I’ve taken a few cracks at 5ks over the years.  It certainly is not my best or favorite distance, but I do have a bit of love for it (although when I am in straight distance mode it’s definitely love/hate).  It was my first race distance.  You can pretty much run one every weekend and it takes very little physical recovery, so not having a good day at one doesn’t mean you paid a billion dollars and trained for months to be disappointed.  There is that thing about all the pain of a marathon condensed down into 20-some minutes which sucks but it goes away quickly when it’s over (unlike a marathon), so there’s something to look forward to.


Indulge my memory lane.

My first race (Feb 09), I wanted to beat 30 minutes.  I hit 27:48.  I was stoked, and hooked.

My second race (May 09), I wanted to beat 26 minutes.  I ran 27:29 in the rain and was a little disappointed, but happy with a PR.

My third race (Aug 09), I wanted to beat 26 minutes again, and ended up with 26:31.  A pretty good PR.

My fourth race (May 10), I wanted to beat 25, and I show 25:10 as my time.  However, I still question that this result (it wasn’t chip timed, I didn’t have a garmin yet, and both Zliten and I had some really incredible times) and honestly consider 26:31 my PR (until I beat it someday…).

Then I really started focusing on longer stuff.  I ran more 5ks, but never really trained specifically for them.  My results were: 27:51, 28:26, 29:16, 27:58, 29:44, and 29:46, from 2010 to 2012 (I ran no 5ks last year).

My triple brick times of miles in the 7s and low 8s got me questioning how close I was to my 5k PR, and I decided to go out and try it last week to disastrous results due to many factors and ended up with a result of 29:31.  This week, I decided to remove some of the crap that went wrong and see what I had.

I picked a course that was around the house, pretty flat, no gravel, a little earlier (though the heat was still a factor – high 70s and huuuuumid), and I felt way less burnt and tired.  Without the normal caffeine and buzz and other people at a race, I was able to pull out a 27:40 – which is right in the middle there of all my 5k results and almost 2 minutes faster than last week.  I’m ok with that.  If I could somehow pull out an 8:55 average this weekend, I would be more than stoked.

I’m feeling the inklings of that race hunger back this week.  It took two weeks of slack-assing (5.5 hours of training two weeks ago, 7 hours last week), but I’m starting to feel a bit of the butterflies about standing on that beach at Pflugerville and going to hurt myself real bad for about 90 minutes and see what I’m made of here and now. My running has gotten speedier and less labored this week without really trying, so that means a little bit of the funk has lifted, at least.

Hopefully taper this week (read: pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last 2 weeks) will further send me into the race anticipation zone.  And yeah, I know if this is having to be forced, it’s time to end the season.  12 days and counting.

So, as for Sunday, it’s really hard for me to talk strategy, because there is only one way I’ll be happy – laying it all out on the line and PRing this race, and I’ve raced it well the last two years.  I’m ready for the unicorns and rainbows.  This is home turf, I know every inch of the course since I train there all the time, and I’m going out there to hurt.


Hurting on the swim means swimming strong and aggressively, not being afraid to get in a decent spot in the pack, and pushing through that suck that is swimming 500m fast.  I’ve swam around 11:30 both years, I really think I can beat that.

Hurting on the bike means pushing the flats FAST, trying not to lose too much ground on the hills, don’t get comfortable behind slow people (my wave is pretty late in the day and I spend the entire time passing people – confidence boosting, yes, but also is annoying). 18.1 mph is my best here (last year).  While I’d love to beat it, I also think it’s going to be a challenge to do (my watch kept reading 15mph erroneously, so I kept going faster because I was upset at it) so and I’m going to need to hammer this to do it.

Hurting on the run means staying cool (frozen handheld), and pushing that lap around the lake as strategically close to barf-tastic as possible.  I’m hoping to see a lot of 8s on my garmin, or at the very least low 9s.  28:07 was my best here 2 years ago (and if I remember correctly, it’s a little short of the 3 miles they advertise) and I think I can beat that if I’m smart and fierce.  I think today’s double brick runs of 1.67 miles finally helped me dial in 5k race effort so I don’t fizzle boom in the middle.

PRing also means quick transitions, so I’m trying to go as minimal as possible (no bike gloves, sleeves, etc, though I’m not ready to give up my socks or put my bike shoes on my bike just yet) to save time.  And I need to practice those this week so I don’t succumb to transition gravity like at the X-50.

Also, attempting to rest a lot, recover, ward off the tireds, not do stupid stuff like stay up too late or have too much fun.  Two more weeks.  Light, tunnel, and all that.


Eating stuff: After 2 weeks of tracking and caring, I’m back to eating a decent amount of good stuff.

  • In general, I’m eating between 1500-2000 calories per day (had one weekend day at 2600, oops, but baby steps).  This seems to be about perfect for ~7 hours of activity a week.  I’ll have to dial this down a bit (or just be more active in fun ways) during offseason, but it’s good for now.
  • Since my activity level is less, I’m counting grains a different way.  I’m using that category for grains/starches and counting a serving of potatoes, beans, or corn there too.  That way, I’m keeping the excess carbs that I’m not out torching to a minimum.
  • My weight seems to be stabilitized between 176 and 178.  I’m a little sad that I can’t seem to crack into and stay in the lower 170s, but all I can do is keep trying, right?
  • I did kinda screw up and get Costco Pizza, but I ate four slices of it over 2 meals, and I think I’m no worse for wear.  Pizza just sounded SO SO good!
  • Trying to cut back on beer and drink liquor instead.  I haven’t completely given up the Ruby Redbird, but I’m drinking it more sparingly.  It’s definitely saving me calories… and I’m finding less drinks gets me tipsier!  Win win! 🙂

Other stuffs:

I was prepared and ready to run my Savage Worlds story, but we didn’t have enough people that night.  Boo.  It’s ok, because I know I’m ready next time, and we got to play Zombie Munchkin instead.  Although I didn’t win.  Boo x2.  Or braaaaaaaains.


Celebrated National Running Day by 2 gorgeous post-dark miles after the trainer.  High temps are so much more tolerable without the death star in the sky.

Took one of my first post-Saturday workout naps.  Usually I’m way too riled up after, but a 5k time trial just knocked us both out.

Went bra shopping and somehow I went UP a cup size in the last few years?  Not sure how that happened… I expected to go up in the band because of swimming, but cup size?  Anyone want some boob?  Apparently I have plenty to go around…

Got to swim (both paddle around and laps) outside and it was glorious.

My gym cut their hours AGAIN, this time with no notice, and now they’re only open until 8pm on all weekdays and 4pm weekends.  This is the final nail in the coffin, it’s not if we’re moving gyms, it’s when (maybe time it just right to coincide with season starting again in August to save money).


Had a fun night out celebrating a birthday with friends at the Spider House.  We hung out with Bill Clinton the cat (which is what we dubbed him, though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t his name), and Peanut the Pug (pictured above).


And, now, we’ll take our smiley selves and try to get through the week happy, rested, and psyched for Pfluuuuuuger!

On the way, I have a volunteer appreciation dinner, a company boat trip, and a birthday party to navigate.  I often like to endure moderation in moderation, but race week is probably not the best week to throw caution to the wind there.