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5K: Your Pace or Mine

The last challenging 5K I ran was the Georgia Race for Autism, back in October, and I finished around 38 minutes.  Yes, that’s slow.  I know.  Shut up.

I ran a less difficult race in December and finished at 36 minutes. A 12 minute mile. Still slow. I know.

Today, I participated in a 5K at Tribble Mill Park.  It was cold, raining and a very hilly run. Finished at 36 minutes….  Slow! 

But here’s the kicker.

My super fancy Garmin pod and watch said this was a 3.62 mile run, not a 5k (3.1 miles).  I know the Garmin can be off a little (like give or take .05 of a mile), but after talking to Coach Monster… this was more likely than not a Garmin error, and more like an “off” race director.  So.

That paces me at a 9:58 mile, with my best pace being 7:35.  And that, people… is a huge improvement.

A 9:58 pace?  That takes me out of the Turtle category, and moves me into… hmmmm… maybe elephant?  Elephants are fast in stampede, but slow as a rule?  That would be a tad over a 30 minute 5k. So, I will definitely take that. Especially, considering the conditions (freezing! rain!) and the rolling topography of the course (hills, oh my!), I am quite proud.  Oh! And I was just shy of a super shiny third place medal.

One thing that was remarkable about this race…my legs did not hurt or tire out at all.  And my brain was focused. My lung capacity, however, is horrific. I was running, thinking, “These are some strong legs, but who’s lungs are these???”  If I can get that aerobic base built up, then I will be on my way.

I am obviously a baby triathlete and a super sissy runner.  But even in my baby triathlete status, I found myself super annoyed when I would truck up a giant hill at an 11:30 pace (slow, but still running), and people around me were walking….then on the downhill, here they come… zzzzzzoooooom! right past me, like I was 5k roadkill.  Then again, I’d slowly pass them while the walked up the next hill…. then zooooom, here they come downhill.

I was proud of my steady pace, not falling victim to the class of hill walkers…and also my new dedicated runner status (being soaked to the core from the rain at the end of the race and trotting off with lots of free loot like protein shakes and coupons).  Tomorrow is a swim workout… and the week coming up, Coach Monster kicks back into high gear and the evil training continues.

8 weeks to St. Anthony’s!  My tall order is definitely still tall.  But every day I feel more capable.  Today was a big boost.  And the brain work – well, I’m beginning to think the brain is half the battle.

Happy weekending, ya’ll!
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