Fitness Update: 11 miles and a competitive 5K

For today’s post I decided last week to follow through on another of my goals: write down my fitness observations as I exercised throughout the week, instead of trying to remember when I am trying to get it ready for publication on Sunday evening. So here goes:

Monday — I’d call this another one of my personal Iron Man days. Not that it is anything close to a true iron man. But I started the morning by cycling 5 miles over to the Line Creek Trail, mile marker 2.6 (Riverside), then running up past Route 152 to mile marker 8.2 and then back down the trail — a total of 11.2 miles. From there it was another 5 bike miles to the NKC YMCA, where I swam 1000 yards in the pool, and then biked 2 miles home. Perhaps it should be called a triathlon day, except I think the proportions and order make me prefer the former term.

Plodding along on the trail early in the morning, I didn’t meet anyone else out yet walking, running or cycling. It was amazing the sense of exhilaration and speed I had when I reached the top of the trail and turned around. The trail rolls quite a bit, but is generally uphill headed north, and downhill headed south. Where I turned it was going uphill, which became downhill. My timing said that my speed went up from 6.34 mph on my 10 mile run to 6.46 on my 11 mile run. So I’m fairly confident I should be able to do a half marathon at a 6 mph pace or better.

Later in the afternoon I took one of my extended bike routes — a 20-mile excursion. My speed was fairly good. I have made it a point not to talk about diet as part of the fitness updates, but I will say I have tried a supplement regime recently that is supposed to increase your energy levels, and while doing the bike excursion at the end of the day, I wondered if it might be a contributing factor to my excellent speeds. The problem with all these things is that life is a system, with multiple contributing factors, and it is hard to know which change really had the influence to do what you wanted. But I started this supplement last week, and noticed the uptick in my cycling and running already this week. If I get more corroboration I might actually mention what the supplement is, but I don’t intend to be promoting any product.

And with all those activities in one day, I set another record for Misfit points.

Tuesday — Today’s workout was a 15-minute Ab Lab class at work and the daily bicycle commute. I had the unusual experience of having another pair of bicycles crossing the Heart of America bridge ahead of me. One of them followed Swift as well. I usually take swift via ninth, but he turned on at 10th. The light was green for me, but he made a left on red so I almost ran into him. Which wasn’t his first traffic infraction. He went of from there to run several red lights up Swift, and when he came to armor was two bike lengths over the stop line while waiting to go through the intersection. I found myself irritated at another cyclist.

Thursday — Today was another early triathlon day. I started the day off with a 5K run, followed by a bicycle ride to the NKC YMCA where I swam 1,000 yards, and then the rest of my bicycle ride to work. The running pace was up another notch from the pace of Monday’s 11 miles. I’m hoping that bodes well for the competitive 5K I’m getting ready to run Saturday for the Corporate Challenge.

Saturday — Today was the Kansas City Corporate Challenge 5K. One of the events all my goals and practicing was leading up to.Based on my running to date, I chose to place myself near the middle to back of the second wave of runners — the 25 to 28 minute bracket. I chose the back of the wave so I could have runners to pass instead of being in the front where I was more likely to be passed.  The route was the same as the past two years: Ward Parkway from the Burns & McDonnell campus east a block before heading back west/north to 83rd St., and then south back to the start/finish line.

The first wave of runners took a good two minutes to clear, and I was actually just past a minute into the second wave, which also took about two minutes to clear.

The course is level near the start, but climbs up to 85th street, goes down to 83rd, and then back uphill to 85th, after which it is almost all downhill (I think the last stretch is actually slightly uphill before the finish line.

I’m not sure of my actual pace compared to last year yet — but I do know that my training enabled me to actually accelerate after seeing the finish line, without any need to slow down. In fact, I could have gone faster if the people in front of me weren’t slowing and I had to figure a way around them. I think, however, that my actual speed was a little slower — which I attribute to training for longer distances. I haven’t yet learned how to gauge the right speed for a 5K vs. the speed for perpetual distance running.

UPDATE: I was able to check my time this morning, and I was a little more pessimistic above that I deserved to be. My time of 26:03 was barely 10 seconds slower than last year. I also placed 8th in division to earn a division point, as well as a participation point, for my company team.

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