It’s been almost a month since my last 5K race. Life, in general, has been a little bit easier. And spring is (finally!) here, which is no small improvement.
My 2016 training has been extremely consistent. I’m averaging 50 miles each week. I’m incorporating mini bursts of speed work. Sometimes I’ll do 3X1 mile repeats. Sometimes I’ll throw a fast mile or two into an otherwise long, easy run. It’s all very intuitive, which is how I like to train. I let my moods dictate my workouts. I’ve noticed a direct correlation between miles and anxiety. If I wake up Level 10, I’ll run 10 miles. Somedays I’m a 5, and I’ll run 5 miles. Most days, I’m a Level 7.
I had planned to race this past Sunday. Because one of my best friends was getting married in the afternoon, I needed to fit my workout in during the AM. It just made sense to jump into a race.
The Run & Walk 4 Family & Friends with Cancer 5K in Voorhees, NJ supports multiple charities that provide financial assistance for families battling cancer, so it was a good choice. The course was mostly flat with some rolling hills and the race organizers were extremely friendly and dedicated to putting on a great event. About 100 runners and even more walkers showed up to support the cause.
I got a pretty decent night’s sleep (5 hours) before this race, which is extremely rare for me. I woke up, brewed a cup of coffee, and drove over to the starting line at Voorhees Middle School. I only had time to jog about a half mile before the race start, but I felt pretty good toeing the line. I actually thought I might have a chance of winning the overall event, because I found myself the race leader for the first mile.
Turns out, I was leading the race because I went out too fast. I didn’t look at my watch for the first mile, which I ended up running in 6:10. That’s 10 seconds faster than the fastest I should run my first split at my current fitness level. Ten seconds might not sound like a lot, but they can really destroy you towards the end of a race.
I’m still chasing that sub-20 minute 5K. When I hit my second split in 6:52, I figured I was still averaging a sub-20 pace. I started to ramp up the speed again. My lungs and legs felt great, by my stomach just couldn’t handle it. I spent the last 30 seconds of the third mile throwing up pretty violently. I actually decided to stop at one point to just let it all out, so that I wouldn’t have to vomit running through the finish line. I completed my last mile in 6:47, for an overall time (and new 2-second PR!) of 20:32. I finished 1st woman and 5th overall.
Here is some finish line footage!
I’ve been battling gastrointestinal issues for the past ten years. I’m just finally starting to figure out the root causes and I’m working towards improving my health with diet and vitamin + probiotic supplements. I know part of the reason I get sick so often at races is because I push myself to the absolute limit, but I don’t think it’s normal to get sick as often as I do. It’s a work in progress, like everything else, but I’m moving in the right direction. The good news is my overall fitness continues to improve. Once I get my digestive issues under control, I think it will be pretty easy to run consistent, illness-free sub-20 minute 5Ks.
Questions for the Internets:
Did you race this past weekend? If so, how did it go?
Do you take probiotic supplements? Are there any specific brands/strains you’d recommend?
Do you take vitamin supplements? If so, which kind?