Dust off the shoes & get out the door! 2010 has started & the Quaker Oatmeal Festival 5K kicked off the "training" for the second year in a row. For $16 you get a race, oatmeal & pancake breakfast afterwards, a goodie bag, can of oatmeal to take home & some vitamin water from Eldorado Springs. I woke up at 7 AM for the 9:30 am start time...putzed around with a shower & coffee/toast before leaving--it was 6 F when I woke up so pretty dang chilly! Last year I ended up 17:59 & getting "chicked" by the top female. This year, after setting a new PR only 2 weeks on a pancake flat run back home at sea level in 16:04, I was at least hoping I'd be close to 17 this time around. Add in altitude, cold weather & ice on the roads & it took me down to a rather disappointing 17:41 (12th overall out of 1,086 & 1st Master runner)--still faster than last year (which at 40 is a bonus). However, I really was hoping to be close to breaking 17 but that's the way the cookie crumbles when you let yourself slide out of race shape! I've been running but it has all been base miles & the last speedwork I had done was a short race before Kona on trails where I took 2nd overall there. This year I did get "chicked" again by a gal that just finished Chicago Marathon this year in 2:32. She passed me shortly after the turn around & she was flying!
I could tell my core was weak as my run form was not holding together after the first half mile. I was up with the top 6 at the top of the first hill (about a half mile from the start), then the wheels came off. Opposite of last year I went out faster this time 'round instead of starting slower & keeping even paced. Obviously I slowed near the end, but figured if I got to the front & up to the turn around, I could "cruise" back home. One guy finished about half a step behind me so I was definitely having the hurt put on. I did not warm up that well I feel, and cold certainly isn't good for me & high intensity running. Cool weather is fine--but when it is below freezing, that is a little out of my comfort zone. Maybe next year I can be a little closer to 17--I'll just have to start some speed work late in the year to be ready for a January 5K..this year, it was too little too late but it WAS IMPROVEMENT over last year. Always have to take away the positives from your experiences.