I've been edging very close to being back in "I ran (X) miles in (Y:YY) in (insert borough name here) and felt great/bad/hot/awful" territory here, so instead of talking about how I ran 8 miles in 1:13 in Mt. Wolf and Manchester yesterday and felt gross, I'm going to take a moment to talk about the 5K schedule as it currently stands for the rest of the year.
One of my new year's resolutions was to run five 5Ks this year. In hindsight, that wasn't challenging enough, but I wasn't sure how the schedule would work out. In 2008, I think I ran 8. In 2009, I think I only ran two. Another resolution is to run an under-23-minute 5K. My current PR is 23:43. I hope to lower that mark during the year, whether or not I can come in under 23.
So far this year, I've got three 5K's in already:
1. Kelly Shamrock 5K -- Sunday March 13, Baltimore Md: 30:15 (One of our favorite races in Baltimore. I was tapering during it.)
2. Mud Chasers 3.5 -- Sunday April 17, Sparks Md: 38:00 (Yes, I think I'm going to count this. It's got to count for something.)
3. Northeastern High School Honor Bus Benefit 5K, Saturday April 23, Mt. Wolf PA: 24:29 (A fun new local race, and I'm really happy with my time.)
The Preakness 5K on Saturday, May 14, in Baltimore Md. The course includes a lap around the famous horse-racing track. Hopefully no horses are on the track at the time. Since it's on a racetrack and around the grounds at Pimlico, hopefully this course is flat. I might be able to beat my PR, but if you're a betting man, don't look for me to win, place, or show.
Bob Potts 5K on Sunday, May 15, in York PA. Right after I ran Shamrock, I had designs on running on the Bob Potts Marathon. I was talked out of it by my training group coach. In hindsight, I think I could have run it. I would have had a few weeks of rest, but then have to quickly try to work my way back up to a 20 mile run, and then a short taper. At any rate, I'll probably run the 5K.
I've never done two races on back-to-back days, so this should be fun. I'll probably try to run one of them as fast as I can for PR and take the other one easy, but I'm not sure which is which. The Preakness should be flat, but it starts at 10:30 so it's got a better chance of being hot. Bob Potts is supposedly a flat, fast marathon, but I'm not familiar with the 5K course. Its starts at 8:00, so likely cooler temperatures at start, but it's also got the disadvantage of being the second out of two.
That's all I'm signed up for so far (well, I'm not even signed up for Potts, I was just going to sign up that morning), but I also plan on running the Spirit of Gettysburg, Fort McHenry Tunnel Run, and the Harrisburg Jingle Bell 5K again. I'm hoping I can break my PR before the last race of the season, but as long as I've recovered from the Philly Marathon, the Jingle Bell 5K, where it's almost guaranteed to be freezing and where I've set my two previous PRs, is my best chance to come in under 23.
In short, it should be a pretty busy 5K season, as there may be some more races I forgot or can add in there and of course the Philly Marathon in November and maybe a sprint duathlon in July. I've focused more on distance over the last three years, but lately I've rediscovered the fun of the shorter, faster-pace race and the challenge of getting to a new PR.