I ran my first 5k today without the aid of a watch finishing with a time of 19:52.
I wanted my race data so I wore my Garmin, but did not look at it once during the event. I programmed it to run a simple lap to avoid the mile marker beeps, which I have come to find annoying and distracting. So I hit start, raced, then hit stop. Done.
The reason for this sort of new direction for me is simple; the mind and body will take you places you never thought possible if you allow them, especially when racing. Unfortunately for me today, that was not the case.
I planned to try racing by effort during what were to be the dog days of summer, today however, the weather was anything but a dog. 66 degrees with a slight wind, ideal for a personal best attempt.
I stuck with my intended plan however and to that end I inquired of no one pre-race what their goals were, as to not lock in on any particular runner during the race because I knew their goal pace.
I completed my warm-up and arrived in the starting corral about 6 minutes prior to race start, which for me is perfect. The problem was there was a 15 minute wait for all of the announcements, then another 10 or so waiting for the 10k runners to run their 2 loops around the track before heading out to the hood.
I subsequently felt tightness in my quads (something I never have before) for about the first 100 meters of the race, before loosening up. That is no excuse but to the race director I would offer this; next time wrap that shit up in five minutes or less.
I noticed some of the front of the packers doing short sprints during the wait. Next time, I will join them.
I don't have mile splits because my race was one "lap", but here is a shot of my pace chart:
My pacing was pretty erratic, but I think if I would have focused a bit more, I may have at least came away with a better result. I spent quite a bit of time running at or faster than my pseudo goal pace of 6:07 (I averaged a 6:23). The trouble is I spent more time running slower than it, fuck.
I am unsure of why that is. I was trying to race to distress, but I always seemed to have another gear. I think maybe I was thinking too much and not racing. Ya think?
While I am disappointed in my result, I remain committed to the effort as the theory is sound. Not having something to tell me that this is race pace, now focus on holding it was a new experience. Experience being the operative word.
When I return to the track, I will thus pay closer attention on trying to find something to correlate 5k goal pace to be it breathing, cadence or something. As it is, I let a good opportunity slip through my fingers. Fuck.
I realize that four of my five 5k's this year have been run within 23 seconds of each other (19:56, 20:14, 19:48, 19:33, 19:52), which I suppose is not a bad grouping. I am greedy though, and highly goal oriented, and promise to return to my next event more confident (something I lacked this morning for the first time before a race which was odd) and determined to hang a better time than I did today.
"When the gun goes off, everything changes... the world changes... and nothing else really matters!"
Not a bad grouping indeed!
Also, note that the garmin will show a more erratic pace than you actually ran so dont read too much into the peaks and valleys. That's more GPS math algorithm stuff than reality.
I think you ran a good race! I also think you probably left some seconds out there in the course as, without consulting the garmin, your "extra gear" was the reference your body used to tell you. No biggie. If it were easy, you'd have nailed it today on your first attempt at doing this and this stuff......ain't easy!
Nice job. Great time! And, ya, I hate waiting around after warmup, especially any longer than expected while the body just keeps cooling down.
I anticipate an appointment for you in the pain cave at your next race to test the limits. It's great in there. There's a nice couch along the back wall with spikes and barbed wire coming out of it. It's comfy! Real comfy!
Do you do much training specifically at 5K race pace? I do quite a bit of that training on the track and thus have a very good idea of what it should feel like. Beyond that though, once you cool off, it sucks trying to get into a rhythm. I have, on more than one occasion, taken to doing some jogging and some strides to stay loose because after about 10 minutes, you'd almost be better off if you hadn't done any warm up since you start to stiffen.
Short term goal: 17:59 5K
Mid term goal: 2:54:59 marathon
Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life. (I started running at age 45).
Miles to go
You know, I wonder if running without a watch is not for everyone. I did it in December, and did get a PR, but I kinda think that I ran the first mile too quickly and died in the 3rd. I feel like I need my watch still not to blow that first mile.
Now clearly, you have more experience in 5Ks than I do, so pacing might be easier, but you are also detail oriented like I am. So I am wondering if the no-watch racing might be great for some runners, but not all?
I also agree that the peaks and valleys are probably just a satellite issue unless you felt like you were seriously weaving. I mean, most of the huge ups are followed by huge downs, so I suspect the truth is in the middle.
PRs: 5K: 25:35 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02
Upcoming: 10 mi. 3/15, HM 4/13
Impressive performance as usual, you are always too hard on yourself. Bold to challenge yourself by running without a watch; you cannot expect to get that kind of adjustment right the first time, yet your finish time was right there. Not sure what your expectations are, but when you are performing at the high level you already are, getting to the next one is just going to take time & continued practice. Sometime I am going to come watch you race, but never sure when your next one is...maybe you like to keep it that way.
Awesome performance and without the Garmin aid. Great job!
I have been running without a pace or HR goal since I've been having issues with the HRM. I gotta say that my runs have gotten faster and my breathing better too. I look at it but only for the distance. I gotta say running without looking at it has some benefits.
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Nice job, even if it wasn't exactly what you wanted. But, then again, perfect races are few and far between. I commend you for resisting the siren song of the Garmin. That's a lot more difficult to do than it sounds.
You clearly need some cheese now -- no good whine is complete without it. Preferably sharp cheddar.
Gotta give it to you for trying something new...that's the only way you're gonna learn and grow, right? That was an interesting comment about not asking other runners about their goal paces. I can't say I've ever done that. Maybe in my head it's like showing them that I'm not sure I can beat them? Who knows. That was a lot of announcement you had to deal with - definitely not runner friendly. Stepping out of the corral to do a little up and down surely would have been okay.
As for feeling the pace, I think it just comes over time and with more experience. Give yourself some more time on the Daniel's juice and I'm sure you'll be steady very quickly. As it is, your results are very consistent and you're running well. It seems like you may be at the kind of plateau where you'll find a big jump when things come together in a race.
PRs: Marathon (2:49xx; '13) Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)
Great job Rick.
Those excessive announcements are really annoying and you're right, they can literally "ice" you if you're all warmed up and then not so much.
Very nice on the garmin-free pace.
I race in SparkleSkirts
Nice job on your first experiment with racing without theaid of a Garmin. I hope you are happier with your result next time! You are a very speedy man and I am impressed by your time all the same for what it's worth!
PRs: 5K- 28:16 (5/5/13) 10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13) 4M- 41:43 (9/7/13) 15K- 1:34:25 (8/17/13) 10M- 1:57:23 (6/15/13) HM- 2:21:47 (10/12/13)
I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to
Just Keep "Tri" ing
You are super speedy watch or not.
You are right, way too long to wait for starting a 5K race.
The only time I ever look at pace during a run is on the track after the lap or during a tempo run to keep myself
Other than that I have always been a "by feel" runner. I purposely keep my watch set on distance/average pace
during all other runs and at least once a week run without a device. Keeps me very consistent in my slowness.
At my May full my watch crapped out around the 32K mark. Since I only check it a few times during a race it
didn't bother me a bit. Finished the last 1/4 of the race in almost the exact same time as the first 3 quarters
and an event split marathon.
Times like that make me glad I ran for 10 years without Garmin. A useful tool but not one I want to be
8 Marathons 26 Half Marathons Marathons in Canada/USA/Bermuda/Ireland
Next marathons: May 11 Fredericton Marathon, September 14 - Austria
July 5 - Half Iron Triathlon
PR's 5k - 25:27 (09/2013) 10k - 55:44 (07/2013) Half - 1:57:44 (10/2012) Full - 4:10:48 (05/2013)
Sometimes it takes several races that look like a plateau before seeing the drop in time you know is there. Pacing is important and mile splits will help you in post race analysis. Can't you turn off the alarm so it doesn't beep at the mile splits and still get them recorded? It drives me crazy when a race is that poorly organized that you stand around for 15-20 minutes or more after the scheduled start time. As LTH wrote, you might as well never have warmed up at that point. It makes the first mile feel a lot harder than it should and slows you up overall because it'll take that first mile or more to get warmed up again. I also think a word to the RD about the timing of the announcements is in order as well as course design and order of starting the races.
2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race
I anticipate an appointment for you in the pain cave at your next race to test the limits.
Nice call, I don't really think I was ever in any real pain. And therein lies the problem!
LTH, my paces vary equally during the week from 200 meter through 10k for speed work, I do not really do more of one over another.
Zel, my no Garmin experiment during my 1 mile race showed that I have the endurance to overcome starting out too fast, so blowing up is now less of a concern for me. But yes, it was a huge concern prior to last weeks race.
Dave, I suppose I could have written that completely different. ; )
I did not know that D, that is good to hear. When I ran with the heart rate monitor for a bit back in the winter, that stupid thing was all over the place.
I had a ton of cheese yesterday Blue and a boat load of wine! Love Hoffmans super sharp by the way, at room temperature.
SIAR, it turns out the two people I would have normally talked pre-race goals with, ran with me the entire race. Had I asked like I normally do, I would have known to pass them at some point. Well, I did pass the one during mile 2 and was attempting to pass the other as we closed in on mile 3, but her coach started screaming and yelling at her that I was attempting to pass so she increased her pace and I dropped back having lost the element of surprise.
Still, I think that I will not inquire of anyone the goals because they might have a bad race and take me down the crapper with them.
Iced is a good word Jay.
Kris, I actually feel better about my race one day removed.
Beth, I look at my Garmin quite a bit while racing so yesterday was huge for me.
WC, I do plan an email to do just that. It was a race to benefit teen heroine addiction so it got very emotional. They could probably start some of those announcements 5 to 10 minutes prior to the 10k and indicate that 5k will begin 10 or 15 minutes later.
I will also play around with getting mile splits. knowing them is somewhat important.
Smaller By The Day
You still ran a great time, but I can see where it would be tough to run a 5K using just your mind and body when your body is thrown off of its routine, and your mind is confronted with so many unforeseen circumstances. I imagine that's probably why everything reverted to a pace consistent with the other races that you've run recently. While it's still a damn good 5K, I understand the frustration because I think you've got a faster time in you. Great learning experience though.
Weight 100 pounds lost
5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)
10K 48:59 April 2013
HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013
MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013
St. Jude's Hero Profile
experimenting without mile splits is stretching yourself and you still did well although maybe not what you wanted. I also think your rhythm was thrown off by those delays at the start...what a pain. congrats and nice job.
marathon pr - 3:16
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