29 March 2008

Campus on the Run 5 km - Race Report

I love springtime in the Northwest. Birds are chirping. Flowers budding. Baseball just around the corner. Ice. Snow. 20+ mph winds. Windchill in the teens. Yes, I love springtime in the Northwest.

So I thought I'd try the Campus on the Run 5 km. When I signed up a few weeks ago, I really did believe it was springtime. I know now that my very public cursing of this winter has brought bad weather karma onto me. Yes, I am to blame for the ice and the snow. If I could've just kept my mouth shut. So you won't hear me say anything bad about it until at least mid-August. By then an ice storm may be refreshing.

Believe it or not, this is my first 5 km. Well, I did participate in one of those Race for the Cure 5 km a few years ago before I actually started running. I don't even remember what my time was. I remember breathing hard and almost passing out. My funniest memory was when I was checking in they asked if I wanted to have a timing chip to put on my shoe. I said, "That's okay, I have a watch." And I laughed at the lady as I was walking away thinking how silly it was to put something on your shoe for timing. "Weird runners don't even know how to use a watch." It wasn't until I did my first "real" race last year that I figured out what the chips were for. Don't make fun of me.

So, I am counting this as my first "real" 5 km. One thing was going to be certain - I was going to set a new PR.

The start was on campus a couple miles away from home so Sadie and I took off a few minutes early so we could run there. Jeanie and Shasta met us a few minutes later.

I timed it so I had just enough time to check in and then wait at the start long enough to want to go home.

Someone left the portable heaters at home.
I asked the guy next to me if we could
cuddle and warm up. He said no.

The starting line was grouped by expected pace. I jumped in with the 8 minute/mile group. I thought that was a realistic pace to stick with. I didn't want to push too hard. I'm still in the easy-goes-it stage with my knee. I was hoping that I could keep myself from pushing it much faster than 8 minute miles. It would be a shame to hurt myself in this 5 km when I have much more important/adventurous races in a few months.

I hear the weather is nice in Florida
this time of year.

You know how everyone starts off way too fast in road races? Well, Pullman's population is university heavy. So imagine that most of the runners are guys 18-22. And most of the rest of the runners are ladies 18-22. I'm not saying that I don't like to show off in front of the ladies when the time is right - but the start of this race was pretty funny. Within 50 meters I was being passed by the 10 minute/mile group. But it wasn't just the guys trying to show off. The ladies were sprinting by me, too. I scooted to the side so I wouldn't get run over.

The start. I was off so fast Jeanie
couldn't even get me in this shot.

I'm not going to say anything bad about winter until August, remember? What I will say is how wonderful the wind and snow felt. Especially when the snow turned to ice and pelted my face. And then back to snow and it would fly up my nose. It was wonderful. I especially like when the wind is so bitterly cold that my eyeballs freeze.

Everyone just ran in a big group
the entire way to stay warm.

I felt good most of the way. The roads were pretty icy (in a good way) in quite a few spots. There were some hills that my legs weren't quite ready for, too. Since I've been running the past month I've been sure to do a lot of walking in between miles. I think this may have been the first time since November that I've run 3 miles with zero walk breaks.

At the top of a big hill a bit past mile one I was breathing pretty hard. Just take deep breaths, I said to myself. Deep breaths and you'll get through this. Then I looked over to the left and realized we were running past the university's Nuclear Radiation Center. Okay, no more deep breaths. In fact, hold your breath for about two hundred more yards. I love the smell of nuclear radiation in the morning.

The hills, the wind, my lack of speed and hill training, my lack of a watch, and the lack of anyone calling out times along the course made it difficult to gauge my pace. I think I held to the 8 minute/mile pace. Maybe a bit faster.

From this angle it's hard to see me dry heaving.

I'm trying to smile. Those guys behind me
are comparing frostbite on their legs.

There was no one even calling out time when I crossed the finish line. So, as of right now (1 day after the race) I still don't know what my time was! I really have no idea. They pulled the tab on my number so I'm assuming it's recorded somewhere. I would guess between 22 and 24, but who knows. I asked someone working the race and they said results would be announced at the award ceremony (which we didn't want to wait for) and they'd be posted online today or tomorrow. So I'm waiting for the online results. I'll post when I know. Overall, it was a good run. And a new PR! I'm not sure what it is yet, but whatever it is will be a PR.

Official time - 22 min 41 sec
7/22 age group
41/~350 overall

Keep running!



  1. Way to get out there and show those college kids what ultra runners are made of. By the way, when running a 5k you really should feel like your lungs are going to come out of your throat at any moment. If you did not feel like this then you were not running hard enough. No need to thank me for the racing advice. I'm sorry I didn't get it to you sooner.

  2. Great job,scott! How's the knee feeling afterwards?

  3. Did you feel like an old man amongst all those kids? That's why you weren't showing off for the ladies, right? You didn't want them to think you were a creepy old man. And, of course, because your wife and dogs were watching...

  4. In Iowa, the people would totally have cuddled. In my humble opinion, dry heaves usually means slow down a bit. Good run, though.

  5. That dude in the blue on the left looked like he needed a good cuddler :P Homie, I can't believe you wore shorts!! Dannnnggggg and I gripe about 30 degree weather LOL

    Sweetness on the race ;D

  6. That was nice of them to fire up the nuclear reactor to keep you warm as you ran by. Are you still glowing? and what's up with this cuddling stuff? Aren't you tired of getting stiffed yet :-D

  7. Yes, FL is perfect this time of year :)

    Loved your comment about dry heaving at the end of the race! I always briefly feel like I'll puke after that sprint for the finish line.

  8. Mommacita it looks cold there!! Awesome job on the 5K!! Thanks for the great report!

  9. Nice job with the ski race...huh...what? It was a running race? Buurrrrr!! I'm sending you warm thoughts from the desert.

  10. Way to go on your first OFFICIAL 5K! You rocked it! Despite how cold you said it was, I noticed that those standing on the sidelines weren't wearing much more than pants and sweatshirts... coudn't have been that cold, could it? :)

  11. Nice job on your first official 5K!

  12. Dang respectable for a post collegian such as yourself.

    I still haven't quite figured out why you didn't want to wait around for the awards ceremony.

  13. Scott, your Dad said you look like you are ready for your 55K in Iceland....at least the ice part. Great job! See ya soon. Janie and Dad

  14. I did a 5k new years eve here in Denver and it was like 18 out and it was at night! and snow packed trail through a park! NO PR there but I loved it. I have dont a fair amount of winter snow running out here. I have yak tracks and they work great. I have a 5k at a local state college out here. It is a few weeks aways the course is ALL FLAT and I really want to get under 30 min. PR for me and a 5K is about 31:00. I want to get faster but I know to run fast races you must train fast! great job on your 5K. OH I have always been told if you feel like you will puke at the finishe line then you know you gave it your all!

  15. Dude...I wish you would join my running club, the Houston Striders, so that we could print this race report in our newsletter.

    It's just AWESOME with great pics and your sense of humor puts it over the top!!

    You're originally or previously from these parts, right? And when you come down to do Sunmart and Rocky Raccoon, you'll have lots of running buddies to hang with!

    Think about it, k?


    = )

  16. areyousureyoudidntflygreatjobontherunyourweatherlookslikemyweatherareyousureyournotinmyneckofthewoods?

  17. Great performance, congrats. It looks like you ran at the North Pole!

  18. Great job in the 5k! They're tough! Especially frigid ones!

  19. Scott, I found you on Rob's page. Looking for training inspiration. Your time on the 5 k is outstanding! Way to go.

  20. hilarious post! I now feel better for two reasons: 1) I'm not the only one who has a hard time running three miles straight after a hiatus
    and 2) It's ten degrees warmer here in Michigan and it stopped snowing a few days ago.

    I went out way too fast for a 5K last 4th of July with my brother because I was all angry about their NOT being any chip timing. So, I, naturally, made us stand right in the front, in front of the elite runners. HA! The sheer momentum of that speeding herd behind us forced us into a faster than a 6 minute pace--I was laughing while choking. I barely finished the race but that first half mile certainly got me a PR.

  21. Iceman in Pullman, has it warmed up a bit?

    I'm going to be in Pullman next weekend. What are your running plans for Sunday? If you have other plans perhaps you can make a suggestion for a nice 6 mile trail run.