You Can't Fake Your Way To A Good Race...

So I learned something last Saturday.

Just because you think you're ready to run a good race, fundamental mistakes don't lead to good results.

Skipping a week of training two weeks before your race doesn't lead to good results. Adding your largest volume week during the week leading up to your race doesn't help, either. And while 80 degree weather and 100% humidity and a course that is particularly unruly aren't my fault, it's not a good breeding ground for a PR, either.

I hit the first mile in 6:34 and repeated that in the second mile. Even though the second mile was 11 seconds faster than I'd planned, it was very much a downhill second mile.

I started to slow soon after the second mile, but still hit mile three in 20:20. So at mile three, I was on pace. From there, I fell apart. 4th mile was supposed to be 6:45 -- did it in 7:45! By then, I knew I'd blown up and finished in 35:34 (35:29 from line to line).

Truth of the matter is --- the week off two weeks prior and hard week on race week created an environment that didn't look at all like a taper and I knew that, but thought I could trick myself into running a great race. And I couldn't.

I'm ok with it, though -- my last five mile PR (last November) was four minutes slower. Also, I came in 118th out of 600 men -- 15th out of 71 in my age group, so it wasn't a miserable effort by any stretch. Just not as good as it could've been.

So the only change I'm making is this: There are two local five mile races in early July. Previously, I hadn't planned on racing in July but I like racing and I *know* I have a sub 34 minute race in me -- provided I train right and it's a good course. And I plan to and it will be. I'm looking at both courses and picking one and also looking forward to my trail race in two weeks. It's all good.

It's tough dealing with a bad race when you do the right things, but I didn't do the right things and still ended up with a post-retirement PR and my first completion of the Lancaster Red Rose Run in 19 years. All in all, I'll take it. Results can be found here.


  1. Oof, sounds rough. But, lessons learned blahblahblah. You just got distracted by the sparkly beauty of a long mileage week...which we know can be deceptively distructive.

    Good news? It's the beginning of race season! Lot's more to test yourself on in the future!


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