5k on St. Patrick’s Day Race Report – 2016

Coach Nicole's muscle oxygen (SmO2 data) and THB data from the 5k on St. Patrick's Day

5k on St. Patrick’s Day Race Report – 2016

The 5k on St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite 5k.. I’ve run this race since about 2008, missing only 2012 as I was in LA for the LA Marathon. Even when I couldn’t run in 2014 due to hip surgery, I walked the race. It’s one of the few relatively flat 5ks here in Colorado Springs so it serves as my early season running benchmark. It’s a popular race, a lot of folks dress up and then stay for the local parade.

As I’m not training for 5ks (Syracuse 70.3 is my A-race), it was a “let’s just see what I have” kind of race. I had a plan (I always have a race plan, regardless of the race!) and stuck to it, mostly! Race morning was pretty straightforward – I had my shoe tag chip and my bib already from the expo the day before, so I just had to show up at the starting line.

Breakfast was pretty standard – oatmeal with protein powder (probably a 1.5:1 CHO-PRO ratio), some blueberries and walnuts, and plenty of water. I skip coffee on race mornings. I mixed up some UCAN to have in the 45 minutes or so before the start, and drove the 20 minutes downtown. I parked about seven blocks away to force additional warm-up and cool down. I left my phone in my car this time, so I didn’t get any pictures this year.

I wasn’t feeling the best in terms of running legs – things just felt a little stiff and my right hip was a bit tight. But I jogged a bit, did some dynamic warm-ups, did the lunge matrix and also some pick-ups. The race was supposed to start at 10am, and I lined up around 9:55 or so. At the very front were the super fast guys and gals, and then behind them it was just a mix of abilities, so I didn’t start too far back.

Here’s a video of the start. I’m hidden in there.

Mile 1: 8:07. A little fast, but you never know – it was slightly downhill and that is a strength of mine. I got into a good breathing rhythm and was just focused. I counted to 4, over and over, and kept my eye on someone who was just a little faster than I was.

Mile 2: 8:27 I slowed down more than I had hoped – last year I was able to hold pace. The terrain is slightly uphill and looking at my HR data, I hit 167, which is up there near as high as I can get it these days. I just tried to keep my turnover going and take steady breaths.

Mile 3: 8:26 This mile has a few 180 degree turns in it, but also it finishes downhill. It’s all mental at this point. My body probably felt as good as it could, other than heavy legs! I tend to lose a few spots in the final 400m, as I have very little finishing sprint and that has not been a part of my training.

Finish: 25:35, 16/143 (quite respectable in this town!)

Coach Nicole's pace and HR data for the 5k on St. Patrick's Day

Elevation profile looks deceiving – total gain is only about 50ft!

Above is my HR/pace data from my Garmin and below the muscle oxygen data from a Moxy Monitor. I think the peak in pace about 4-5 minutes in is just a GPS glitch due to some tall buildings downtown.

Coach Nicole's muscle oxygen (SmO2 data) and THB data from the 5k on St. Patrick's Day

SmO2 and THb data from the run and a few minutes after I stopped


Data begins just prior to the start, the drop in the graph is when I start running. Looking at the general trend, after that initial drop there is an increase in SmO2 as my muscles warmed up a bit. It settled in about 10 minutes in, and then slowly dropped a bit (I was feeling heavy legs at this point!) and placing a pretty big demand on the legs. What’s interesting is that I ended in a steady state, but definitely didn’t feel like I wanted to run farther at this pace!

The immediate jump is at the end of the race where I walked and jogged for a few minutes. With the cool down pace I have less of a demand for oxygen but my heart rate is still elevated and the muscles “warm” (rather hot) so there is plenty of oxygen getting delivered, hence the jump. I’m digging in a little more into the hemoglobin data in another software program, but that’s another post!

Facebook Twitter Email Plusone Linkedin
Nicole Odell



Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.