Thursday, May 31, 2012

5k pain

As part of my only-run-short-races summer running plan, I finally found what I believe may be the ‘pain-place’…the 5k version. I have definitely experienced a marathon version; imagine 10 miles with your quads feeling like fireballs with each and every step. I’m sure I will have a far more punishing marathon someday. But the 5k pain-place was foreign to me until a couple weeks ago at the West Seattle 5k.

With the goal of breaking 19 minutes this summer, each race is an opportunity to work on some aspect of my 5k strategy. My typical downfalls include: going out too conservatively, getting complacent during mile #2, rarely doing speed work, and never racing hard enough to blow up (which is arguably a good thing to do every once and a while). My strategy for this race was to go out aggressively and then see how the cookie crumbled. 

Mile 1: 6:05

Okay! All is going according to plan!

Mile 2: 6:17

I’m feelin’ it and sucking wind in a serious way. I still have another mile?!?! I am entering the ‘pain-place’.

Mile 3: 6:11

I haven’t keeled over yet, but want to.  I can see the finish off in the distance and it looks at least 3 miles away. Trying to run hard and ignore the pain/discomfort simultaneously, but this is nearly impossible. Ignoring the pain usually leads to minimizing the pain which then results in slowing down. Running hard requires pushing to the edge of your fitness and performing your best on the given day; you’re really looking for more pain.  I was trying to muster some mental toughness by reminding myself how few minutes a 5k lasts…but it felt like foreeevvveeerrr.

In the final stretch of the race! Tried to relax my face when I saw the cameras...haha!
Final time: 19:11 and a new PR!

As I finished, someone associated with the race tried to talk to me. I tried to respond between wiping the spittle off my face and trying to catch my breath while doubled over. Ha. I felt totally humbled by the discomfort associated with a hard, short race effort.

The 5k is definitely uncharted territory, and I like it. 


  1. Saw on your sidebar that you're doing the Terrapin 5K and I'm SO jealous; would love to go home to do that one :) Awesome job on your PR!

    1. Thank you! My boyfriend and I decided to do the Terrapin 5k mid-way through our cross country road trip. Have you done it before?

  2. Nice PR! I'm going to the 5k pain place this Friday. Excited and nervous!