Friday, July 15, 2011

2011 Bastille Days 5k

Storming the Bastille took place Thursday 14 Jul 2011 at 9:00 pm. This annual fun run kicks off the first day of the very enjoyable Bastille days in Milwaukee. The weather for the event was perfect, 60s (˚F) with low humidity, in stark contrast to the four days prior Rock ‘n Sole event. The weather was a refreshing break as the upcoming weekend will also feature high heat and humidity offering further opportunities to train in challenging conditions.

The event is unique in that it is a night time run through Downtown and the Third Ward, passing by many bars and featuring a large spectator turnout. The course featured one notable climb in the first mile on the order of 100 ft. The second mile was predominately flat with a notable descent just prior to the start of the third mile. This descent undid the first ascent and then some. The third mile was flat with a short climb to the finish.

This was my first 5k in over a year as I was ill for a previously scheduled race. I turned out a time of 18:26 breaking a personal record of mine that has stood for a decade. This effort marked a significant improvement over last year’s 21:18 effort and close to a 4 minute improvement over my first 5k of last year of 22:31. Lap times by mile:

Mile 1: 5:55  

Mile 2: 5:46  
Mile 3: 6:23

100% max heart rate and a slowing of pace in the last mile indicate maximum effort.

Not perfect, but fairly even splits. It was a smart play to show restraint the first mile when I felt I could push harder. After my Rock ‘n Sole experience I wanted to finish strong rather than fade. While observing other racers I noticed a few who held back until the last mile when they gave it their all, not a bad race strategy. 

A friend of mine asked “where does it end?” in reference to training goals and times. After some thought it never really does end, this is about the pursuit. I met my 5k and 10k goals for this year but as soon as that happened I revised them downward. Even when I am satisfied with my run all that will happen is a shuffling of priorities to something else like swim or bike. A discussion of preferred race distances and associated training commitments also took place. Currently I enjoy a variety of distances in the 5k, 10k, and ½ marathon and their associated mix of aerobic and anaerobic challenges. No distance is better than another but I can say the full marathon is a larger training commitment than I currently wish to accommodate.

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