I decided to do an outdoor 5,000 in my continuing quest to improve my 5,000 time. I had this now seemingly impossible idea that I could get my 31 year old body in enough shape to hit 15:00 or better this spring on the assumption that 15:00 is the "equivalent" of my 1:09 half PR. After this last thrashing I'm not so sure I can mentally wrap my head around the 5K any longer.
The race started decently. I felt great, and like indoors, it was easy to click off 72/73 per lap for half the race. It began to get harder as the lactate began building up in my legs. It just kept getting worse and with a mile to go I was gearing up for the final 2:20 800 I know I'm capable of. However, when I called upon my legs to go they simply did not respond. I kept pushing while I was easily ovetaken by the Pacers group, several GRC guys, and my buddy Justin Dickman from back home, in the last few laps. I had absolutely nothing and it wasn't for lack of trying. Just physically nothing was there. It was quite disappointing and frankly a little embarrassing considering how much I train.
I've improved my mental game from the last time I raced but I feel my physical training is/was not, still not, suitable to race a 5,000m. I've done no lactate tolerance work and I've actually neglected the top end speed work/lifitng that I was doing in February. In addition, I've been doing a lot of miles but most of those are easy or tempo, or progression long run fashion. That's all fine and good for marathon training, but I'm not really replicating the specific endurance of the 5,000 at all. Hell, I've barely even put together 5k worth of interval work on the one day a week I actually practice 5K pace. Luckily, I'm racing some longer races this April and perhaps I'll be a little happier with the results in those.
As I was running (again) later Saturday it ocurred to me that I really like to run, regardless of how I race and at the end of the day, being healthy and getting out there to enjoy the outdoors is always the number one goal. As I get older, this is what I will appreciate the most about running.
PM: 7 miles + foam rolling.