This morning I ran the Yuri’s Night 5K in Challenger Park, only a short drive from my house. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that I created this race back in 2004. I directed it for 4 years before handing the reins over to fresh blood, and the current director has really done a great job with the event. (They got tech shirts this year! So excited!) This year was the biggest yet — more than 200 people! I always said that my only hope was that the race would continue after my time as race director was through, and it makes me so happy to see that it has not only continued, but gets better every year.
I saw a lot of friends and “space tweeps” and had a great run. My plan was to take it easy since I’m racing a triathlon tomorrow, but honestly I ended up going harder than I probably should have. But I kept my pace consistent, and ran the whole way without a walk break!
I haven’t had a chance to post yet about my new “running philosophy,” but here’s the gist: after having my VO2 max tested, finding out my heart rate zones, and exploring them on a few recent runs around the neighborhood, I’ve decided that I need to slow down. Also? No more walk breaks, at least not as a standard and expected component of every run.
Over the past year, my runs have turned into run/walks, where I push hard for the running portion then desperately await a scheduled walk break to catch my breath. It feels awful, and makes NO SENSE and results in runs that I end up hating. Backing off — even just a little — and concentrating on my pacing really helps. Which of course is obvious. And yet I think I’d forgotten about that over the past year.
So yesterday I ran at a pace I’d call “comfortably hard.” I pushed the pace, but if I started to feel like I needed to walk, I made a concerted effort to back off and keep jogging. The result was a 32:13 finish, or a pace of 10:23 per mile. That is a result I can be very happy with at this point in my life, and I am.
Hooray for the Yuri’s Night 5K!