Quest For A Sub-30 Minute 5K Race Number Four

The last race in my summer’s quest for sub-30 Minute 5K, is done. I really enjoyed the series put on by the Lakeland Runners Club. The races were well-organized and the volunteers were excellent. To read about the other races in this series, please see Race One, Race Two, and Race Three.

Running all four races, I earned this snazzy t-shirt.

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Series 2012 Shirt

$30 for four 5K’s and a t-shirt, this series is such a good value.

The race took place around Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida. I really need to make an effort to run there more often because it is a beautiful area. The path around the lake has views of gorgeous homes, Florida Southern College (with their many Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings), and tons of birds. It is worth the drive to Lakeland if you are looking for a place to run in Central Florida.

The weather was clear but as humid as every August day is in Florida. This race I actually remembered to bring my sunglasses, so I could see when the sun was coming up. No major issues but I did have some slight cramping again. I am starting to think the cramping is caused by the humidity. My pace felt comfortable, so it was not that I was running too fast.

Splits:

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Number 4 Splits

I am pleased with how even they are. They need to be a little bit faster for a sub-30 but I am getting there.

My strong finish and Garmin adjustment. (I like how this picture makes me look like I’m flying.)

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Race Number 4 DinaRuns

Clock Time: 32:39

Chip Time: 32:18

This was the final race of the series and I was not able to run a sub-30 minute 5K. Even though I did not make my goal, I learned a lot training for a shorter distance. I did more speed training and tempo running than I ever have before.This has led to an increase in speed. Being a fairly new runner, learning how I feel and react to different types of training helps me learn what works best for me. Seeing the results of these training runs lets me know that I can get faster and my running can improve. I just have to put the work in.

This summer I was able to bring my 5K PR from 35:24 to 31:21. It is not a sub-30 but I’ll take it.

Race Number One To A Sub-30 Minute 5K

Last Saturday, I braved the rain and fog for my first attempt at running a sub-30 5K. This is the first of four in the Lakeland Runner’s Club Watermelon Series.

The race is one loop around Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland.

Lake Hollingsworth Lakeland Florida

{Source}

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Garmin Map

It is a popular running and biking route surrounded by beautiful homes and the Florida Southern Campus.

The race start was a little stressful. There was not a packet pick-up other than race day, so I had to wait in line to get my bib and another line to get a timing chip. This left me with zero time to use the bathroom or warm-up before the gun went off. Lesson learned here, I will need to get to the other three races much earlier.

Even with the lack of warm-up and the full bladder, the first mile felt comfortable. I even held back a little to maintain a 9:30-9:40 pace.

Heading into mile two, I felt that I was on pace to make my goal. I walked through the first water stop. I am so uncoordinated that drinking and moving, don’t really work for me.

Lakeland Watermelon 5K 2.5 Finish Mark

(I am just ahead of the guy with the awesome mustache.)

Somewhere in the middle of mile two I got a cramp. Anytime I get a cramp, which only happens during a race, it is always in my diaphragm. Normally a little walking helps but I have never been able to get rid of this kind of cramp. I am also a big baby who at the first feeling of difficulty breathing, I start to panic. This led to a minute or two of walking and hoping that this cramp would go away.

No such luck. At the 27 minute mark, I needed to walk again. At this point I knew that the walking was going to cost me my goal.

I finally pulled myself together and ran as fast as I could for the last few minutes of the race.

Sadly, it was just over 30 minutes.

Lakeland Watermelon 5K Finish

(Not sure if you can tell, but I wanted to die by this point.)

Clock Time: 31:39

Chip Time: 31:21

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Garmin Splits

The good news is that it is a PR by 3 minutes and 28 seconds. That tells me that the hard work is paying off. That training with speed work and tempo runs weekly is helping me get faster. I know in one of the next three races I can drop my time by 1.35. I will just have to keep pushing (and pray for no cramps.)

All photos unless otherwise indicated are from the Lakeland Runners Club website.

I Need A Plan

The past few weeks without having a race to train for is making me nuts.

Will Ferrel Crazy Pills

{Source}

I have been getting to the gym, which is great, but I hate feeling so aimless.

I decided to look back on a few of my 2012 goals. One that has been haunting me is to run a sub-30 5K. My last 5K was a disaster. I did just about everything wrong from starting out too fast to attempting to run at a pace that was much too fast. What I want now is redemption. I have the time to focus only on 5K’s and I want that sub-30.

The June issue of Runner’s World has an article called Time For A Fast 5-K. The article focuses on three goals a sub-30, sub-25, and a sub-20 5K. It contains a five-week training plan and lots of information on speed work. The article could not have come at a better time.

The Lakeland Runner’s Club hosts a series of races called the Watermelon Series. It is four races June 2, June 23, July 21, and August 18. If you register ahead of time, you can do all four races for $40. It’s a great deal and will give me four shots to reach my goal.

Do you have a goal that’s haunting you?