Ok, Ok, so I have a bone to pick with the 5K.
At the end of 2010 I started working toward breaking 20 min in the 5K. It took me 4 5Ks, and I ended up running a 19:26 during HM training the following spring, on no 5K specific training.
Then I got the sub 19 bug, which I started working on in 2012. I got a 17:29 on a short course, and a 19:04 on a long course. Then got injured.
Now I am back at it. My workouts clearly show that I can run a sub 19 on an accurate course. I have no problem running 5x1000m with 200m jog @ sub 6. Because tempos come harder to me, I decided to run 2 continuous miles @ 6 on the track yesterday morning, and ended up with 2 miles @ 5:53 average, followed by 800m @ 5:41, 400m @ 5:29, 400m @ 5:21, and 100m @ 5:02, all with 1 min rest. I did these after 2 miles warm up and one mile MP/HMP pace, to ensure that I was starting the intervals a bit tired. The 400s were hard, and there was some puking going on after the first one, but overall I did well. I ran this workout on track, which is a faster surface, but there was a headwind for half of it, so certainly more effort than on a treadmill. Surely this workout points to the fact that I should be able to run a 6pace 5K, right? I mean, when training for a marathon, we never run more than 16 miles @ MP, and we have confidence that we can hang on for the last bit. The same theory should work for the 5K, too. Right? Right? Except that the 5K is so quick and the discomfort is much more intense, and one does not have time to work through a rough patch as in a marathon. I mean, if I slow down and mentally work though a rough patch, by the time I am done the race is over and I did not PR. I also have a hard time holding pace in a 5K. I need to constantly check my watch bc otherwise I slow down. That requires a level of concentration that is not always easy for me. Further, there are moments in a 5K that you can't quite prepare for, moments where no matter how much mental prep you did, and how much you want the PR, the mind just gives up in the moment, automatically, without conscious control. If you don't catch that right away, you don't have enough real estate to make up for the little "blunder". I know I experiences this during my last mile of my last 5K. I ran on a narrow bridge on the way back to the start (for the finish) and had to slow down bc the slower runners were blocking the bridge running in the opposite direction, and I flustered for a bit and completely lost my pace. I recovered quickly and pushed the pace, but it was too late. The course was long, but I could have had the sub 19 regardless.
And then I start thinking. Regardless of whether I get the official sub 19 or not, I am getting faster. No doubt about it. And that is what I need to focus on. That, and the "controllables" and the "modifiables". Accurate course, good weather, perfect concentration, no mental blunders...they all have things I can and can't control to different extents (yes, I can control the weather to some extent by choosing now to run a 5K in July). And then there is the probability issue - the more 5Ks I run, the higher the probability I will get the official sub 19. If I stay healthy, the sub 19 is a given, sooner rather than later. Boom!
Building a clock
8 months ago