My chance at redemption is finally here. Having only been running for one year, I have very few races under my (flip)belt. My first two were 5km races, and one of them was not timed (a color run, but as my first race, I still went all out and tried my best). The first, being my first and therefore the one with the least amount of training (and the fact that I had to constantly dodge colorful walkers) was slow. At the time of finishing, I was thrilled with a time of 31:xx minutes, as I had completed my biggest goal of running the entire thing. My second was run a month later with a pretty serious foot injury, and despite being advised against running by emergency room doctors, I tried my best anyway and came in right after 30 minutes. I was incredibly disappointed in not hitting the sub-30 time, but I blame the fracture in my foot. (side note: I have learned my lesson and would never recommend anybody run a race with an injury).
This 5km is coming in the middle of my 10km training, and I plan on crushing it. In my last pre-race post, I explained the way that I set goals for myself. In summary, I set one attainable (but require going into it with the right mindset) goal that I would be happy with, a difficult but do-able (should everything fall into place) goal, and a stretch goal that is overly optimistic but could happen if everything is perfect.
My goals for this 5km race are;
- My realistic, easy pace goal: A time of 30 minutes, or 6:00 min/km. This was always my goal in my previous 5km races. I’ve run faster than this in training and it is more of a training pace than a race pace at this point.
- My optimistic, effort-driven pace goal: A time of 28:xx minutes, or around a 5:35-5:45 min/km pace. I’ve only ever run one 5km in training that was this fast, but with race-day adrenaline, I don’t think it should be out of reach.
- My stretch goal: A time of 26:xx minutes. I’ve run faster paces than this for shorter distances, so who knows? I’ll be over the moon if this happens, but I don’t exactly expect it to.
My Training Week Leading Up to the Race –
Sunday, April 29th:
- 2.6km at a 5:46 min/km pace around the track.
- A 400m sprint at a pace of 4:48 min/km
I don’t know why I did that last sprint. I guess I can say it was to even my day out to 3km but I think I just wanted to get around to the nearest Pokestop faster. This day of running was okay, but I felt like crap due to a poor eating schedule, as this was the day after seeing Infinity War in theatres and eating way too much popcorn, messing up my hunger for the next 24 hours.
The best part of the run was not only the great weather but that there were 2 ducks off to the side of the track. Hello new friends!
Monday, April 30th:
Nothing really happened on this day. I worked for the entire day and had a really bad cluster of issues related to my GERD. After working from 9-5 I took a nap with the intentions of waking up in time to run, but it was dark out by the time I woke up.
Tuesday, May 1st:
I don’t know why I thought it would be a smart idea to run in 25C heat, but I did it anyway. Just an easy 1km in 5:44 mins with another 1km walk. I’m glad that my Saturday race will be in the evening when it’s a bit cooler. After a way-too-long winter, it’s great to finally see some sun.
Wednesday, May 2nd:
- 1km warm-up in 5:08 minutes
- 10 minutes using the rowing machine
- 5 x 400 intervals (with 2 laps of walking between) at a pace of 4:45 mins/km
- 10 crunches, 25 squats, 20 lunges, and a 10-second wall sit (crunches, squats and lunges all with weights)
That last little set of exercises is from one of those silly “30 day challenges”. I’ve always thought of them to be things that only get popular because people decide to start them, share the heck out of the pictures, and stop after one week. I saw this one in a wordpress blog that I follow, and it had exercises that I already do, so I thought I’d partake and see if I can finish it. I already do crunches during my cross-training days, as well as wall sits, and these parts were super easy as I typically do more. I used a weight in each hand for the squats, pulling my arms out in front of me with every squat, which was harder than I thought. This was more of a challenge for my upper arms than my glutes.
The intervals were tough but it was a big confidence booster for my potential to finish the 5km in a good time.
Thursday, May 3rd:
I can’t believe how sore I was. I really pushed it on Wednesday, and so when I nealed down to grab a pile of jeans at work, I found myself unable to get back up without pain. All day I was focusing on my sore thighs and worrying if it will impact my race. I planned on running a bit in the evening, but the rain forced me inside, which is probably for the best. A good old foam rolling session and hot bath ended the night.
Friday, May 4th:
Oh, my god, my legs are so sore. I’m so worried that it’s going to affect the race. Nothing but foam rolling and ice.
My Nutrition Leading Up to the Race –
I finally bought a new blender!!!! My small, plastic, $15 smoothie blender broke a few months ago and I’ve been too lazy to go buy a new one and drag it home. I ended up buying a fancy glass blender which means I can finally drink more smoothies and thus consume fruits again (I do not like eating fruits as is). My smoothies are pretty basic, usually just with orange juice and frozen strawberries and/or bananas. Switching from caffeine to smoothies every morning is something that I know I need to work on, both because of the cost of getting Tim Hortons every day (I spend over $1000 a year at Tim Hortons, which is absolutely ridiculous!) and the health benefits. Does anybody have any recommendations for things they put in their smoothies, such as any protein supplements and whatnot? Let me know!
In terms of water, I’ve been trying to hit 2L every single day leading up to the race. As this race will be in the evening, I’ll likely drink much less the day of so that I don’t have to risk going to the washroom mid-run. The 2L is an improvement from the 1-or-less L that I typically drink in a day, so I’d say that in terms of the prior goals I listed for this training block, I’m really doing well with this one.
I’ve also been trying to incorporate more protein and veggies into my diet, so I’ve had a lot of meals consisting of chicken and carrots. Chicken is the only meat that I will eat, and carrots are the only vegetable that has a texture that I can tolerate (only when cooked) so there will be a lot of both in my future.
I’ve started counting my calories again, which is often a struggle for me. It was such a big part of my previous battle with Anorexia nervosa, and so I have to be careful not to trigger myself and become obsessive. As I consider myself active with running/work-outs/working retail and thus being on my feet all of the time, I aim for 2000 calories on days where I’m running or at the gym, and 1800 on days where I am not. If there is a day that I don’t work out OR work (which is very rare) the goal will likely be around 1600. Long-run days will be higher. And, as a rule, I will not count calories on race-days. Post race celebrations need not be dictated by a calorie counting app.
This was the first race expo I’ve gone to, as it’s the largest race weekend that I’ve taken part of. I went alone and was in and out within 20 minutes, but it was a great experience. I bought some stuff that I’ve been eyeing for awhile and I FINALLY HAVE A GARMIN!! I’d been debating between two models for quite some time but seeing one in person other than just online convinced me to buy it.
I’m pretty excited about these sports beans. I’ve never heard anyone talk about them so we’ll see.
The Gu and the Nuun are both things that I hear people talk about a lot so I was excited to give them a try. I won’t be using them tomorrow as they’re more geared towards longer distance runs. I will try the Garmin out, though!
Now it’s time to get a good night’s rest. It’s exciting having a race at 6pm, and not having to worry about falling asleep early.
Stay tuned for a race-report in the near future!