Dino Dash 5K Race Report

As I posted a few weeks ago, I went to the track and ran 5K in 22:44, a personal record pace of 7:19/mi!  Then a couple of days later I was in Houston on business and managed to clock 5K at 8:08/mi pace, not bad for rolling terrain along a creek.

But after that trip things went a bit downhill. I returned home with a nasty sore throat, although besides that, I was feeling fine. I decided to do some 8 x 400m intervals on the local track, and I was able to do them at about a 6:30/mi pace. But that was hard enough to hurt the ball of my foot and my toes again, just like I did about a year ago.

A whole bunch of thoughts were going my head over the following few days. I had been reading Matt Fitzgerald’s new book, which advocates an 80/20 split of easy/hard workouts, so perhaps I was overtraining? I had been falling behind on my stretching, maybe I let me calves get too tight? Also, I had a lot of miles on these shoes, so maybe I needed new ones? In any event, my plan for the next two weeks up to the race – not that I really had any other choice – was to back off a bit on the pace/miles up until race day.

Packet pickup was on the Friday and Saturday before.

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They were already getting set up in the parking lot – yes, this race will be big!

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By race day, the good news was that the sore throat was behind me, and the toe pain was manageable. We had the first rain of the season yesterday, and so this morning was a pleasant 51 degrees at sunrise, perfect racing weather! I went to McDonalds for breakfast (more details in the comment discussion below), then headed over to the Tustin Marketplace. I had to park over on the other side of Jamboree, on the Irvine side of the Marketplace, and then walk over to the area by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

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Holy crap, this was a bigger race than I expected! 2500 runners for the 5K, 500 for the 10K, and I’m sure many more for the 2K run/walk!

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After my experience dodging slower runners in front of me during last year’s Angels 5K, I got near the front, about one-fourth of the way back from the starting line. I didn’t want to get any closer than that and get in front of any of the “serious” runners. Though after the starting air horn blew, I was still passing some people up front who were walking, and even a couple with strollers!

Based on my 7:19/mi pace at the track a few weeks ago, I figured I could target 7:20-7:30/mi today. I’m still trying to figure out how much food I need before a race, and overate a bit. Furthermore, it got pretty warm by the 8:30AM (or really 9:30AM, since we just changed the clocks back an hour) start time. So I settled into a 7:30/mi pace on this mostly flat course. But somehow I forgot about the “hill” going over the freeway, and my resulting average pace was therefore a bit slower.

I wasn’t “feeling it” 100% today, but it was still a good race. My third 5K race, and therefore my third personal record!

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My official time was 23:40, or a 7:37/mi pace. That was 19 out of 111 in my age group, and 271 out of 2504 overall.

Then I met the Mrs and the kiddo, who were partaking in the various kid activities while waiting for me: photos with the dinosaur, balloon animals, and Home Depot building kits.

Then the kiddo and I did the 2K. It’s more of a run/walk event. And that’s how we did it, we ran for a bit, then walked, then ran again, etc. Not a bad time for his first time doing it.

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We both got finisher medals!

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And – perhaps the most impressive thing of all – is that I got an email at 1:20PM the same day with a link to the race results! (That’s a pet peeve of mine about other races – with the electronic timing, why does it often take days to get results posted online?)

All in all, a great event for the whole family!

4 thoughts on “Dino Dash 5K Race Report

  1. Ken

    Congrats, Brian. One question: McDonald’s before the race? Could it be that it might not have been overeating, but perhaps poorly eating? Not that the kind of food you ate (eggs, muffin, bacon, etc.) is necessarily a poor choice but if you had prepared it yourself at home, surely it would have been better for you?

    My guess is the best food before a race is something like a granola bar – or two – accompanied by a solid glass of juice.

  2. BikingBrian Post author

    Glad you asked, because I thought of writing more about that topic, but wasn’t sure if people would be interested. I had the “big breakfast” – scrambled egg, sausage patty, biscuit, and flat hash brown thingie. I knew not to go near the hash brown thingie, but I may have went too far with the biscuit and all of the sausage patty.

    That breakfast would have been fine (for me) for a cycling event for sure. Nor is breakfast an issue for most of my early morning runs, since I roll out of bed, run, and then eat afterwards. But managing the delay between getting up and the race start is a bit tricky. Given my metabolism, which isn’t as fast as it used to be but still above average, I was erring on the side of eating a little more rather than a little less – which would have been fine for cycling event but can be deadly for a running race. And indeed, part of what limited my pace was avoiding leaving it all out on the course, so to speak.

    Next time I might try having something when I wake up, then take a something more to the race that I can eat a half hour before just in case. A running friend suggested a banana, toast, and peanut butter.

  3. Ken

    The “big breakfast” does sound like too much, yes. But I also want to reiterate my point about the source of the breakfast not being as good as it could have been, in case that didn’t sink in: Even if you figure you need the calories and protein, surely making the same thing at home would be preferable. Fresher ingredients, less preservatives, etc.
    I like the alternate breakfast proposed by your friend. That sounds full of protein and calories but healthy still. And although I am no expert in running I still figure fluid intake is key. Not so much that you slosh down the road but enough to give you a head start at staying hydrated. (Even if it isn’t warm, normal aspiration would cause you to lose fluid)

  4. BikingBrian Post author

    Point taken about the source, but that issue is very minor compared to the quantity and type of food. At least source versus home has never been enough of a difference for me to notice. (And it’s often not an option for those traveling to races away from home.) On the fluids, they had water at the start/finish and on the course too, so that wasn’t an issue.

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