I compete in races for about eight months of the year; however, it's not as hardcore as it may sound. Last year, I think I did maybe eight races, but I tend to sign up for races that only take place from February/March through October.
This coming Saturday is the beginning of Louisville's Triple Crown of Running: a series of three races that are separated by two weeks each. If you complete all three, you get a special tshirt, bragging rights, and not to mention great race experience should you choose to do the Derby Festival mini or full marathon at the end of April. The races are a 5k, 10k, and a 10 miler. Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the 10k and the 10 miler, but I signed up for this Saturday's Anthem 5k. Part of the reason I signed up for the 5k this year is that it will be my fifth time running it in a row! Here are my previous years' times:
As you can see, I improved, I REALLY improved, and then I slowed down. 2010 was an amazing year for me race-wise: multiple PRs and my first triathlon. This time last year, I was on the tail-end of getting over Mononucleosis and therefore was not exactly race ready. The last 5k I ran was in October or November, and my time was around 27:30 so I'm hoping to finish around that time.
The Anthem 5k can be a pretty frustrating race. Since I first started running it, the number of participants has increased by at least 2,000. Last year, over 8,700 people participated. If you divide that number by 3, to cover the three miles of the race, that's 2,900 people per mile. How would you like to dodge that many people? The race last year is still fresh in my mind: I dodged people THE ENTIRE TIME and it was very aggravating. This year, I'm going to get closer to the start line so I won't have to do so many lateral movements. The main issue is that they do not do wave starts and they do not control the walkers. If I was in charge, I would make these races running only. After all, it is called The Triple Crown of Running.
Yesterday I did a long run: seven miles. So far I have been pretty disappointed with my long runs: they've been cloudy, cold, and sluggish. However, yesterday was sunny and warmer, and a friend ran three miles with me and I appreciated the company. I picked up my pace a bit and average 10 minute miles on the dot as opposed to 10:15 or higher. I know my long runs are supposed to be slow, but I feel like I was running too slowly and therefore my heart rate was struggling to stay up.
Does anyone have tips on warming up faster? I'd like to feel warmed up within 10-15 minutes as opposed to 25!