Running A Marathon (relay)

I ran in my second running race today – the Silicon Labs Austin Marathon Relay.  It’s sponsored by Silicon Labs, my employer.

Today’s race was a 5K, sort of.  There were five people per team, each ran one part of a marathon: 12K, 10K, 10K, 5K, and 5K.  I ran the penultimate 5K and blew away my time expectations – I guess I wasn’t training hard enough.

I’ve been training three days a week for the last month or so, doing 1-2 mile runs the first couple of weeks and then 3-4 mile runs the last couple of weeks.  I was running 10-11 minute miles pretty consistently, so I was hoping I could get near the 10 minute mark for today’s 5K.

I clocked myself at around 8:13 for the first mile.  Uh-oh.  Note to self: SLOW DOWN!  I realized during this first mile that drinking water from a cup while running is a skill that I do not possess.  The course had water stations, and I happily grabbed a Dixie cup of water only to choke and cough as I tried to take a regular sitting-down-at-dinner drink.  I recovered without spitting up too much water, poured the rest on my head, and ran on.

Mile two flew by.  I clocked myself at 7:10.  Uh-oh.  I wasn’t slowing down, I was speeding up!  Note to self: learn how to pace yourself.  I was worried that I would start dragging and have to walk.

The final 1.2 miles were definitely slower: my time was 13:08, which works out to about 11 minutes/mile.

My final 5K time was 28:31, which is 9:11/mile.  I felt pretty good at the end of the race, I ran the entire way, and I beat my time goal.  It helped that my wife was there cheering me on, as were a bunch of coworkers who were also competing.  (I think at least 30% of my department was running, including my entire management chain up to the VP.)

Our team (“Tortugo”) ran the entire marathon in 4:10:03, which I think is pretty dang good.

I look forward to running more 5K races this fall, and hope to work myself up to a 10K or two as well.  I think I may have even talked my wife into doing a 5K with me, which should be fun.

As I continue training I need to learn how to pace myself better, and push myself more – 9:11/mile felt pretty good, 8:30 here I come!