Yearly, I run the Party with a Purpose Hoboken 5K. It’s an easy, fun run in my town and a benchmark for my current physical shape. This year, I noticed two things in this run: Although I ran it more effortlessly than usual; my time barely budget – it went UP!
What is going on!?
In previous years, I suffered through this race, sore from running a five miler three days earlier – a distance I would only run once a year at that particular race, in July. Normally I cramp up, walk, feel like my legs are rubber. Two years ago, a piercing cramp hit my side, forcing me to limp in pain for a stretch.
Last year my time was 28:12. In 2008, 27:05.
This year? 28:30. Basically, two years ago, when I only ran 3 miles as a normal workout, I had a full minute and a half better time than this year – when I am logging long runs on a consistent basis.
I thought 3.2 miles would fly by unnoticed, and that maybe, I could even sprint it out at a 7.5 minute pace. Looks like I need some sprints training.
My time isn’t terrible, but it is disappointing. If I can’t dominate a 5K, how am I ever going to run 4 back-to-back 5K’s and then some, which is essentially what 13 miles will feel like!
On the positive side, physically, I felt great. I experienced no pain, felt strong and ran well the entire race.
The problem was in my breathing. I notice this every time I try to run consistency for a period of time – my breathing gets to the point where I am completely short of breath and can’t get enough air in. My strategy has always been to walk until my heart rate calms down and then run again. This is why I average 9 or 10 minute miles – but now that I’m trying to push myself, it feels like my heart is going to explode if I don’t slow down to get some deep breathes in. This is a major problem that, when running long distance, will kill my time. If I can fix my breathing issues – I know I will be able to make the 13 miles!
With two months to go, new training goals:
1. Learn how to breathe, even when I pick up the pace
2. Start running sprints
3. Just pick up the pace!
This race was great, as it gives me a roadmap of what to work on. I’m getting a little nervous now that the big day is looming closer, but by sticking to my training schedule, I know I can get there. As I’ve said from the start, just crossing the finish line is reward enough, even if I do end up walking a chunk of the half!