|GPS Analysis||Garmin Connect|
I came to know of Brownie during this past August via his successful finish at the Leadville 100. We started “bumping” into each other more and more online and struck up a few conversations. Finally got to meet at a group run in Boulder this fall. We have kept in touch but more importantly — we started talking shit about each other. Brownie has me by the PRs — but like many of these guys, I keep getting faster and they don’t (as much).
We needed a showdown and it hadn’t worked out until today given we live 100 miles apart. The Stocking Shuffle 5k in Colorado Springs. Its on! We made a bet that the loser would have to buy lunch afterward. I arrived on time to a very small race crowd. Might be the smallest race I had ever done. Brownie arrived and we did 2 miles out on the course just to see where it lead and what the conditions were like. It was all a mix of dirt and concrete bike paths. A decent number of turns. And plenty of icy and snow-packed corners. This was not going to be a fast course. A glance at the race map!
When it was time to start, Brownie and I walked right up to the front and nobody challenged us. One lady said I looked like I was ready to win. I was flattered but it was probably because I had shorts on I laughed back. Brownie did too but my tanned legs must have gotten her attention. We were off and there were like 6 of us sprinting shoulder to shoulder. One guy was barely in the lead and he egged us on to take the lead and set the pace. I wasn’t too interested because the pace was too hot for me. A local named Gerard(?), who went on to win, took off and kept making steady gains on the field. Brownie was in hot pursuit but it didn’t look like he could overtake him. 3 other guys spread out in front of me and I settled in.
My week in warmer temps and lower altitude did not help. My legs were great but my lungs were in full force and couldn’t keep up. Colorado Springs sits about 1,000 feet higher than my house so I figured that didn’t help either. No excuses. Just factors to explain my performance. My mile spilts were:
1 – 6:18
2 – 6:47
3 – 6:33
I ran that Turkey Trot 10k a month ago at 6:27 so I was surprised at this pace today. Thought I had a fast 5k in the bag but it was clear I was working hard but didn’t have optimal PR conditions. I am not good at those turns where you have to hang a 90 degree sharp sidewalk turn. I slow way down and then accelerate out of it. Plus with the snow, i had to watch my footing. My big motivator was a guy on my heels that I could hear for the whole race. He was right there but I wanted to stay ahead of him.
Came back near the start/finish and Brownie was egging me on because that dude was gaining. I tried to kick it in and was surprised to hear the girl call out 20:51. GPS showed 3.2 miles FWIW. That felt way harder than that. I had that same feeling at the Sunrise Stampede this past summer. Ran hard, curvy course and then surprised at the time. In any case, I felt faster in the conditions and once I get a nice warm 5k on a straight course, I surely will PR at a level that feels right. We hung around to see what the awards were and then I gave Brownie his due.
So lunch was my treat and we headed over to the famous King Chef! The more iconic 8-person capacity location is closed on weekends so we went to this one.
I was pretty hungry and bummed about the loss so I challenged Brownie to eat this menu item — but he pussed out! Probably a good thing — that green chile there is hot stuff. Apparently, it is sold at Whole Foods now. Good stuff. Keep liquids near when consuming.
We dueled once again by both ordering the Bacon Cheeseburger. However, I decided to go for the “rabbit food” option. That meant you got lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc. It was good but was it too big? We would find out later in the day.
Brownie hadn’t filled me in on secret — there is a prize for cleaning your plate. I had an explosion of lettuce and burger droppings all over. But he licked the whole thing up on his plate and was able to achieve a “Clean Plate” award. Katie, Brownie’s lady, was with us and she pulled off the same feat on her meal as well. They got to pick out a candy bar and got a groovy sticker. Fuck. Lost that competition too! Such a wanker.
But I wasn’t done with Brownie yet — hadn’t been to Manitou and hadn’t had a PBR yet. More to come!