This would be my first race since the Philadelphia marathon in mid-November. I had a decent rest period, and then I moved back into maintenance mode for a couple of weeks (~15mpw). My birthday was coming up in January, and there were two race options... a half marathon and a 5K. After marathons, there's usually a long period of many months when I can't get my long runs back up in distance. Didn't need the pressure of getting mileage up quickly, so I decided to go for the 5K. It would be nice to be able to do races from which one can recover quickly, and the training itself is fast and good bang-for-the-buck-y.
So... I had about 3 weeks to get my speed back up. I did one week of FIRST-style training, with a speed day, a tempo day, and a long[er] day (still relatively short @ 7mi). Then, to kick off the new year, a less structured week, but still with some fast training (1 strength session, 1 bike session, a 5er @ 8:18 and a 4.4er @ 7:56). Then, this week, with almost no running, because Monday's workout was so tough, and work was busy, too. Monday's workout was a mix of steep hill and speed intervals... I planned on doing a speed interval workout, but my knees weren't able to do speed reps for every rep, so I replaced every other speed rep with a hill rep. The workout: 1 mi warmup in 8:17, 2x[ 3/4 mi @ 9mph @ 1 degree (6:42/mi), 1/4 mi @ 7.5mph @ 1 degree (7:59/mi), 1/2 mi @ 7.5mph @ 7 degrees (=6:31 effort), 1/2 mi @ 7.5mph @ 1 degree (7:59/mi)], 0.2 mi shakeout in 1:29. After that, I did 2 complete rest days, then a strength day to loosen up everything that had gotten tighted up on Monday, then another rest day for the day before the race. The night before the race, I was rested up at last, and I even felt good enough to run a half marathon.
Did my usual pre-race routine, and added a caffeinated gel right beforehand, because I needed a little kick of energy (mostly the sugar).
(Visitor Center / Packet Pickup in the morning fog)
(My Saucony A4s with nice treads were great for the post-rain roads)
20:40, a PR!!! In my last post, I said that I had PRed in every distance from 1 mi to 26.2 that calendar year (1 mi, 8K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2), exept for the 5K. But now, I have the 5K, too, if we go by "past 12 months". Yay. Shaved off 4 seconds. I ended up actually being 4th, not 3rd. There had been someone else. The real 3rd came in at 20:33, but I didn't see her because I had made up some ground at the very end. 7 seconds seems small, but it's big when you've been hovering around a certain time for a while. Splits> 6:46, 6:46, 6:30, 0:38 for 0.1. Yay for neg splits.
(Green Trail, where the British and the Patriots fought)
I like visiting national parks, and getting my national park passport stamped is fun, too. Cowpens National Battlefield is actually quite interesting. The main trail is right where the British and Patriot battlelines were, and you can literally follow what happened in each step of the battle as it unfolded. There was also a 2-mi nature trail, so I tacked that on to my post-race exploration run, too.
(Not a medal from the race, haha... the Park had an activity where if you walked along Green Trail out to a historic house and back, you got to become an honorary member of General Morgan's team)