5k PR streak ends - Komen Race for the Cure Kansas City Race Report

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.

The results:

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.

The good:

  • 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.

The bad:

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:

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):

Kansas City Race for the Cure 5k course and elevation

Compare this to my 20:52 5k time in similar weather last year, which about half the elevation change:

Gaslight 5k course and elevation

The report:

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:

  • 6:14
  • 6:40
  • 6:30
  • 7:04
  • 6:54
  • leftover (about 0.05 mi)- 8:06


Anthem 5k (Now with 50% less fail) Race Report

Course Commentary

I'm not particularly fond of the Anthem 5k.  There were 8516 finishers this year.   In years past, this race was entirely run along the downtown city blocks.  While this made the course incredibly flat, every turn in the course was 90 degrees, and there were walkers interspersed with the front of the running pack.  One year, a walker dropped a Sony Discman in front of me near the starting line.  The result was similar to rush hour traffic dodging a stalled motorist on the freeway.

Of course, I've run Anthem 3 times now, out of 8 5k races that I've run overall.  Why would I run such a race if I hated it so?

  1. It's obscenely flat. [Not as much this year--more on that in a bit]
  2. It's chip-timed.
  3. It's raced by some area elites, which is pretty cool--it's like being Iona in the NCAA Tournament.
  4. The timing, along with the rest of the Louisville Triple Crown of Running, is perfect for building up to a spring marathon: A 5k, 10k, and 10 miler every other weekend, and then one last mileage build-up week before tapering for the KDF Marathon.
  5. Panera goodies at the end. [I didn't get any this year because my stomach really didn't feel like it.]

This time, the race logistics were greatly improved.  The walkers were separated into a group on a cross street so there wouldn't be any ugly clashes [physical or emotional] between people moving at paces 5-8 minutes apart.  In order to accomplish this, the race start moved down near the river, which meant that slope going to and coming away from the river would be added in for this year's race.  I completely did not expect this.  Had I realized this, well--I probably wouldn't have even shot for a PR.  In hindsight, ignorance is bliss.

Race Report

I started this morning at Heine Bros with coffee and a veggie, egg and cheese panini at 6:30 am.  When I got to the ballpark, I had another "cup" of Heine Bros.  It was at this point that I noticed how that runners and walkers would be separated.

"Good plan," I thought.

It wasn't until about 7:30 am [30 minutes before the race start] that I realized that the race course had entirely changed.  I got out near the start about 7:40 am, but stayed in the sunlight until people started lining up at about 7:45 am.  It was about 32 F at the start of the race.  It was freezing in the shade of I-64, by the way. Every muscle in my body was shaking violently for 10 minutes straight.

I had set up my Garmin 305 for auto-lapping every 1k.  I was hitting 4'09" and 4'10" kilometers for the first 4 km - about a 20'45" to 20'50" pace.  That one hill coming away from the river seemed cruel at that pace and temperature.  Fortunately, there was a slight downhill shortly after that gave me a little momentum pace.

The middle stretch was the typical bargaining with myself to hold pace and feeling a little burn in my lungs and legs.

Coming into the last 1/2 km, I saw a woman that I recognized from several 5k races--mainly because she has passed me mid-race before.  I remember that she lined up about 4-5 seconds in front of me.  This time, she was about 5 seconds in front of me with the finish line in the distance.  I pushed the pace to see if I could pull up even with her, and managed to pull past her with about 1/10 of a mile to go.  I got out-kicked by a couple of other racers, but their strong finish probably helped me motivate myself to knock a couple of extra seconds off my time.

Finish:  20:36 for 5k, 6:38/mile pace.

Overall Place: 242 / 8516
Gender Place: 211 / 3609
Division Place (30-34 male): 38 / 522

5k strategy for Anthem

- Line up in view of starting line. Lookout for anyone with a music playing device, especially if larger than an iPod nano. These participants are in it for the long haul. They will also likely drop their player right at the start.
- Run a sustainable-without-throwing-up pace for the first mile.
- Mile 2: Tell the doubt in your head to be quiet.
- Mile 3: That person 50 yards in front of you needs to be chased down. (insert motivation here)
- last tenth: This is the medieval, charging the battlefield stretch. Close those final 500+ yards as hard as you can.

Good luck.

A new 5k personal record tonight #running #twit2fit

I set a new 5k tonight at the Gaslight 5k in Jeffersontown, KY. Didn't feel much up to finishing, even at the start, feeling winded from jog to the start.

It was roughly 79 degrees at the start, which is a little too warm for any distance race. I started off my first kilometer at a 5:55 per mile pace, so obviously, I went out too fast.

I really felt the will to finish about halfway through the race, but managed to find a little bit of kick left to manage a PR when I saw the clock still had about thirty seconds left before my 20:59 PR.

My new PR: 20:52.

Johnny's 5k Race Report #twit2fit

Congratulations to @LouisvilleSoup who broke 24 minutes as well.

I arrived close to 7 am at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, and ran a mile warm-up.  The air had felt chilly all morning until that point at around 60 degrees.

After finishing my warm-up, the air didn't feel so crisp and cool anymore, but it was still comfortable--probably about as warm I could stand for a medium distance race.  I lined up in the second row of people, maybe about 10-12 people wide, and took off like a bat out of hell for the first several hundred feet.  The first km split was at a 6'41" pace.  As far as I remember, from that point on, no one passed me.  I spent the rest of the race trying to catch up with people out in front of me.

By the fourth kilometer, I started to feel some fatigue and lost a little motivation to finish the job.  I tried focusing in on a guy who seemed to be pacing the perfect 5k race, and pushed myself to get past him.

With the finish clock in plain sight, I saw 20:45 heading into the corral.  I sprinted in for the finish at 20:59 (6'46" pace). 2nd3rd (received 2nd place medal) in my age group (30-39) out of 13, and 12th out of 141 in the field (no walkers included). See Overall results & Men's results.

Added: My previous PR was 21:41 (6'59" / mile). Interesting to see my 5k PRs over time.

For my recovery run:  Let's just say that Kao Pad Gra Prow (extra spicy) from Thai Siam is not a good idea the night before a race.

Medium run, up-tempo last 3 miles #twit2fit

Streak day 48, 6.73 miles in 1:00:11 (8:57 pace). I decided to do a little up-tempo work for the last 3 miles of my run today, in preparation for Johnny's 5k.  Nearly four miles into the run, I went for a target of 8:00-8:15 pace for the last three miles, after an easy pace of 9:30-10:00 the first 3.7 miles:

Distance Pace
1 Mi 9:32
1 Mi 9:36
1 Mi 9:54
0.72 Mi 9:48
1 Mi 8:18
1 Mi 8:00
1 Mi 7:49
0.01 Mi 4:00

That might as well have been a race.  Oh, and I decided to turn onto Blue Lick Rd because there was a sidewalk there.  Bad move.  The sidewalk ran alongside a fairly deep ditch, and then was cut off by a fence and that same ditch.  Instead, I had to find a little extra distance on a No Outlet street somewhere else to meet my distance goal:

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RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

Want to drastically improve your 5K time?

Original poster wanted to know if he could improve his 5K time by more than 2 minutes.  I wanted to bookmark it here so I could find it later.

RunningAHEAD - Topic: How realistic is this goal? For real..

The initial points:

  • Ramp up mileage to about 35 miles per week.
  • Run mid-week 6 x 800m intervals at current 5k pace with 400m recovery jogs.
  • Run a long run of at least 12 miles with a fast finish (last 2-4 miles).

His result after training was going from a time of 22:55 to 20:30 with about a month of training.