Day 270: Thoughts on Today’s 5k

Today I ran the American River Parkway 5k. All in all, it went very well. Let’s take a look:

What Worked About Today’s Run:

  • Being in a good place with my running, after five months of patient recovery and an easy-going return to 20+ mile running weeks.
  • Following my plan (the spirit of it, if not the letter), as described here. I ran the first mile a conservative 9-minute pace. Then I decided to let myself run fast; the second mile took 7-minutes. The third mile was at a slightly slower 7:38, the result of getting tired from going so fast (!). Doing two sub 8-minute mile runs was not on the plan. But I felt good, and it worked out. My plan helped me balance discipline with letting myself go all out.
  • As a result of the above, I did well! My time was 24:44, quite a lot faster than the 27 minutes I conjectured. It was also my fourth fastest 5k. It also felt good to be #1 in my age range for 40-44 males.
  • I had the satisfaction of a successful run, and didn’t have to do a half marathon or marathon!
  • I felt healthy, vibrant, and fast!
  • I got genuinely inspired by the proceedings, especially by watching the half marathoners start their journey (I have run this half marathon three times). I love the positivity of running events.

What Didn’t Work So Well About Today’s Run:

  • For whatever reason, I was in my head and stressed out while at the event. It wasn’t the running so much as something triggered by being there with the crowd. At any event, it didn’t feel good. After the run, I was eager to get away, so I did.

Other Takeaways

  • Even though I “only” ran 3.1 miles (with an additional warm up mile afterward), I’m pretty tired. It reminds me of being tired after long runs. I appreciate not being in an intense training cycle, with many challenging runs coming up. While this can be an awesome experience, right now I am glad to have more mellow goals.
  • It’s nice to have an experience of a race in this new phase, where my head is on straight about running and I don’t feel any pressure to that doesn’t feel good.

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