Sunday, December 14, 2014

Run with Frosty 5K Race Report

I figured that with JFK out of the way and done, my 2014 race season was over.  I even found that the always-enthusiastic Kim of Kim Runs Miles With Smiles was willing to take one of my Potomac River Running Race Codes, so I was down to just one extra I wasn't able to unload (for reasons you don't care about).

With the extra code burning a hole in my running bag, I thought I'd get up at the booty-crack o' dawn (again) and go run a 5K, just for the hell of it.  Well, that and to troll fellow runners with my choice of shirt at the race:

Wait, I can't be the ONLY 5K runner here who happened to run 50 miles just two weekends ago, can I???

I chose the Frosty 5K for my obligatory race, which was out in Fairfax, VA. There's an often-used 5K course out there:

Looks like about 7 turns?  Maybe 8?

True to Potomac River Running form, the packet pickup was extremely well-organized, and easy.  I passed on the Frosty Poofy Hat for extra cash, and happily took my long sleeve tech shirt back to my car.  I just kept telling myself I was running this 5K for fun.

This is totes adorbs, really.  Really?

Just go out, have fun.  After all, I was a little . . . over-indulged from the evening before.

The day before was the Army-Navy game, and I had been invited to RunnerLane's house to watch it! Yay!  It turns out that RunningLonely was also there, so he & I talked (surprise!) running, and Twitter, and self-loathing.  We also enjoyed just a bit of food.  


Security camera footage at Lane's house
So, relax.  You ate, drank, and made merry.  This race is for fun, right?

I figured, with moderate effort, I'd surely come in under 25 minutes, and that would be good enough for me.  So basically keep it under 8 minutes a mile, I'd tick off the box for today's race, and that would be that.

We lined up, I listened to some idle chatter amongst racers, and --

BANG!  We were off.

(No, seriously, we've already gotten to the actual race part of this report!)

This is a surprisingly hilly course.  I learned that quickly.

Potomac River Running Frosty 5K Elevation Chart
Mile 0-1:  7:45

This was entirely too fast for someone who was supposed to be just enjoying himself, but slower than the other 5Ks where I was really going nuts.  I figured if I saw 7:30, it meant I was going too fast, and if I saw 8:00 then I was really just taking the "easy" thing to heart, so I just kinda . . . went with the flow of traffic.

There was a weird thing during this mile.  As I was running, I noticed some guy ahead of me, in the distance, walking.  Alas, no big deal at a 5K, you see all kinds of people out.  Except as I got closer, or would pass him, he would just TAKE OFF sprinting like a serial killer was after him, only to stop -- no lie -- within 60-90 seconds.  I had nothing to do during this mile, so I kinda measured him.  It was the weirdest fartlek I'd seen. 

His walk breaks SEEMED to end as I would pass him, but that could be confirmation bias.  Finally, one of his walk breaks seemed to end when I wasn't very far, and I just gave it a little more "oomph" and didn't see him again.  So yeah, I managed to beat a guy who was probably running his first 5K and had no idea how to pace himself.  I'm quite the toughie.

Next up -- beating women in the 90+ AG

The good news was that I'd gotten some of the cushion I'd need to ensure I'd come in under 25 minutes without any real struggle, so that seemed good.

Mile 1-2: 8:00

As you can see from the course elevation, we hit a significant early uphill in this mile, which did NOT feel good when you're running about as hard as your legs will let you (all while they scream, "Wasn't 50 frakking miles GOOD ENOUGH for you before?  WHO HURT YOU AS A CHILD?!").

Mile 2-3:  7:50

I just told myself to have fun for this run, and that pushing too hard was just plain silly.  I'd been back to running within four DAYS of finishing JFK, but I was just doing easy recovery runs.  No speedwork, nothing beyond, "Holy crap can I eat more of, um, everything?"

Effort?  Schmefort.
Mile 3-finish:  

I sped up for the tail end of mile 2-3, and for the rest of the way into the finish.  Oh look!  Cameras!

Red Shoes of Doom in one of their (gasp!) FINAL races??
I checked my watch, did some math, and sure enough I'd come in with a sub-8:00/mile average, which was fine with me, as it got me a decent time goal.  I later found out that I'd missed the AG podium by all of 40 seconds, but I think I took the news in stride and without any rage.

I'm just proud of my effort because OMG WTF WHY WHY WHY

No, seriously, I handled the news well.  I was a recent 50-mile finisher, what did I have to prove at a 5K?

I'm at complete peace

I have to close by just giving sincere props to Potomac River Running.  They really put on super efficient, well-run races.  I've never been to a single one of their races that was bad.

Anyway, it was all kinda worth it to wear that freakin' epic shirt to a 5K.


Race by the numbers:

AG: Top 16.6%

Sex: Top 21.3%

Overall:  Top 11.9%


  1. You met Running Lonely?! You guys talked to each other? Wow. Color me jealous in both directions. That is cool. Nice race recap, too. And thanks for the shout-out :)

    1. Hey, your enthusiasm over races is what helped motivate me to DO this one. You always have such fun doing them! And yes, RL & I were seen in the same spot, haha. Coooookies. ;)

    2. Aw, that makes me feel good that my enthusiasm motivated you :) Someday I will eat cookies with you and RL. Bucket list.