Turns Out I *Can* Run a 5K

Sometimes, I’m a bit slow to catch onto alternate ways of doing things.

At the track, ten laps is a mile. 5K is ~3.1 miles, so 31 laps. So, when I run, I try to count laps. I’ve never managed to count higher than about 15 laps, however, regardless of whether I’m walking for 45 minutes or running for 30, so I’ve been assuming that I was falling short of going the distance for which I’m training.

It finally dawned on me that I could check the mileage on my Fitbit.

Lo and behold! I ran 3.4 miles in about 28 minutes yesterday!

So, I will be able to run a 5K race in the spring. The question now becomes how fast can I run that race?

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, but I googled past year results from the race I plan to run to see how fast the top runners in my age group went, and it looks like I’ll need to do a 21-minute 5K if I want to be a top finisher in the 40- to 49-year-old category.

Possible? Well, first, I’ll need a baseline time, so I’ll be timing more carefully on tomorrow’s run to see what that is. Dropping about 20-25% off a time over such a short distance is pretty ambitious, but then again, I’m starting from a pretty low level of training and experience, so maybe I’ll be able to count on closing some of that gap just with experience and endurance.

We shall see. On the one hand, I like to have a goal, and I like the idea of being in the top 3 for my age group. On the other hand, I need to focus on overall fitness and lifelong habits, so I don’t want to push so hard that I injure myself.

Meanwhile, Christmas did finally catch up to me. I’m up a pound, which is not a tragedy by any means, but which is a subtle reminder that I don’t have much wiggle room these days. I’m confident I’ll be back on the downward trajectory by the end of this week. This year, I guess. I’m still holding out hope of making the 160s by year’s end.

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4 Responses to Turns Out I *Can* Run a 5K

  1. J. says:

    glad to see the worry was for nothing! good luck!

    • Andie says:

      I’m totally obsessed now. I did 10 laps today – really slowly – and the Fitbit distance did not match. It overestimated. I then began to wonder about which lane they measure on the track, because I run slowly in the outside lane. Is it 1 mile/10 laps for the inside lane? Is there much difference lane to lane? I think I’m going to have to just run outside on the damn course to figure it out. Needless to say, if I can run for 30 minutes straight, SURELY 3 months from now, I’ll be able to go 5K in something reasonably close to that time. Sheesh!

  2. That’s good to have a real challenge like you have, I should find myself one. I was looking to buy a Fitbit, does it worth the price?

    • Andie says:

      I really enjoy the Fitbit, and the newer one measures even more stats than the one I got earlier this year. I like how small it is – I wear it all the time, no matter what I’m wearing. You can drop it in your pocket or clip it to your bra, but I generally have it on my waistband. I’ve clipped it to my underwear under dresses! I like having an accurate step count for the day – it keeps me honest about how active I am.

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