What’s next?

I’m only half way into my 5k race season, and I’ve already accomplished a goal that I thought might take another year or two to achieve. I can’t help but find myself asking what’s next?

To be completely honest: I don’t expect to PR again this spring/summer. I had two more races on my calendar in June, but neither course is PR friendly. One has over 15 turns and the other is Charlevoix, which was not my friend last year.

 

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The twisty, turny course is a 5k that I have run for the past 7 years with my best friend. This year I am not racing it. It feels so weird to say that, but after hanging out with my bestie this weekend and realizing that neither of us were registered we decided to pass this year. Neither of us like the new location for the race and we have much bigger things to focus on that day: her baby shower!

This just leaves Charlevoix on my calendar for June 25. I’m keeping Charlevoix even though it sucked last year. Neither of my races this spring seem like a good indication of my current fitness. Glass City ran long and Shanty 2 Shorts was a miracle, dream race (greatly aided by a downhill start). I’d like to get an idea of where I actually am at.

I have 5 weeks left to train. My plan is one week of all easy runs, one week of running every single hill I can find, and three weeks of 5k specific track workouts. A tiny part of me is worried that with all of my recent race tapering/recovery, family vacation, and a week off I have lost all of my fitness. But I know that isn’t true. 5 weeks is plenty of time to polish up the base that I built this winter and get back to race shape.

While my focus this fall will be a half marathon, I might add a few 5ks to my schedule later this year. With a September goal race, I will still have all sorts of fall races available (Halloween races in October, Turkey Trots in November, and Holiday Hustles in December). With an injury free summer/fall I might feel ready to take another shot at sub 20 later this year. On the other hand, I might be so busy with grad school that I hardly run at all during those months. I’m not making any concrete plans at this point.

I’m definitely not done with working on 5ks, but I feel like I am in a really good place to start focusing on different, longer distances.

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6 thoughts on “What’s next?

  1. Over 15 turns in a 5K! Wow! My favorite 5K course is an out-and-back down one street here in town. Having only one turn is nice physically and mentally. When you reach the turn around you know to step on the gas! Not surprisingly that’s where I obtained my most recent 5K PR .. which is not recent at all.I hope to do that race again this December though!

    Five weeks is definitely enough time for you to polish off your training! And even if you end up not feeling 100% in racing shape it’s okay because you already met your goal for the summer!

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  2. It’s interesting that you feel that your recent PR doesn’t reflect your true fitness level, but, I understand how you feel. I’ve always said that awesome races are harder to get over than disappointing races. It’s really difficult to make sense of unexpected success that feels flukish, and it’s tricky to set new expectations going forward from there – we know we won’t PR again but our competitive runner brains just aren’t used to the idea of being happy with something that isn’t our best time.

    I agree that 5 weeks is plenty of time. I think you’ll do great and that all your training fitness will still be sharp as a knife, but remember to just have fun. You’ve achieved what you set out to do – there is no more pressure. Run free.

    Good luck with half marathon training! We are in the opposite place now, haha. I’m very ready to focus on sub-1 hour races. I do a little happy dance every time I remember that I don’t have to race anything in the double-digits for a very long time!!

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    • Now you’ve gotten me thinking that maybe I’m selling myself short. That race doesn’t necessarily feel like a fluke (I know I worked for that time), but it was definitely a lucky set of circumstances: the right course with the right competition. The 5k is also tough to judge since there is no room for error. Being 30s off your PR in a half is almost nothing. 30s in a 5k is huge.

      I am so excited to follow your 10k training! I’ve only run one 10k and it was to pace my sister, not race. It seems like a really fun distance.

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  3. 15… That’s a lot of turns for a 5K :).

    I will say, it’s refreshing to see a runner, and blogger, who is focused on accomplishing a lot at the shorter distances instead of always tackling the longer ones. I’ve always run a lot of 5Ks building up to a half… and a lot of 5Ks in general… because I think they work great as workouts even if you’re not shooting for a PR. Don’t sell yourself short on the sub-20 either, it will come!

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  4. It’s such a weird feeling to achieve a goal that we thought would be super hard. On one hand you’re really happy and excited, and on the other you have to figure out what’s next! Sometimes that’s the hardest part of training (and definitely what has made me struggle so far this year). Good luck keeping up that passion and motivation even when you’re not “racing” these races!

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