Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

5k experiment

Recovery after Sydkyst Marathon was slower than I had hoped. But with a knot the size of a lemon in my right calf, I couldn't expect it to disappear in a day or two, even without running. I ran 2km in two weeks. That is not exactly high mileage for me.

But daily massage from SR on my calf and three sessions with my favorite massage therapist at Meridian Centret and the knot was crushed to near non-existance. Can I just ask - how many running injuries are actually caused by knots that people simply fail to identify? It was just lucky my massage therapist found mine because my pain has always been in my hip!

Knot nearly gone - what could I do other than sign up for a race?

I had no clue if I even could manage 2km in a row, so I decided to run the 5k rather than the 12k. It was a race in Næstved with over 1800 participants - the largest race outside of Copenhagen on our island - ever! It was called Mærk Næstved. It was run on a newly-built highway, before the cars get to drive on it. (I have to say supporting the destruction of beautiful nature to build a road was not exactly my favorite race premise, but proceeds apparently went to local athletic clubs).

SR and I had a good 30 minute warm-up. He would be running the 12k, so he agreed to warm up with me.

I lined up near the front, next to my good swimming friend. I had no idea she ran, too, and asked what her goal time was. She said around 24 minutes. I was a little surprised she lined up near the front, but what do I know about Næstved races?

The weather was perfect. About 45 degrees F, sunny and nearly windless.

The race was started and after about 1 minute, I passed the one woman ahead of me and ran the first km in 3:41! Garmins all beeped so it must have been correctly measured. I felt great. I was trying to forget the 2lb weight gain I've had in the last two weeks. I slowed the next km, but then kept the pace pretty even.

I was first female and 8th overall with a 2 second PR: 19:34.

The calf never felt perfect and my whole body seemed to be in shock about suddenly running so fast after two weeks of nothing. I was happy to run a PR, but I still think a sub 19 is lingering inside of me - somewhere.

The local tv station got a clip of the men's winner and me at the finish.

Click here and fast forward to about 5:30. Enjoy a little Danish news.

SR's race went really well. He ran the 12k in 42:07 and came in second after this guy (Frank Løvedahl Rasmussen)
Frank about to win the 12k

SR with ½ km to go. I am not good at catching runners in the middle of the field.

SR catching up to the last 5k runners in the neon green race shirts.

top 3 men at the finish

Here I'm receiving a 500 kr. gift certificate from Næstved's mayor (in green)!

I still can't get over that a 19:34 is good enough for first place in a 5k with nearly 500 women. I feel like half the women reading this now could beat that. And beyond that, the second place woman was over 2 minutes behind me. I am not saying this to say - hey look at me - I'm so fast. It's more like - why do women here not want to run fast? It's almost as if it is stigmatizing. Anyway.

I honestly enjoyed my two week break from running. I needed it. And I'm still going to take it easy for a while. I've been reading a ton lately, and I met a group of women in Copenhagen who I will be doing research on Bikram yoga with. One is a post-doc and one is a medical student.

The book "Swim Speed Secrets for Swimmers and Triathletes" by Sheila Taormino has taken 4:30 seconds off of my 2k tempo swims! If you swim and haven't read it, you absolutely need to!

Today I went for a nice slow run with Annette and Jerk. It was a gorgeous day and I loved running with these two. Having close friends - in real life - and not just on a blog, is invaluable.

They both are encouraging me to start that training camp in Colorado so they too can partake.

Annette and me today.
Halloween preparations with the Icelandic girls

Oh yeah - check out Alicia Hudelson's blog if you have a chance! Inspired by my 3:16:20 marathon PR, she just ran a 3:16:19 in Grand Rapids!


Katie said...

Holy cow! A 5k PR after a two week break! Amazing! I would be terrified to run a 5K under the same circumstances. I like your description of being in shock because that's often how I feel when I run 5K's. In total shock. Nice job! I think you have a sub 19 in those legs.

Ingunn said...

Watching that Danish news clip reminded me of one of my favorite skits:

Congratulations on your PR!

mmmonyka said...

You have run 2k in two weeks?!? You must have been really hurting to let it go this far.

I really do not feel like getting excited and congratulating you on your new PR because you can do so much better and I am sure you can crash it anytime under more ideal conditions. That's no brainer :)

I get your perplexion about winning a race with 19something 5k, but it is as I always say after my races: I am not fast, my competition is just too slow. But if it earns me cash or sneakers or anything useful I do not complain.

I will try to find that book abou swimming. I need help.

Alicia Hudelson said...

Another vote for you to start that training camp ASAP...

I love that the Danes put races on the news, that's really cool!

Danni said...

Yay for a PR!

SteveQ said...

@Ingunn: That clip's hysterical! Now I have to rewatch Howard Mohr's "How to Speak Minnesotan."

sea legs girl said...

Gosh Ingunn -you Norwegians do love making fun of th Danes, don't you?! Funny thing is I ran across that video when I was attempting to lean Danish, now five years ago, so it was such a trip to suddenly see it again. I had completely forgotten about it. I can assure you that the language has gotten even more incomprehensible in the meantime ;).

gnome517 said...

hey now, some of us would LIKE to run that fast and we just can't. I have only been running a few years and my 5K PR is just seconds under 30min. I really don't even believe that my body could go as fast as yours, even if i did spend every spare minute running. so, please, recongize that you are FAST. i'm almost insulted.