A (Brief) Race Report: C.A.T. 5k

On almost a whim, I decided to register for the C.A.T. (Cancer Awareness & Treatment) 5k held on the Fourth of July.  Having spent the last several months focusing on building endurance (and then subsequent recovery time) for the Newport Marathon, I had not done any speed work for slower races.  I had no idea how I would perform, but wanted to get out and see what I would do at my post-marathon training baseline fitness level.

The C.A.T. 5k is a walk and run event held in Hillsboro, a suburb of Portland, and raises funds for a local cancer treatment center.  The courseCAT 5k travels through the center of the town and along some lovely residential streets, as well.  1000 participants were on hand for the event, along with dozens of friendly and courteous volunteers.  I didn’t get any pictures, as I went alone and brought nothing beyond what I needed for the race, but it was an enjoyable morning.

I am pleased to report that, despite not having worked on my speed much at all over the last several months, I did set a new PR for the 5k distance!  This progress is quite exciting and makes me think that with some additional focus and attention, I can continue to bring down my time.

So, how did I do?

I finished in 62nd place, in a time of 24:16.  I would love to get my 5k time down to under 23 minutes, so that’s something to shoot for.  Next up on my race calendar is the Pints to Pasta 10k in September.  I’ll certainly be adding some speed work into my training to see what I can do there!

When Heat Hits: Making the Most of the Treadmill

I know I’m not alone in this.  The heat in some parts of the US has been brutal of late.  I’m originally from Arizona, so to be fair, I think I can cope in the heat a bit better than many of my fellow Portlanders who are natives or are from other, cooler parts of the world.  With that said, I wasn’t a runner when I was in Arizona, so navigating that part of my life in the heat is new for me.

Because of all this, I had my sad face on for most of Wednesday, knowing that an outdoor run was probably not the best option for me.  By the time I got home from work and laced up, it was just about 100 degrees with moderate humidity and a brutally bright sun.  So I headed to the treadmill at my apartment building.

 

I haven’t run on a treadmill in many months and I’ve gotta’ say that I really missed being outdoors, but I decided to make the most of it.   I was due for some speedwork so I had serious purpose.  Now, I haven’t yet been able to save enough to buy the oh-so-dreamy Garmin Forerunner that I want, so typically when I do speedwork, it’s all estimated.  Without a tool to accurately measure my splits and pace, I wing it.  For example, I use the number of blocks I run as a measure of my speed intervals versus recovery intervals.

So yesterday I figured that if I was going to resign myself to the treadmill, I could at least do a more precise speedwork session!

I believe this is commonly referred to as making lemonade out of lemons.

Right?  I think that’s right.  I mean usually I would just squeeze the lemons into some gin or whiskey, but that’s another blog post entirely.

Anyway, back to the tale of the treadmill.  I knocked out 4.1 miles, with intervals ranging between 8:00 miles and 9:06 miles.  My primary running goals right now are about endurance and stamina, but I’ve got to admit that seeing myself get faster is pretty damn satisfying in its own right.  It certainly made the treadmill more palatable – though I am looking forward to my long, early morning run in the cooler air on Saturday.  Nothing beats that.