For the 4 years that I have been with Phillyfit people have raved about this race. It's a 5k on a Thursday (yesterday) evening on the same trail where we do most of our training runs. The course is part of the first 3 miles of our runs so phillyfitters are very familiar with this stretch. That's not the part everyone raves about though. For $25 entry fee you get a tech tshirt (nice one too) and a post race party like I've never seen or heard about. Not just all kinds of food but all kinds of drink too! I resisted (not really sure why) but figured I could afford the $25 this year and so many from the group go and we typically run together on Thursday evenings anyway... why not.
I arrived at the SEI complex just before 5. The race started at 6:30 but it didn't make sense to go home first. Slowly other Philyfitters arrived and evenutally 15 of us were there to start. We all ran our own races, the earlier finishers cheering on the ones who came behind. So by the time the last of us finished we were altogehter in a group again to head up for the party.
I thought I might try to run easy the first mile, a little harder the second mile and a little harder again for the final 1.1. However, I am always going out too fast - and the start of this race is downhill which didn't help - so by the end of the first mile it was all about hanging on. I talked myself into just finish running... no walk breaks. It was in the mid-80's and very very humid. Fortunately a majority of the trail is shady so that helped. Still, I did end up taking one small walk break in the last mile. Other than that, I just tried to keep adjusting my pace so that I could breath and keep running.
My time was slower than my last 5k race which had been 13 months earlier. I'm not really a 5k runner. I prefer the longer distances. It takes 5k for me to get into a groove. Still I enjoyed the race and more importantly the friendship.
Something I noticed too as we milled around the party. It was very crowded and we were all over the room at one point. I sat down with a group and it struck me that it didn't really matter which of the group I was with. There was no one I wouldn't mind sitting, chatting, spending time with. Phillyfit is a very special group of people.
So tomorrow is our long run Saturday. We have 8 miles and we start at 7 AM. I am going to go out an hour earlier and try to do about 40 minutes before the group meeting. I want to experiment with my heart rate monitor and pace. As coach of my group it's hard to experiment with personal strategies with the group. Also, I need to start increasing my mileage on long run days anyway. I was going to follow a modified Hal Higdon Intermediate I for MCM; just today I decided to try for the Intermediate II. This program starts next week with 10 (8 if I was following the I). As with Gettysburg training, if I can keep up with it great, if not I'll still be ok as long as I get one 20 miler in. I do have to watch out about overdoing it I suppose. Still I think I'll be ok if I keep that in the back of my mind.
The II has three 20 milers. I did two 20 milers for Gettysburg. I want to add the miles because I'm really becoming convinced of the benefit of the long SLOW run to my endurance. This burn fat not sugar thing makes so much sense to me in terms of lasting longer. But I realize now that I have to work at that and train my body to get with that program. Although secretly (except I'm just about to tell you) I'd like to get MCM in less than 5:30 my realistic goal is to only walk on scheduled walk breaks and to perhaps eliminate some of the later walk breaks. However, in 4 marathons I've always had to take extended walk breaks at the end of the race. Each time a little later than the time before so progress is being made. And likely if I did walk less at the end I might make the time goal too. I was 5:37 in Philly in 2008 (although that was fueld by going out way too fast with Angie and Doreen.)
Ok this post is getting too long. I'll yap about my thoughts on training more next time.
Oh and I also signed up for the Ocean City NJ Half Marathon October 2. I believe Kristie and Jamie are going to do it too! I am so looking forward to doing a race with them both.