When: 6/21/2016, 7:00pm
Where: Frankfort, Illinois
Results: 20:45 Official, 20:42 Garmin watch – 16th overall, 3rd place M50-54
I went into the my fourth running of this race with low expectations. I haven’t really focused on any sort of short speed work due to training for Ironman Louisville, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give a 5K a try. And by try I mean gunning as hard as I can. But the race ended up being somewhat educational for me.
For this race I decided to wear my heart rate strap and monitor my heart rate through the 5K to see if my max HR is anywhere near the 220 bpm minus your age. This method is an easy way to determine your max heart rate, which you can then use to set your heart rate zones to train in. However, many don’t trust the calculation for some reason. I’m 53 years old, so using the 220-age formula I should have a max heart rate of 167.
So if you are going to use a 5K to see where your max heart rate is you should do a little warm up then go all out at max effort for 5K. So I strapped on my Garmin and the heart rate monitor strap and let it rip. Here’s what it told me:
And the 5K field test revealed a peak max heart rate of 169 bpm, with an average of 163 bpm. And the times that I glanced at my watch during the race I usually saw 166 bpm staring back at me. I guess the 220-age is accurate enough for me.
Okay, enough of the scientific stuff. Back to the race. I got there much later than I usually do and parked in the neighborhood next to the park where the race starts and ends near my friend Dian’s house. Lo and behold, Dian was actually outside! We chatted up ourselves a little bit and she thought the race had started already. Silly Dian. I explained that the runners will warm up prior to the race. She thought that was nuts. Gave me a chuckle though.
Over at the park, the usual suspects were there: Frankfort/New Lenox Running Club made a strong showing, Tinley Track & Trail was also present. Mr. Mustache Runner guy was there, with his shirt tucked in as usual. And many more familiar faces. It wasn’t until the race was almost ready to go when Nate Troester showed up at the start line, and I knew our eventual winner was finally here.
The guy that starts the race stands right in the middle of the road, orders us not to run him over, tells us not to start until he says “GO!” then proceeds to say “Okay, let’s go” prior to saying “On your mark, get set, GO!” Park district run races can be really strange. In the old days, races were run by runners who kind of knew what they were doing, and these park district guys don’t look like they run much. Anyway, at GO! we all took off and tried to avoid the dumb cherry picker thing in the path of the race route that has a guy up there with a camera. So dumb. You never see the pictures on their website or Facebook page, but damn, they got to have a cherry picker right on the road with a camera guy taking pictures that no one will ever see.
I had picked my mark, a guy named Chris S. who is in my age group and started just in front of me. I decided to hold his pace for as long as I could. That didn’t last long. I might have held on to him for about a half mile before I could tell I had maxed out my heart rate without even looking at my watch. I watched him pull away. That move of trying to stay with him got me through the first mile with a 6:18 split. NO BUENO! So much for the negative split strategy. He kicked my butt again, as usual.
After the first mile I decided to dial it back a touch and find my race pace comfort zone and found myself running with a guy wearing a Ironman Racine 70.3 t-shirt. We were pacing together pretty well. We turned off the path together and on to the side street to head back and about 1.5 miles into it we got passed by some kid. “Damn kids” I muttered, and Racine man agreed.
We ran together until the 2 mile split (6:47 min/mile) and he started to pull just a little bit ahead. I tried to match pace but I had spent too much energy on that first mile. He pulled ahead about 50 yards with about a 1/2 mile to go and that’s how it ended. The third mile split was 6:53 min/mile for me.
I checked the race results and learned Racine man was in my age group. He got 15th place overall, 2nd in the age group. Since this park district run race only awards the top 2 finishers in each age group with a medal, whereas most races go three deep, I knew I wasn’t going to add a medal to my medal rack this time around. You win some, you lose some.
Here is page one the results: Shortrun
Overall, it was a good race for me. I found that the 220-minus age max heart rate calculation is nearly exact to my actual field tested heart rate. I got to race some good competition. And there was pizza at the finish line.