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A Short Break and an 18 minute 5K…

A Short Break and an 18 minute 5K…
A Short Break and an 18 minute 5K…

Before I dive into my strategic plan to break 19 minutes in the 5K (for the first time in over a decade) I will bring you up to speed on my current running situation.  Yesterday after a frustrating 12 mile run I made an executive decision to take off for 2 weeks.  As you may or may not know, ever since the Little Rock Marathon (over 2 months ago) my right knee has been acting up.  I’ve had an annoying ache that comes and goes.  I’ve tried running through it because it’s been more annoying than anything else but I am ready to be back to normal and I’ve come to the realization that the only way to achieve this goal may be to actually stop running.  (Yes, I’ve been fighting the obvious for 2 months now…)  Of course this is the last thing I want to do but with the NYC Marathon training beginning in July I know I need to be 100%.  Since I do not have any races coming up in the next few weeks this seemed like the best time to take a short break to recharge my body.  I have not taken a full 2 weeks off since last spring during my stress fracture recovery.  I’ve been able to crank out some decent 5K’s and 10K’s recently but it’s because the mileage is lower.  Obviously, for my upcoming marathon training I will need to increase mileage and go on longer runs which is when my knee starts bothering me. It’s usually ok for shorter runs and it’s actually felt fine for all my shorter races.

So, for the next 13 days I will be cross training so I don’t lose everything! I will be either swimming or going on the elliptical.  I will continue with my core challenge.  I am now in my 8th month of the streak!  Hopefully I will not lose it mentally or physically by taking a 2 week hiatus from running.  More importantly, when I start back in 2 weeks I hope my knee is better! (I just picked 2 weeks because it sounded like a good time frame to work with.  I realize it may need longer but I’m trying to be optimistic here!)

Now for my 5K plan…. Since I am not currently in marathon training mode I have embraced the 5K season.  It’s hard to admit, but I’m actually enjoying the challenge!  My current 5K goal is to break 19 minutes.  I’ve only run in the 18’s a few times and they were all back in my college days, long before babies.  I honestly thought I would never run in the 18’s again but I’m sure going to do my best to try! Who says you can’t run fast after having 4 kids?  And when I say running fast I mean 6 minute pace consecutive miles.  Basically I need to run a 6- 6:05 minute pace for 3.1 miles to break 19 minutes.

Me with my dad back in my former running life.  Can I run in the 18’s again?

I decided to break down my last 5K to see where I need improvement.  Obviously, the positive splitting is an issue in itself, but that’s my current 5K pacing strategy.  Not ideal but it is what it is.  Basically I need to cut off 20 seconds (or more to play it safe) of my current time to run a 18:59.  That means if I recently ran a 6:13 minute average I need to drop about 8 seconds off per mile.  (I want to give myself a few extra seconds to work with since my Garmin is usually off by a tad.)

Mile splits-
Current 5K-
Goal 5K- 18:59
1
6:06
6:00
2
6:12
6:05
3
6:16
6:05
3.1
0:44 (5:44)
0:44 (5:44)
Total Time-
19:19
(6:13 avg pace)
18:54
(6:05 avg pace)

I’ve decided that my goal 5K race to hit the 18’s is the Firecracker Fast 5K which is on July 4th in Little Rock.  I have never run this race before but I’ve heard it is very true to its name and is known for being very fast.  This means I have less than 2 months to get ready and two of those weeks I am not running.  Honestly, I am not worried about taking off a little time.  I’m trying to see the big picture.  I need to take these two weeks off and then I can hopefully start back fresh and ready to run! I will continue to keep my mileage a little lower (30’s-40’s) once I start back until after this race.  After this 5K I immediately begin marathon training and my mileage will gradually increase.  Hopefully my knee will be back to normal and NYC training will get off to a good start!  In the mean time, I can focus on running a very speedy 5K time which will hopefully begin with the numbers 18….

20 Comments

  1. Goodness, I love how you think your recent 5k and 10K times have been decent! Give yourself some serious credit. They have been awesome! I wish I could run half that fast. I hope the rest does you good as well. Not running and being a mom of fun is hard…I totally understand!

  2. Wow, Tia! I love that you’re always setting new goals for yourself. That’s such a great picture of you and your dad! I hope the 2 week break does wonders for your knee… sometimes a short rest is all it takes, but I know how hard it is to actually take that rest. Happy cross training!

  3. First of all, I hope you get well right away and don’t actually need the whole 2 weeks off. That said, I think you have made a good and realistic decision that will greatly help you in the long run ( pun intended:) ). For what it’s worth, I am pretty sure now that what ailed my knee was a quad tendinitis that is sometimes called “jumper’s knee”. It seems to have disappeared with my taper/recovery. Hope it’s gone for good!

    Gosh, seeing the actual splits for a sub 19 5k scares the crap out of me. haha. I usually don’t use that word, but in this context it seems to be the only one I can come up with. Well, if anyone can do it, i KNOW you can! Here’s to making the glory days be the days we have AHEAD of us 🙂

    1. Thanks Raina! I wonder if I have something like that… It’s annoying whatever it is! I hope my disappears like that too. And you are right- those splits are scary! For some reason a 6-6:05 seems SO much faster than a 6:10-6:15. Hopefully I can figure out how to make it feel easier!

  4. Big picture is good! At least that’s what I keep telling myself anyway. Sounds like you have a great plan, and I hope the 2 week break does the trick for you!

    1. Thanks Allison! I hope you get better soon too. Maybe we’re getting all of this out of the way now so by fall racing season we are healthy and fast! 🙂

  5. You’ve had some really great fast 5ks recently! I wish you could share that with me – my 5ks are PATHETIC. You’re super close to breaking 19.

  6. GOOD LUCK with both the break for your knee and the 5K training! It sounds to me like you’re being very smart. I can’t wait to read about you running in the 18s, because I’m sure I will be.

  7. Great idea to take this time off. I’m a big believer in time off. And I’m excited to see you break 19 again!!! I’d just be thrilled to break 20. Can’t imagine what breaking 19 feels like. Ha! I totally believe in you!

  8. A little speedy gonzalez you are…impressive! it sounds like you have a plan that you are determined to make happen…and just by reading up on y ou, I am sure it will 😉

    Taking a few weeks off might be just what you need…I hope your knee starts to feel better! i love the pic of you with your dad back in the days…I have many of those two and I cherish them. My biggest cheerleader as well!

    Looking forward to folllowing your journey with you!

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