5000m, Not A 5K

Last week I challenged myself to do something I've never done.  A 5000m.  No, not a 5K- those are run on the road or trail- but a 5000m race on the track.  Never done it, how hard can it be?

It all started after a tempo/hill workout on Thursday morning.  I was looking for the Boise State home track meet information simply so we could go watch the races.  The words "Open Athlete" caught my eye and next thing you know I am signed up to run Friday night in my very first 5000m race.  I never raced this distance in college, and frankly hadn't raced any distance on the track since- ehmm- the '90s.  Maybe 1998?

Yet here I am, warming up with girls who were in diapers in 1998 and wondering where the start of the race actually is: the 300m mark? 200m mark?  And how many laps is this race?  Do you wear spikes or flats?  How do you run this race- I literally have no idea!?!

So I toe the line on the far outside lane, race to the front pack and continue to make every rookie mistake in the book.  I go out way too fast, recording a record mile for my mid-30s and with over 2 miles to go, proceed to watch the wheels fall off.  After a number of 80s, I think there were some 93 second laps in there.  It's hot and I am really not enjoying this run.  Not even a little bit.  I'm ready to step off the track and call it.  Maybe next time will be better; I'll run smarter at the start and the weather won't be so hot and I'll make sure not to run hill repeats 36 hours before….

But I can't stop; because if I do then I will have to explain to my 4 year old why quitting is OK.  That's not a conversation I want to have, because it's not a belief I want her to hold.  Which is exactly why I just keep running- suffering- through each turn en route to my first 5000m finish.

How'd I do?  eh, OK.  I mean I am not thrilled with my time and I am a little embarrassed by the lack of racing maturity I brought to the track, but I did qualify for the USATF Club Nationals.  That only means that I have the chance to redeem myself on a big stage.  And it sets the carrot out a bit further so I will have to work harder, train smarter and not assume that my marathon miles will carry me far.

This is the big time.  This is Track & Field.  Take a left and pick it up!

That's me, in the neon pink Boise Betties singlet, and that's my conscious peering through the fence.  Thanks for keeping me honest babygirl!