Monday, May 28, 2007

Brian Kraft 5k

AM: 5M wm; 5k Race (15:05); 12 M cd :: 20M

It was just about a perfect day to race this morning. Cool, light breeze, not overly humid. Initially I didn't feel great during the warmup, but once the blood got flowing I felt more and more comfortable. Thoughts of the first mile filled me with a little dread. I haven't exactly been doing LSD the last few weeks, but I haven't spent much time out of the comfort zone. I had visions of all manner of pain and suffering.

I experimented with an old trick from my college days prior to the race. About 15 minutes before the start I ran 3 min and what felt like a hard tempo pace. It got the blood flowing good, but didn't drain me, especially for a 5k. I went to the line feeling pretty good all around.

From the start I got into a good position along the curb just behind the leaders. My stride felt great as we covered the first section of the course to Cedar Ave. Approaching 1 mile I started to lose contact with the front of the pack, but I wasn't hurting, just maintaining my pace. I came through in 4:45 and said a little prayer. It was my worst fear that I would see 5:00 or something. It was good to know that the effort matched the pace.

Racing around the far side of Lake Nokomis the pack started to thin out and moved towards single file. I started to do some passing and as we came back around to Cedar Ave I found myself within striking distance of the leading pack of three (Joey, Jeremy, and Chris). Based on the results of the race, its hard to say that I made a "mistake", but it was at this point that maybe I should have kept on surging to latch onto the back of this pack. As it was, I relaxed a little bit and consequently watched as they slowly pulled away. I was in no-mans land now and, unfortunately my thoughts turned to what was going on behind rather than in front of me.

I was feeling very strong though. Each step felt powerful and I was running very relaxed it would turn out. Coming through 2 miles in 9:39 I could still do math well enough to realize I had a chance at sub-15:00. I picked up the pace as much as I could, but was still too tentative. As I watched Chris fall off the pack ahead I made an attempt to close the gap. It shrunk ever so slightly, but as we crossed over the starting line with about 400m to go in the race I could see it wasn't going to happen. Had I had that do-or-die finish I may have squeaked under 15:00, but I glided over the finish line in 15:05.

Before the race I would have taken 4th place/15:05 just fine, but after feeling the potential I had out there on the course, I have to say I was a little bummed. However, looking ahead I have to feel good that I'm entering my training cycle in this kind of shape without having extended myself in preceding weeks.

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4 comments:

Loomdog said...

Nice run PR!

A thought I would make a comment about the JD plan and physiology fitness calculators like this one:
http://www.runworks.com/calculator.html

Playing with your PR performances and recent performances it looks liek you are at a higher level in shorter races (10K and down) than you are in distances over that. I am the same way.

I think that has to do with my background of never really running tempos and mainly pounding short intervals for years. Looking at Me vs. Crowther I am faster by far in 4,8,1500, but can't touch him as the distance goes up despite running similiar mileage for years.

I think (and am hoping with my own training and for you) that the Daniels plan and its focus on tempos and LT efforts will be the key to getting faster performances at the longer distances. Making the performance curve flatter.

People argue about these tables all the time, but look at someone like Alan Webb. When he focuses on 800/mile he is an 80vdot performer... but he can't touch that value at 8k, 10k and gets beat by the XC guys. But when he focused on longer stuff last year he was able to run 80vdot level times at 5k, 10k and beat the XC experts.....but he could not race the mile for crap. Its all about specific focus.

Anyway..I hope it goes well!

Patrick said...

Greg, I think you hit the nail on the head. Like I was telling Evan, I can't remember ever doing a buildup that was this marathon specific. I'm intrigued by the theory of fuel systems and specificity. As you said, I may have the equivalent shorter performances for a low 2:20's marathon, but my training hasn't prepared me to carry that pace for 26.2 miles. I think the fewer, but longer/specific workouts will work well for me. As long as I recover in between, that is.

By the way, nice run on Saturday. 50 miles solo in the African heat is no small feat. Stay healthy.

Chad said...

Pat, nice race and report. Good discussions lately too.

Mike said...

Sounds like a good race to me. You surpassed what you thought the day would offer before the race, but still left the race hungry for more. I'd call this a pretty darned good starting place for a marathon build. Nice report.