What was the secret? They wanted to know, in a thousand different ways they wanted to know THE SECRET. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottom of his running shoes. - John L. Parker

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Race Recap: Kent State Tune Up 3k

I had been anticipating this race for a while now.  Once I learned about all the track meets in the area where you can run unattached I decided that I really wanted to run one.  I love racing the shorter distances and I want to see if I can eventually beat some of my old PRs from high school.  However, I was also pretty nervous. I probably had more nerves for this race than any road race I've ever done.  I knew that the level and competition would be higher than at any race I had run in a while.

Going into it, I knew that had done zero anaerobic work so racing would definitely be a challenge.  For this meet I decided to do the 3k.  It was tough to set a goal because I had no data to go off.  I've just been doing tempos and fartleks so I didn't have any workout times to use.  I decided that a good goal would be 9:18.  I really want to break 15:30 for 5k in the spring (I know that it's an ambitious goal for me but I feel like maybe I could get it).  Anyway, 9:18 for 3k is the same pace as 15:30 for 5k (3:06 per k), so I figured it would be a good goal for this point.

Well, things didn't quite go as planned.  I started off fast, running 72 for my first 400 split.  At 800 I had already dropped down to 2:29.  The third 400 I actually felt good, and thought I might be finding a rhythm for the race, but then around the 1600 mark the wheels really came off.  I could tell my lack of race pace work was catching up to my as I was having to work really hard to maintain pace.  The 2nd half was a mental struggle to try not to fall too far off the pace.  I at least managed a decent kick and was able to pass one guy in the last 100m.  I finished with 9:52.36, 13th out of 19 in my heat, 63rd out of 69 overall.  I think with better pacing I could go around 9:40, but still a long way from my goal.

Katie came to cheer me on and got some pictures of me racing!
 It was definitely good reminder of how much work I still need to do to get where I want to be.  I'll be doing some more intense workouts now and hopefully getting myself into better racing shape to run some fast times this spring.

Overall, it was a great experience.  We got to the meet a few hours before my race so I got a chance to see some of the other events.  The atmosphere at a track meet is really awesome.  Road races tend to be chill, laid back affairs, but at track meets there is a much higher level of intensity!

Now that I've had a taste of track racing once again I'm hungry for more.  I'm eyeing some track meets in April at BW and Oberlin to hopefully avenge this performance.

My next race, however, will be the St. Malachi 5 miler in 3 weeks!  


  1. indoor races sound really intimidating... props for jumping in there!

    1. Thanks! As I said in the post it's definitely a more intense atmosphere, but that can sometimes bring out the best in one's racing! Also, not having to worry about the weather is pretty awesome, especially considering the winter we've had.

  2. So glad you participated in one of these. If I had known about these I probably would have never got started in marathons, I would have stuck to the shorter distances. However, now that I run marathons I can't imagine not running them.