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.


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

  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!

  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).