Super Couch Potato Race Recap

5 Feb

On Sunday, I attempted to follow through on a resolution by running the Super Couch Potato 5k.  As I alluded to previously, the 5k distance is my absolute least favorite thing ever.  I made the man friend promise me that if I started coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t go and looked like I was going to bag on it that he would shove me out the door and lock me out of the house in the cold.

Even so, in the hours before the race, I let my mind wander towards all the reasons this race was going to suck.

  • Temperature at the start would be in the single digits (not fun for the lungs, especially if you’re trying to play in the VO2 max arena)
  • I haven’t done an ounce of speedwork since, oh, September?
  • My bout with bronchitis has left me feeling terribly out of shape
  • I ran a hilly long run the day before

I knew I would never forgive myself if I sat it out, and with the threat of being locked out in the cold looming, I gathered my gear and headed to the race.

I decided that I would wear my Garmin, but I was only allowed to look at it at each mile marker.  My expectations were extremely low for the race.  I hoped I could squeak in under 24 minutes.  I would consider it a good day if I could keep the pace around 7:30, and I would not beat myself up over the fact that’s slower than my half marathon PR pace.  Basically, I wanted to run it as a tempo – comfortably hard – and not Garmin stalk.

Runners at the start

Runners at the start

(source)

I made my way to the start and soon we were off.  There was some ducking and weaving at the beginning, but eventually I clicked into a groove.  Staying true to my promises, I ignored my watch.

At what I guessed to be close to the 1-mile point, I saw a co-worker up ahead.  I was gaining on him, and wasn’t sure what to think.  After a quick gut-check, I decided that the pace was remaining comfortably hard – I wasn’t picking it up just to catch someone – so I kept with it.  As I passed him, we exchanged a few pleasantries and my watch finally beeped.

Mile 1 – 7:15.  Shit.  I might actually have to race this thing now.

I spent the next half mile trying to figure out what to do.  I know, I know – it’s not supposed to be this complicated!  I wasn’t sure if I should push, if I should hang tight, if I should back off … I never expected to see a split that low and while I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to PR, I knew I could spit out a good time.

At about the 1.91 mile point (I cheated and looked at my watch), I heard someone call out to a girl in front of me (it was an out and back, which is always nice for cheering on others).  It was a girl I have run with before, and who I would consider a friendly acquaintance – but ain’t no way I can back off now.  Killer instinct engaged, I’m doin’ this thing.

Mile 2 – 7:11.

I passed my “competition” pretty quick and now it was just about not letting her pass me back.  Which is psychologically the worst place to be in.  Thankfully I fell in step with a guy and we worked together for most of the 3rd mile.  I cheated again and saw my pace was dropping even more.  I knew it was time to push.

Mile 3 – 6:59.

Up ahead I saw the clock.  I knew a PR wasn’t happening but it would be damn close.  Push push push.

Last .13 – 0:48 – 6:23 pace.

Good for a 22:13, only 6 seconds off my PR.  3rd place in AG, 9th female, 53rd overall.  I’ll take that any day of the week.

If the garmin says it, it has to be true

If the garmin says it, it has to be true

So, maybe there’s some insert-foot-in-mouth action that needs to happen here.  I’d have been proud of the result on a perfect day where I feel at the top of my game.  The fact the weather wasn’t conducive and I’m not 100% and I still came out that close to a PR?  I’m optimistic for the rest of 2013.  Although I suppose that means I’ll need to run a few more 5ks and try to get under 22 at some point … dang.

Best part about this race, however?

I am such a turd.

I am such a turd.

Check out that sassy hat swag.  Super couch potato, indeed.

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2 Responses to “Super Couch Potato Race Recap”

  1. Victoria February 7, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    5Ks are the best !! And love the hat you got haha !!

    • upstaterunner February 8, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      Haha thanks! It’s so goofy, love it. Also I’m glad someone out there has love for the 5ks!

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