In high school we ran 4K races while the men’s cross country team competed in 5Ks. Apparently high school girls can’t handle that extra fraction of a mile. As a result, I’ve probably raced in about 50 4K races and almost no 5Ks that I can remember. It is one of the most basic and common races in the running world yet I’ve always thought of it as too easy. If you regularly head out on 5-10 mile runs, the concept of “training to go on a 3 mile run” doesn’t make much sense. Why would anyone need to prepare before going for a 3 mile run? It’s arrogant but a legitimate question when you’re a longtime runner who embraces long, slow distance runs. My perspective changed when I read that George Sheehan used to say the difference between a jogger and a runner is a race number. I realized that ever since high school I had quickly transitioned from an arrogant runner to an arrogant jogger. I needed to become a runner again. And hopefully not an arrogant one.
After being a runner/jogger for over ten years, I finally competed in my first real 5K. There was something about eating gel packs, tying a chip timer to my shoe and safety pinning a number to my jacket that immediately brought me back to the world of running like I had never left. I have four more races coming up in the next four months but for now, here are my stats from this little runner’s most recent race:
- Official time: 29:31
- Temperature: 19 degrees
- Snow: 2 inches
- Number of times I slipped and almost fell: 3
- Number of fingers I wanted to amputate: 10
- Overall place: 128 out of 296
- Division place: 4 out of 20
- Gender place: 34 out of 155
THAT’S RIGHT – I GOT 4th OUT OF THE 25-29 YEAR OLD FEMALES!!! Oh yeah, no arrogance. I almost forgot. One race down. Four to go!