The 5km Race Pain is Real
Who would have thought that such a short distance could hurt so bad?
I have three official (chip timed) 5km races under my belt now and I am happy to retire from this distance.
My comeback from injury has been slow and gradual. I was allowed to increase my mileage by 5km every week until I hit 80km/week. I’ve been consistently running 80km/week since mid-July with a down week every four weeks or so. While I’d like to run as much as much as possible in the gloriously warm weather after training in the polar vortex earlier this year, I don’t want to risk another setback by doing too much too soon. While it’s been a bit mentally painful, I am happy to report I have now completed two races without injury :).
Without injury – but not without entire-mind-and-body-pain. Three weeks ago I ran my first Women’s Only 5km race which is part of the Toronto Women’s Run Series. My coach suggested we do it as a ‘warm up’ for the 5km Road Race Championships that was two weeks later.
So a handful of Angels and I were off on our warm up race. I forgot how painful running fast was.
To put it into perspective, my boyfriend surprised me by showing up and cheering (along the sparse course of other cheerleaders) and I ran right by without noticing him yelling because I was thinking about being someplace else – anywhere else – that I blocked the world out completely.
There’s no room for pacing error in a 5km. If you go out too fast, you’re screwed. The is one of the many reasons I love the marathon distance. Out of the 42.2kms, I can afford to run a little too fast or too slow for a couple kilometers, because it all evens out in the end. Not with a 5km though.
I finished the warm up race about 35 seconds off my PB. Meh. Not happy with it but I was reminded how painful the 5km can be and was now mentally ready to prepare myself for that again in two weeks at the 5k Canadian Road Race Championships.
Fast forward to 5:30am on Sunday, September 13 as I was sitting eating my usual pre-race meal of oatmeal thinking, “why do I keep doing this?” I reassured myself that I would be leave my apartment at 8am, race at 9am and would be back home in bed by 10am. Nice little Sunday.
There were five Angels running in this one but countless other Angels had come to cheer us on at different spots of the course. The team support was incredible and honestly keep me going right to the end.
Again, my boyfriend showed up to surprise me along the course (at two different spots). He may not know this yet but he’s now set an expectation which I’m not sure he is ready to commit to.
This race went better than the Women’s Only by about 15 seconds (so 20 seconds off my PB) but I still felt pretty meh about the result.
What have I learned from these 5km races? To temper my high expectations. Not every race is going to be the best race. I was so fortunate to have an amazing 2014 race year, with a PB in every distance. 2015 is an injury-recovery-rebuilding year, but LOOK OUT 2016.
I have one race left and am so happy it’s in my hometown of Hamilton!!! On November 1, I am doing the Hamilton Road 2 Hope half marathon for the first time. I’m also raising money for Save the Mothers organization. This international organization aims to improve the health of mothers and babies in Uganda. If you would like to donate (and I promise to run extra fast), please click here.
Looking ahead over the next couple of weeks, I am excited that I’m allowed to run 90km/week until I start to taper at the end of October. I wish I was doing the full, but I know my body wouldn’t hold up for that kind of mileage and I plan on running my next marathon in 2:59:59.
A little while ago I posted a picture on Instagram of my weekly meal prep and a friend suggested that I include it as one of my blog posts, so this is for you Laura.
It’s there’s only one thing I need to do on Sundays, it’s grocery shop and meal prep #typeA. Ok maybe two things.
I usually make the weekday lunches on Sunday. The salads vary from week to week, but consist mainly of:
- Spinach and/or kale (usually a mix of both)
- Peppers (yellow, orange or red)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Broccoli slaw
- Beans (I alternate between black beans, lentils or this 6-bean medley you can buy at the grocery store)
- Hard-boiled egg
- Goat cheese
- Nuts/Trail mix
I have been trying to incorporate more protein in my diet so started adding a hard-boiled egg and/or nuts. With more protein, I find that I stay fuller for longer.
I’ve been using the dressing from the Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad I posted a couple weeks ago since it’s so delicious!