Friday, April 22, 2011

Got Something To Prove?

I've been a little obsessive lately...over a 5k.  Yes, you read it.  The girl who seldom runs a race shorter than a 50k is stressed about a 5k.  That's because 5k's are hard!  Running hard for a short period of time can be just as difficult as running easy for a long period of time.  So you may ask yourself, "Why is the slow poke running a 5k?" 
  1. I feel some small amount of company spirit and would like to earn some points in the Corporate Challenge competition. 
  2. I want to prove that I can still run "fast".
Corporate Challenge is like the Olympics for people with boring, non-sport-related jobs. There are a bunch of different events: soccer, 5k, tug-of-war, track events, etc.. In the past, before we started hiring a butt load of young folks, we excelled at fishing, trapshooting and horseshoes.  There is a complicated scoring system which consists of participation points, division points and medal points.  Individual events also include age groups.  You basically need a masters degree to figure out the point system.  Fortunately I have a masters degree.  Unfortunately it's not in advanced score keeping.  Here's what I do know:
  • You get 1 participation point in any event whether you win or come in last place. 
  • It's freakin' hard to get more than a participation point in the 5k, unless you're in division G.  This means you're competing against a bunch of other 20-employee companies.  (I didn't actually look up that information, but you get the gist.)  Anyway, I'm in division A, the 2000+ corporate monster division.
So you can probably see this coming, but out of the 2 or 3 times I've competed in Corporate Challenge, I have never scored more than a participation point in the 5k.  So many people participate that they actually have to split the 5k up into 2 separate races: one for males and one for females.

My goals for the race are to break my 5k PR of 23:30 (which I set on a pancake flat course, very unlike the CC course) and to score some division points for once!  I know, a 7:30 pace is not very fast for some people, but it's pretty speedy for me.  I do most of my running on trails and my "trail fast" ranges from 9-12 minute miles depending on terrain and length of run.

I decided to run the course the other day before I met a group of friends for a trail run and ended up with a slightly disappointing 8:11 pace.  I felt like I was going pretty quick too!  Well, I know I probably won't be able to break my PR on a training run.  It's just not the same as a race.  I need a competitor.  You know.  Some girl who just looks WAY too cute in her perfectly matched outfit, or someone who is 5 inches shorter than me and 20 lbs heavier.  The kind of thing that really gets you going.  I'm not kidding when I say I was once passed in a 10k by an adult woman who was about 4'7" (I'm 5'4").  Fortunately I will have a few more opportunities to run the course before the race.  I'm hoping I can get my training time down around a 7:45 pace. 

I am definitely looking forward to this race being over, so I can obsess over the Jemez Mountain 50k which is two weeks later.  There is no doubt in my mind when I say it is going to chew me up and spit me out.  The elevation speaks for itself.  Oh yeah, you're seeing correctly.  It starts at 7000+ ft.  And yes, I do live in Lawrence, KS at 800ft.

3 comments:

  1. You'll kick butt, Laurie! And then we'll go to roller derby! :)

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  2. 5K's are awesome because like you said, it's hard to train fast w/o competition. So your expectations are low on race day and you usually end up beating your goal.

    Good luck!

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  3. All those people who express awe at my ultras think I'm silly when I tell them the 5K and 10K distances that are really painful. But it's true!!
    I love throwing a few in here and there - good way to shake things up in your running routine (and see where you are speedwise).

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