mg each, it is very difficult to get it right every day. Today, I just missed the sweet spot. I was fine just walking around but when I warmed up, it seemed just a hair off. On a great day, I can do maybe 300-400 meters worth of strides at near 6:00 pace and it feels effortless. Today, I could not get much below 6:30 without some discomfort. Still, I resolved to give it a shot since I missed Retro. I didn't feel so good warming up before Statue2Statue and it turned out to be my best race of the year so far.
This one starts on Homewood HS then turns onto Lakeshore trail then you turn off onto a road that leads back to the school. There's a short downhill early but the first 3K is pretty much level. The 4th kilometer is gently rolling with more ups than downs. The rollers can really take a toll at that stage in the race. Then, around 2.5 miles, you have to go up another small hill before a gentle decline to the finish. Difficulty 3 out of 10. Weather was close to 80 with over 80% humidity. Not good but I managed a 19:42 last year under similar conditions.
Like most 5K racers, I have a tendency to go out too fast and if you're 5 seconds fast through the first quarter mile, you could be doomed by the end of Mile 2. Today, I was pretty smart in aiming for near 6:00 pace and did not get caught up with trying to run with the leaders. I was pretty calm just under 6 pace most of the first mile then we made a 180 degree turn around 0.93, which cost about 2 ticks so I came through the Mile marker in 6:02. Fine with that but can I maintain it? The answer was no. Early pace for the 2nd mile was around 6:10 but I was fading and knew that I would wilt in the heat and hills ahead. I took several looks at the Garmin and found to my dismay that my pace was gradually slowing. Still, nobody was passing me. In fact, I would catch 3 runners between Mile 1 and 2.5. When we got to the rollers, I was in pain and the 2nd mile passed in 12:24 for a 6:22 split. I struggled hard to keep the pace for I knew that if I could simply repeat the 6:22 and finish strong, I could at least beat my comeback PR of 19:27. Unfortunately, the heat and rollers took too much out of me. I was at 15:40 for 4 kilometers so I had covered the previous half mile in 3:16 and it seemed unlikely that I could manage a 3:47 final K. Just like last year, the final hill left me shot. Even with the slight decline, my pace did not change and I came through Mile 3 in 18:57. I'd need a 45 second finish just to tie last year's time. I didn't make it and came through the line discouraged in 19:45.
Final thought:
An average performance. Anyting under 20 is satisfactory but with every PR attempt that falls short, the frustrations mount. The fact that I took a baby step backward from last year does not feel good either. In good weather, this was good for about 19:20 or so. Conditions should be better in 2 weeks. Grade is a solid B.

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