My training has been higher mileage--up to 83 miles in a week the week before last--and geared toward the Chicago Marathon on 10-10-2010.
This past week, I ran 30 miles in three days and then took off for vacation in Kansas City. I had signed up as a timed runner for the Komen Race for the Cure in Kansas City. I was concerned with the number of participants being a problem for a good run--planned 28000--but I ended up not having to fight through a crowd or do much weaving the entire race--usually a problem for even the medium-sized 5Ks at the start.
My streak of 5k PRs is broken after 8 consecutive PRs.
21:02.42 [+:36 to my PR], 6:47/mile, 5/116 in my age group, 71/1869 out of timed participants.
- Ample parking was available within a block or so of the 5k start.
- After the finish line of the race were booths of large marathon expo quantity, except that the vendors at the booths were primarily interested in targeting "people" instead of just "runners". It was nice to see a little variety in the products and giveaways being offered--I have enough marathon brochures.
- Starbucks had coffee, iced tea, and VIA instant coffee samples.
- If you were a timed runner, getting goodies and leaving the parking area traffic free was painless.
- The separation of "timed" runners, and untimed 5k participants and 1 mile participants prevented the 28000 participant from creating a crowd for any runner targeting a specific time. In fact, the pace areas from 5-9 all compressed due to the thinness of the crowd in that area.
One complaint: Nothing resembling a restroom was available within 2 blocks of the start line. There were ample porta-pottys at the finish, which was at least 3 blocks away. A handful of Assurant Health employees managed to use the restroom in their own building, along with many many non-employees slipping through the unlocked doors. I had mild cramping as a result, and was tempted to use an office building as a tree. [No, I didn't.]
The course is your typical run-a-5k-downtown course. However, they somehow managed to add the extra component of hills (that's about 3% average incline the whole time):
Compare this to my 20:52 5k time in similar weather last year, which about half the elevation change:
I had a clear view of the starting line when I lined up in between the 6 and 7 minute pace markers. Just before the gun went off, the first 4 minutes of pace areas compressed toward the start line and I crossed the line at about 2 seconds after the gun.
My first 1k was strong, despite running mostly uphill. By the 2nd kilometer, I really started feeling the burn of running uphill. The first long downhill was welcomed, but didn't last through the 3rd kilometer prior to heading uphill again.
At this point, I was feeling wobbly legs and started overheating a little bit. In the 4th kilometer there was a false top with a quick descent prior to climbing one last hill. That all but broke me.
I received limited benefit from the long downhill in the 5th kilometer, and barely broke a 7-minute pace. Toward the finish line, there was small hill. I practically jogged it, as the 0.05 mile after the 5th km lap triggered on my Garmin indicates.
That was the hottest run that I've experienced in which I didn't purposely seek out hot weather.
1 - km paces:
- leftover (about 0.05 mi)- 8:06