Picture: Beth Molzer
Fast forward 13 years, an older (I mean wiser) Karel decided to sign up for his first 5K race. There was no special training (or tapering) for this race but instead, this was a workout where Karel was told to run as hard as he could to get his heart rate up as high as possible. His "workout" on race day also included running 25 minutes before the run and another 25 minutes after. Karel was looking forward to his first 5K as he loves to push hard and be in a race environment.
The morning started a little before 6am when we both got up to start the day. In typical fashion (nothing changes on the weekend), we both got a little work done on the computer before getting ready for our "workout" for the day.
Karel started his warm-up at our house with some mobility work and a ~16 minute jog on the treadmill to get his system going so he could go to the bathroom before he left the house. This also included a few pick-ups. Around 7:15, Karel drove the 8 miles down the road to downtown Greenville for the race, which started at 9am (we picked up Karel's bib number/shirt on Friday so he didn't have to deal with lines on race morning).
After Karel left, I started my workout with a 15 minute spin on the trainer (which I do before all my runs - something new I've started per my coaches advice) and then out on the road for my run workout. I had a 65 minute run (no intervals) which worked perfect for me to run from our house to downtown Greenville, via the Swamp Rabbit Trail. A 5K is not something that suits me (or my physiology) but I still wanted to see Karel race (and be in the race environment). I timed it perfectly so that I arrived to the race start just a few minutes before 9am to give Karel a smile and a wave.
The weather was perfect (in the low 40's) with light rain (drizzle). There was a big crowd for the 41st anniversary of this event. We have an incredible running community in Greenville so Karel knew that there would be some fast feet ahead of him. With no set pacing strategy, Karel focused first on his breathing and form and then gave it all he could. The course was rolling with very little flat (no surprise here in Greenville), which suited Karel. The only hard part was the fast downhill running. After the race, Karel finished his "workout" by running on the Swamp Rabbit Trail to the bakery. I met him there (I drove Karel's car from downtown) and we enjoyed a coffee and croissant before heading to Furman for a swim workout. Karel loosened out with an easy and short swim (I had a different swim workout) and he finished off with strength training right after the swim. Although a lot to pack into race day, the purpose was to get in the workouts before the soreness sets in.
Karel is happy with his performance and at the age of 42.5 yrs, he's happy that he can still chase around the "kids" in running races.
Per Karel's Garmin watch:
Mile 1: 5:32
Mile 2: 5:24
Mile 3: 5:31
Official race time: 17:08, 10th overall, 2nd male masters.
Here's a video recap of Karel's first 5K.