Sunday, April 7, 2013

Day 59 - The Hollywood 5k, Faster and the Security Circle of Politeness

April 6, 2013               No Weight Today

Woke up at 3:30 am feeling quite tired. Made my morning smoothie, got dressed and checked the weather then headed out. Only took about 15 minutes to get to the Hollywood and Highland Center for parking.
I noticed when I arrived, that it was warmer than I expected. I always wear my Brooks LSD Lite Jacket II in windy or chilly weather. But after standing around waiting a few minutes, I decided I would get warm enough and put the jacket in the car. By the way, that Brooks jacket is one of the best purchases, I have made regarding equipment and clothing. I wear it for running and cycling.

There was a pleasant vibe to the crowd as I moved through to find some safety pins for my race number. I had brought my iFitness race belt, but decided I wanted the bib to be higher on me so people could see it. My friend Rob Freitas sister Christie, died of breast cancer in 2010. I knew it pained him deeply and wanted to show him some solidarity as I have lost family to cancer as well. I had told him that I would wear her name in tribute while I ran the L.A. Marathon originally. As the regular readers know, I got injured and did not do the L.A. Marathon. I needed to keep my word though and didn't want to wait for the Long Beach Marathon in October. For some reason, the Hollywood 5k seemed the right time to do it.
I felt good as I waited to start. There is a certain energy to a race. A lot of smiles and people chatting when out of nowhere, one or both parties will start stretching. A large and very scary looking homeless man with a milky blind eye was shouting that no one needed to be scared of him. He was surrounded by six security guards giving him a respectful distance in a perfect circle. I got the safety pins and walked past the homeless guy again when he said, "Can someone please help me? Can somebody please not be afraid?" I turned towards him, I don't know what I was going to say, but I was going to let him know that I saw him as a human being and I wasn't afraid. Security got there first. To their credit, they very politely walked him away from the large crowd around him, pretending they couldn't see him.

Races like these almost never start on time. However at just a few minutes past 6:00 am we took off.

I didn't have a plan, I just started running at the same pace that I normally run at. The course was pretty flat and as I ran, I don't know what happened, I just kept passing people. I didn't feel like I was pushing hard at first. I got a certain pace that I thought I could keep and went. By the time I was at the 1.6 mile mark, I was breathing heavy and needed to push myself to keep the pace. I was starting to have doubts about going too hard too early etc., etc. I was also wondering how much my recent lack of sleep was affecting me. My heart rate monitor alarm was sounding the whole time, telling me I was outside my Zone 2 heart rate. I ignored it. I decided that if it felt too hard, I would slow down, but otherwise I wouldn't check. The last mile was the most difficult because I wanted to slow down. Each time the thought crossed my mind, I would think about why I was doing the race and keep going. I noticed that I could still run at a good pace but also recover at the same time by slightly altering my stride. There was a turn into the .1 of the 3.1 miles. When I came to it, I sprinted. Pushing myself farther than I have. Crossing the finish line I expected to feel dizzy or nauseous and take some time to recover. I looked at my watch to stop it and saw the time. I had PR'd and I was recovered by the time I made it through the finish line gauntlet.

The photographer liked my shoes. 

Final time, 34:44. Three minutes faster than my fastest 5k from last fall. I finished 18th out of 51 in my age group of 40-44 year old's and 474 out of 1533 overall. Normally, I am near the very bottom. Another surprise I got was when I looked at my Garmin watch's data.
 My mile splits were so close in time.  Only, a few seconds off! That means I stayed very consistent throughout. When I downloaded onto Strava, I had PR'd several times again.
Overall, it was a fun run and I will do it again next year. I was supposed to ride for three hours today but I too exhausted.  Until tomorrow my friends.

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