Valentine’s Day 5 Miler- Litchfield, CT

Valentine’s Cupid 5 Mile Race—37.23  4th woman, 1st masters

O.K.- so I said I wanted to run 7:30 pace, and I did, but I didn’t expect it to HURT so much.  Having run Manchester Road Race (4.75 on Thanksgiving)  at 7:13s with little specific training, I thought 7:30 was going to feel easy.  I worked as hard as I could work, hitting a heart rate max of 193, and holding steady at 182 for most of the 5 miles.  This “getting old stuff”  kind of stinks!  I won my age group and I was 4th woman overall, not too far behind the first 3 who were in their 20’s and 30’s, so that part was good.  However, Ken and I have been training hard and very specifically for a half marathon next weekend.  We both set a goal of 1:40 (7:38 pace) and we both wanted to lose 5-10 lbs.    We have trained the same and done all of our speed workouts together.   I’ve done more a little more volume on the long days and more easy/recovery runs,  but he improved his pace by 10 seconds per mile since Manchester, and I was actually running at a slower per mile pace.    It wasn’t a fast course,  BUT clearly if one person improved with the training, and the other person didn’t, something is amiss!  Right? 

I’m a running coach, I should know the answer to this, but I don’t.  It is a problem that I run into all the time with my athletes- the same training that works great for one person and produces a personal record or an NCAA qualifying time, doesn’t work well at all for another person.  We know about individuality and we try to take that into account, but how do you figure out exactly what causes that individuality? For me, the questions and variables could be:   Stress?  Maybe—long week,several major injuries on team,  long track meet last night in NYC.  Weight?  I don’t know, I’m afraid to get on the scale (silly phobia, but I may as well admit to it right now) although I haven’t been overeating and I doubt I’ve gained weight.   Overtired?  Maybe.  Already at my “peak” performance?  Quite possibly.  I always race 120% and so there’s not a lot to improve on there, but of course, I always WANT to improve.  I was pretty discouraged after the race, which isn’t really like me, so maybe that in itself is a sign that I am overtired.  

The awards ceremony was fun.  Ken won a pie!  Just for being “lucky number 22” finisher.  Apparently the race director had been married 22 years and as this was a Valentine’s Day Race, she decided to honor that accomplishment with a special award.   All in all, it was a fun day and a good last hard tune up before our “big race” of the season next weekend– The Hampton Beach Half Marathon” in New Hampshire.

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