A.M. Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Frugality And Against Obesity, 27:11, 2nd pace.
Results at http://fastrunningblog.com/reg/show_results.php?race_id=138
This was an interesting experience. This was the first race I have ever directed. I figured if somebody wanted (more) cash I'd make him work for it, so I jumped in the race myself too. After all, this was a race for frugality, so I figured it would be a good idea to make the Fast Running Blog investment count to the highest extend.
Sarah, the kids, Ted, Kimia, and a few others helped with the race logistics, which made it a lot more manageable. We got organized, and got the race started.
Jeff and I quickly pulled away from the competition. First mile in 5:14. Felt easy. Jeff had already run 15 miles at around 6:20 prior to the start to simulate running on low fuel. So he said to me he wanted to go faster to run out of fuel. I asked him to hold back for one more mile. Two reasons. One, I did not want to run 4 miles alone. Two, I did not want Jeff to run out of fuel prematurely. So he agreed and backed off. A bit too much. Second mile in 5:24. That started to feel way too easy.
Then Jeff picked it up. I went with him, but after a 200 in 38 I realized it was not a good idea, too fast. So I eased off to 5:20 pace. Hit the turnaround in 13:17, on pace for course PR, that is exactly what I got in August 2007. Incidentally Jeff was with me. Except back then he was not as fast, so he could not drop me even fresh, much less after running a brisk 15. So he stayed with me until one quarter to go, and then I dropped him and we got 26:48 vs 26:50.
However, as soon as I made 180, my adrenaline was gone. Not surprising, directing even a low-profile race does carry a measure of stress, so when racing at PR level you are going to feel it. At least that is what I think happened. I have noticed that some days I recover from a 180 or a hill just fine. However, other days, a hill or a 180 breaks me badly. Textbook exercise physiology says, well you have work harder to get back up to speed (or run harder up a hill), so you build up too much lactic acid, and then cannot recover. There is something not quite right with this explanation. Try as I might I cannot push my RER past 1.06 even when I am doing quarters every week. With no interval work it stalls at 1.04. That is in a 5-10 minute V02 test, not in a 5 mile race or tempo run. For a comparison, a middle distance runner can get up to 1.15. While RER is not a direct measurement of lactate levels, it should correlate pretty closely. RER is the ratio carbon dioxide out to oxygen in. If it is greater than 1, you are into oxygen debt. So in short, the measurements have shown I do not have a whole lot of ability to go into oxygen debt.
I have previously thought that this difficulty of handling changes of pace might have something to do with the nervous system not being able to go into overdrive. Recently, though, I am leaning towards the adrenal failure theory. It takes quite a bit of adrenaline to run 5:20 pace. You can be aerobically and muscularly fit, but if the adrenaline is not there, the heart would not beat fast enough, you would not breathe hard enough, and the glycogen in the muscles will not be made available fast enough. The symptoms seem to match. HR drops to the right level for the pace, but for the life of me cannot go up any higher even for 50 meters. The breathing slows down. The legs do not hurt, they just cannot go any faster for no apparent reason.
So to make the long story short, I slowed down. 16:04 at 3 miles (5:26, but the last 0.5 at 5:34 pace), 21:38 at 4 (5:34), and the last mile in 5:33.
I was happy with the performance, though. I missed my course PR by 23 seconds, but I could run the first half on pace, and it felt easy. And I did not die too badly.
Jeff won with 26:35, Steve Cutitta was 3rd with 28:18. Mary Ann won the womens with 29:45, and chicked everybody else.
When I finished I made sure the finish chute was being handled, and ran back to Benjamin. He ran 39:10. He was still not fully recovered from getting sick a couple of days ago, so I was not expecting a whole lot. But at least he could run 7:50 pace.
Finished timing everybody, ran 1.5 to the house with Julia in 16:37, then ate a snack (two bananas and evaporated cane juice magic drink), and then went for more punishment/conditioning. Decided I would run the Uneventful Half in 1:20 for a challenge.
Ran the first mile in 6:13, second about the same, no mark due to altered course (due to flooding under the bridge), then eased into 6:00, then a little under, and coasted hoping I would not crash too badly. Kept it under 6:00 for a while until I started hitting the uphill and the bridge tunnels. Slowed down to 6:08, felt embarrassed, an odd feeling, I was still passing runners on the trail pretty fast, including bikers, but I still felt embarrassed because it felt slow and I could not go faster.
Then turned around past Maceys, and started heading downhill. A welcome relief, now 5:52-5:56 pace again, but that's all I've got. With 100 meters to go my prayers were answered. When I hit the desperate plateau I started praying for help to get out of it. Finally the Lord sent me help. It was a little feisty dog. It started barking at me and chasing me. I knew what I was supposed to do - get angry at it and run faster. But I had a very hard time. Finished with 1:18:47, a little slower than 6:00 average.
P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:41. Hiked the Y with Sarah for a date as well. It took us 24:36 to walk from the start of the trail to the bottom of the Y.