Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fred Lebow 5 miler, race report

At 23 degrees, it was a very crisp but beautiful morning for a quick 5 mile running race in Central Park in NYC. This race kick started the 2010 racing season.

The goal of this race was not to go fast, but to hone in on a conservative pace and hold it for my upcoming half marathon on Jan 24th. My goal was to hold an 8:30 pace, and I (fortunately or unfortunately?) failed miserably at that goal and instead held an 8:05 average pace. Oops!

Here is the catch though, I tried, I mean I REALLY tried to go slow! I swear!! haha! But my legs (and especially my right knee) were feeling great and my body just went. I didn't want to go fast because I was unsure how my knee would hold up and I wanted to simulate 40% of the half marathon.

Here are the details:

and time and splits:
40:25 / 8:05 avg
mile 1: 8:16
mile 2: 7:51
mile 3: 7:58
mile 4: 8:06
mile 5: 8:00

To break it down: After a 2 mile warmup, I didn't care what I did for the first mile, because that would determine if I would either speed up or slow down. With an 8:16, I took it down a notch and in the process sped up by 25 seconds per mile? confused? (mile 2 was a net downhill)

So mile 2 came in at a 7:51. So I REALLY tried again to slow down further. 7:58 for mile 3. Oh come on! I swallowed my pride, slowed, and people were passing me, as expected. 8:06 for mile 4. 8:00 flat for mile 5.

Who knows! I'll take the 8:05 pace and honestly, my perceived exertion was middle of the road and I was NOT working hard, just staying nice and smooth. I guess running 80 miles in December has paid off!

So here is the really significant thing about this run: I did this race last year, and basically ran at a zone 4 effort and came in at 42:51 for an 8:32 pace. In other words, I have improved a LOT over the past 12 months :)

I wish I had heart rate data from last year's race to compare to this year's. I ran 27 seconds/mile faster this year at probably an entire heart rate zone lower than last year.

Awesome race as usual put on by NYRR and the cold didn't affect me other than some cold hands by mile 2, but went away by mile 3. I actually started unzipping @ mile 1. The Manhattan Half is in 2 weeks.


  1. I think it's impossible to not run fast in a race...I always try and say I'll do the slow thing but the adrenaline starts rushing and people start passing you and it all just starts to make me run fast! Awesome improvement from last year- it's a good sign for the 2010 race season.

  2. Great job! You are definitely starting your race season off on the right foot.

    As for our snowfall, the average is 72 inches, and we have already hit 75 inches with plenty of the season to go. B/c we are close to Lake Michigan, we get extra snow because of the lake-effect snow. Lansing is only an hour west of us and they have only gotten 40 inches this season so you can see the difference the lake makes right there.

    So, if you need any snow, let me know and I can ship you a truck load or two. We won't miss it! :)

  3. Wow, 8:05 pace...that's no where near your goal! I guess it could be as you properly recover after. Good to hear you stayed warm enough!

  4. Hi Jon,
    I can honestly say that I have never had the problem of slowing down....I wish I had that problem:) I am always trying to speed up! Good job on your five mile:) I can't wait to hear how your half marathon goes. Keep pluggin away:)

  5. Sounds like a great race - too bad you didn't hit your goal pace ;) It sounds like all those miles really helped!

  6. Great race!! I wish I had your problem of not being able to slow down. By the way, what it that spike at 36:40?


  7. Regina, I think the GPS lost its signal for a split second. Sometimes the heart rate will suddenly become zero. No, I didn't just suddenly die! haha!

  8. Good race. I understand about the slowing down thing. I am not very fast to begin with but when I try to slow the pace to train for the longer distances, it is so tough to do early. Good luck on the half.

  9. I saw you when I was running! Just kidding, but CNN was showing your finish line Saturday morning while I was doing my 5 miles on the dreadmill.

  10. Some days when you are feeling it you just have to go with it. Nicely done. It is always nice to see improvements.


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