Saturday, July 23, 2011

Race Report - 2011 Paint The Streets 5K

This was the second running of the "Paint The Streets 5K" in memory of Carlene Hall and to benefit United Cerebral Palsy. My hat goes off once again to RD Jim Varnas for not putting on a quality event once more, but in exceeding the number of participants and the quality of the event (if that's even possible) from last year.

For me, this was only my second 5K of the year in which to push for pace...and eventually a PR of sub 20 minute 5K finish before years' end. I've signed up for a bunch of short distance races recently in an attempt to supplement my training for another 100 mile race finish in September with some speed components. While I have hill training and speed workouts scheduled, it is much more fun to run some actual races to see if the speed is getting faster again.

After my recent streak of at least one ultra marathon per month for more than 12 months, I had been slacking off when it came to serious training, let alone speed training. My newfound desire to get faster also reminded me that I have failed so far to hit my personal goal of a sub 5K, so this race was another opportunity to inch a little closer to that goal. And I did inch closer, I didn't PR or place, but I did cut my time by 37 seconds over last weekend's race. That was still good enough for 22nd or so overall out of close to 500 registered runners, some of which probably ran the 1 mile race. I will correct this assessment as soon as the official results are posted. I just couldn'd resist posting it...22nd out of 500 just sounds impressive in my head.

The course is nice and flat with no hard turns, just a nice big loop of a flat road. The sun stayed hidden until half way into the race. The temps were relatively low, but the humidity was there. It seems to be more of a factor for me this year than last year. Or maybe it's just an excuse, who knows. While I thought I ran harder than last weekend, my effort was actually lower than last weekend, at least according to my Garmin heartrate monitor. If that's true, that would mean that I am potentially able to be even faster in the short term, if I encounter another flat course with cooler temps:-) Either way, I really enjoyed this race, I was able to chat and meet up with lots of fellow runners and friends, some who I'd just met, others who I've known for some time. It breaks up the monotony of my training schedule. And, you just can't beat the fact that you receive a great tech shirt, Starbucks coffee, lots of food and snacks and all of it for 15 bucks...if you registered early enough;-)

Well, sign me up! I will definitely be back for this one again next year. By then, I hope to have broken the 20 minute "barrier". Please see the official overall race results here courtesy of the Huntsville Track Club website.

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