Well today I had my alarm set for 5:45 so I could get food in me in time for it to NOT be a problem before the race. I was actually awake from 5am, I was really nervous for some reason!
I had been looking at yesterday's race output from the Garmin and my heart rate was quite high on two occasions. When I matched them to the time they reminded me of the two times I had to stop to catch my breath. (Sounds of very slow cogs and wheels moving....) Aha! I Googled heart rate training zones (or something similar) and discovered that I should be keeping my HR below 165-170, otherwise my muscles are going faster than my heart can get O2 to them. That makes sense now...
So, armed with this and my HR monitor I set off for the SMC 5k race in Smithfield, about 40mins drive west of us in Sydney. I did a 5min jog and some stretching and then lined up at the start. Nervous again! We all took off, but I let the fast pack run away, I knew I wasn't going to be staying with them long. About 4 or 5 times I felt my breathing get a bit fast and checked my HR and lo and behold it was creeping up. I slowed my pace and a minute or so later my breathing was back to normal, it actually worked! I got some water at the 2.5k turn point and kept the pace up, knowing that I was more than half way certainly helped. For the last 1k I was determined to put a little sprint on and I did a strong finish. Last month I got 31mins for this route and distance, today I was clocked at 27:10, a massive difference! I'm delighted with it and am really happy with the amount my training has come on in just 4 weeks :-)