Thursday, 19 June 2014

The 5K

A couple of months ago Leigh and I had a conversation that went something like this...
Leigh: "Matt is helping organize a 5K in Orangeville."
Me: "So you're gonna run it, that's great!"
Leigh:  "We are both gonna run it."
Me: whimpering in corner
Leigh:  "Stop crying, it's for the foodbank!"
That may be a very loose interpretation of what actually happened, but you get the point.  My very first race, in the fall of 2011 was the Toronto Zoo 5K.  Since that time I have increased dramatically in distance.  In that process I have learned a number of things about myself, one of them being that I am built for distance, not speed.  I would much rather run for hours at a moderate pace then at a lung busting, puke inducing pace for 25 minutes.  But like Leigh said, it was for the foodbank (so stop crying), so he went ahead and registered us for the Compass 5K4Food 
The kid's race was first.  Lucas is well trained from his recent participation in the Xtreme Team running club with Speed River Track and Field, so he took off ahead with Leigh.  This was Cooper's very first race, and like any good runner he went out slow (and holding his mom's hand).  He got comfortable after 100m or so and informed me that he didn't need to hold my hand anymore.  He ran the almost the whole thing, slowing to walk for a few steps, and then speeding to a run again, with a huge smile on his face.  Nothing better in the world to Cooper then running surrounded by a whole bunch of kids.  At the end they were awarded with a Cookie Medal (prepared by local highschool students), a water bottle, and a coupon for a visit at a local indoor playground. 

Next up was the 5K.  Our race plan was as follows:  RUN.OUR.GUTS.OUT.  We decided that we would stick together and aim for 7:30ish per mile, and see what happened.  I had not raced a 5K in close to 3 years, and was not at all confident, but was certainly eager to see how much improvement all the long distance traning of late would bring to my 5K game. The couse took us out of the church parking lot, into a trail that eventually skirted around Island Lake, back out of the trail and onto a quick out and back stretch, and back to the church. 
Mile 1-7:20/mile-"This is fast, but it's sort of fun to go fast." 
Mile 2-7:25/mile-"This is fast, fast hurts a bit."
Mile 3-7:28/mile-"This is hard...I hate this!!!"
Mile 3.1-6:something/mile-DEAD..."I'll just be over here kneeling by the flower bed so I don't puke where people need to walk."
We came in at 23:00, which was good enough for both of us to be 1st in our age group (30-39), and for me to take Second Overall Female! 
So here's the lowdown, the good, the bad, and the ugly...
The Good
-The event was amazing!  Leigh has participated in a few small 5 and 10K events.  He says that this was the best he has seen.  Everything from the parking, to the start and finish lines, to food and food distribution, to the kid's race were extremely well organized.  They were able to bring many local sponsors on board, and had a great turnout (over 250 5K runners and 75 kids).
-We both came in first in our age groups, and now share a shiny new 5K PR.
-It was fun to test my limits in a different way.  My mind and body have become pretty calloused to the effort, and discomfort of long distance running.  Don't get me wrong, a marathon will ALWAYS be challenging, but it is a hurts so good kind of hurt.  The fast pace of a 5K is a whole different kind of hurt, which quite frankly freaked me out a bit before this race.  Now I know that I have improved dramatically from my first (and only) 5K race, and have potential to continue improving.
-Unlike a marathon, as soon as the running stops the pain stops.  No hobbling around and no sleepless night post race from sore muscles.  
-I won a prize! ;) 
-The 12 year old who turned to Leigh and instructed him the "just regulate his breathing." 
-The course was beautiful
The Bad
-We ran this race 27 days post marathon.  If you recall, i promised myself that I would take my recovery conservatively.  So I have been following the 1 easy day for each mile you race recovery plan.  I have been back to running since the end of our zero week, but without speed work, or challenging workouts.  That said we did not train specifically for this race.  Now I wonder what I could do if I trained hard, specifically for the 5K.
-The boys ate my cookie medal

The Ugly
-Welllllll...The last Km of this race was UGLY. just plain ugly.  Complete with heaving and gagging.

As you can see the good far outweighed both the bad and the ugly.  Not sure what that means for my future in the 5K.  Leigh on the other hand already has one lined up.  Clearly he doesn't want to keep sharing that PR :)

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