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

Monday, 7 January 2013

A perfect 5k

One of the problems with New Year's Resolutions is they force us to see the person we currently are as unsatisfactory in a way. Of course none of us is perfect, but maybe we should look at ourselves more often and say "I am happy and satisfied with the way I am right now".

We are in La Crosse, WI again and our visit corresponded with the New Year's Resolution 5k race at the YMCA in Onalaksa. I have now run this winter race course four times.

The first time I ran it was with SR in 2007, before we were even dating. It was the first 5k I had ever attempted to run fast (thanks to the encouragement of SR). If my memory serves me correctly, I ran it in just under 23 minutes. It is always a tough race, in temperatures well below freezing, with wind and some good hills.

A year later, I was 8 months pregnant and ran it in a time somewhere over 26 minutes - after eating two enormous and wonderful muffins from the Co-op here in town (mmmmm).

Last year, I thought I had a PR in me, but with the usual tough conditions, I ended up running it in 20:35 (2 seconds ahead of the 16 year old girl Bailey Oettel), good enough for 3rd place Female.

This year would be the first time I would run it without SR. He was working a shift in the ER and my Mom had agreed to watch the boys. I arrived 1 hour and 15 minutes early. This gave me time to pick up my chip, number, change clothing multipe times, chat with the Bluff Busters Tri Club and manage a very good warmup (was sure to included multiple 200 meter sprint repeats, which seem to shock my system into fight mode). I felt I needed it since the thermometer said 11F (-11C). From the moment I started this warmup, my legs felt good. My goal was simply to beat my time from last year since I knew these were way tougher conditions than I had run my 19:34 PR in. There was even ice and snow on the course in some spots and I was afraid of falling.

When the gun went off (actually when Jamie made a fire engine sound), I started out with the second group of guys and Bailey Oettel at my side. After a half a mile, I pulled ahead of them and up to the first group of guys. I ran the first mile in 6:09 in a headwind. I stayed with the top three guys and the one who had been first dropped back to immediately ahead of me for the rest of the race. Despite the temps, there were fans screaming "GO GIRL" all the way, which was so motivating. I felt strong and non-sick the entire way. I've never felt like that during a 5k and came in in 19:24 on my Garmin stopwatch. First female, fourth overall. I almost felt like I could run it again. They had 19:28 on their chip time, but most people seemed to think the chip time was off. I can't otherwise explain a 4 second discrepancy when I started my watch immediately and stopped it after I crossed the line. Either way, a PR and a huge personal record on the course. I am thrilled with this performance!! Something in my current training plan is working - I'm just not sure if it is more speed work, less training or the combination. It's shorter than 100k, but makes me hopeful about Bandera this coming weekend.

 In an exiharating cool down run, I listed to the great Swedish band, The Knife's Marble House and savored a huge endorphin rush. Incredible you can feel that way after only running 3.1 miles.

Sorry no race pictures, but here are some from our trip so far:
Me and my mom's mom (Mormor!)
Welcome to the land of static electricity
Prachthauser-Høeg-Allen party on the marsh

Don't look for any clues about our personalities on these shelves. We're just renting a house in La Crosse.


Katie said...

Yay! Congrats on a great PR in some tough conditions. Guess that coach knows what he's doing! Happy new year!

mmmonyka said...

Tough conditions, -11, brrrr. Good job!
Although i imagine a pergect 5k differently: 25°C, Alps as a background, 16:xx... :)

I have heard that a bunch of you speedsters are meeting in Milwaukee in October for a marathon. I so wish they had a half as well.

PiccolaPineCone said...

wow, i realize now my e-mail to you was understated... it is HUGE that you ran a PB in those conditions (btw PB "personal best" is Canadian speak for PR). fabulous!
also glad to know that 11 F = -11 C, I have a couple of "landmarks" to help me move back and forth btwn the two scales names 32=0, 50=10 and 82=28. 11=-11 will come in very handy.
you're renting a house in LaCrosse? (much to my dissapointment, I couldn't make out a single title). how long are you state side?

PiccolaPineCone said...

argh. names should be namely in the above comment. Queen of the typos.

sea legs girl said...

Katie- looking back it is funny to me I ever thought I knew what I was doing now that I seem to have such an effective plan that is so different from my old ways.

sea legs girl said...

Mmmonyka- I should have called it perfect "considering the conditions" :o). Please come join us for the MKE Marathon - is running a marathon so out of the question? Something tells me you would not only finish but do very well.

sea legs girl said...

PPC- those crazy Canadians and their abbreviations: "PB". ;o). That has actually always sounded better to me than PR - but PR has just become the language of SR and me. But I think even Danes call it a PB. Maybe I should switch. We'll be in the US until the 17th.

mmmonyka said...

@SLG: I was just kidding. I think that it truly was a perfect 5k (given the conditions), especially if you are not used to running in cold and snow. As far as running a marathon goes…I think that I can run a marathon but cannot train for a marathon. Plus if I ran one I would not be able to use my ITB for the next year. But if both you and PPC do it, I might come up just to see how you too kick a$$.

@PCC: I like those temperature “landmarks”. Need to remember those. My landmarks have been 32 = cold, 100 = hot.

SteveQ said...

The comparison I always remember is -40F = -40C. I've only felt that in windchill, though (no Arrowhead 135 or Tuscobia for me!)

Stationary Runner said...

Congratulations on your PR! Sounds like the coaching has been well worth it.

Diana said...

What a wonderful race, but oh my, so cold! Congrats!