Friday, May 13, 2016

Lung Run 2016

The Nova Scotia Lung Run was my first 5k race of the year. This is the 3rd year that I’ve participated in this run and it’s one of my favorites. It has many things going for it, not the least that it’s an afternoon/evening race. I love my Saturday morning lie-ins, and getting up at the crack of dawn for a race greatly interferes with that. Other great selling features include their awesome long sleeve technical shirts, the very flat course and free beer at the end of the race. I mean, really, what’s not to love?

This year I went down to the race with my friend Jody and some of her friends. They are all part of Team Myles and are training for their first 10k for the Blue Nose in a couple of weeks. We hung out together before the race and took lots of pictures (Jody attracted every photographer there, can you guess why?) Everyone ran at different paces so we were separated during the race itself, but it was great to pass each other along the way and to shout out encouragement.

Jody and a couple of the Team Myles gang finished before me but waited at the finish line for everyone to finish. It’s great motivation to have people cheering you on at the very end so that you can dig deep and finish strong.

This was my first race where I RAN the entire 5k – no walking at all. During training I follow a run/walk method that I used when I first started running. This year I had not managed to get past the 5/1 mark – run for 5 minutes, walk for 1 minute. Yet I knew that I could do better. Running is as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. There are times when my watch has beeped at the 5 minute mark that I would stop to walk even though I felt like I could keep running. It’s such a Pavlovian response though… the bell rang therefore I HAVE to walk. So on for the race I decided to not set my watch and to just run as long as I could and to walk when I needed to. The first time I checked my time, I had already run 9 minutes without even thinking of walking. I figured if I could 9, why not 15? Then it became a mind game…. “You can keep running till that next turn.” “You’ve already done 20 minutes, why not go for 25” till very quickly it became “You can run this whole thing!” So I did.

I finished in 00:46:48 with an average pace of 9:42. I am very happy with this for my first race of the year. My goal for 2016 is to run a 5k in under 40 minutes, something I have never achieved. The closest I’ve come is 00:41:59, coincidentally at the Lung Run in 2014.

So now the training continues.

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