On the biggest football-watching, food-indulging day of the year, I decided to do something healthy. I don’t even watch the game, but my friend convinced me that running a 5k this February morning would be a good idea. I’m still recovering from a lower back injury incurred two weeks ago (caused by overdoing it during an exercise program). I’ve been in a lot of pain. It’s been a physical and emotional set back. I didn’t want to re-aggravate my injury, so I knew I would be proceeding with this race with caution.
The race took place at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, NY, about an hour and a half from my house (near Syracuse). The up and back route was a course I’ve run before. Race time wasn’t until 11 a.m, so thankfully we didn’t have to leave too early. For those of you familiar with Syracuse, the course is where they do Lights on the Lake at Christmas time (hence you can see some of the light displays along the route).
My friend and I got to the park around 9:30 and parked in a lot right by the course. Parking was plentiful. We then walked up the street to The Cobblestone Ale House to pick up our race bibs. Instead of a t-shirt, you got a hat with the race logo – a potato sitting on a couch (ironic since we were the exact opposite of couch potatoes!). You also got a beer sleeve with the same logo – cute! They had restrooms inside you could use or wait and use a porta potty outside by the lake (closer to the course). After we got our gear, we headed to the car, put our stuff inside and then checked out the course. We waited in the car a bit after that, and then headed to the starting line.
Doing a race in February usually means cold, ice, wind, slippery conditions and snow. On this day though, temperatures were in the mid 30’s – much milder than the frigid below zero cold we’ve recently experienced. There was ice on the course, but overall it wasn’t too slippery. You just needed to pay attention while running and avoid those areas.
After a few announcements and the national anthem, we were off. I started off slow, mainly because I was worried about my injury. My friend sped up and was on her way. My back felt good, and I ran the whole race. There was one water stop a little after the halfway point. They were giving out water in what looked like special recyclable cups. I ended up finishing the race only a bit slower than I did my last race (37:46, 12:10 min mile pace). Still nothing to brag about at all, but considering I’m recovering from an injury, not too bad.
We headed back to the Cobblestone after the race ended. It was extremely crowded, and we had a bit of a drive back, so we didn’t end up staying. I saw a lot of people with bagels and soup – not sure if that was free. I also did not see who won the awards or the raffle for a TV and furniture gift certificate.
Overall, this was a nice race. It was a good way to burn calories before the big game. They had over 450 runners, so clearly a lot of people felt the same way. Running by the lake offers a scenic view, and the course is flat and easy to follow.
I’m not sure what my next race will be. I felt fine after running, but earlier in the week, I was in a lot of pain after running. If that happens in the next 24-48 hours after this race, I will have to reevaluate on whether I will even be able to continue running without further injuring myself. I also need to lose more weight. Running/exercise is a big part of that, so I’m nervous. I’m also in budget mode this year, and I don’t want to pay a lot in race entrance fees. Time will tell on my next steps.
Until next time, see you on the roads!
Race Start Time: 11 a.m.
Weather: Mid 30s, cloudy
Location: Onondaga Lake path, Liverpool, NY
Course: Flat, up and back. Certified course along the lake at Onondaga Lake Park
Results: Super Couch Potato 5k Race Results
Amenities: Porta Potty, real restrooms in The Cobblestone, on site parking (lot or street)
Media Coverage/Press: Will add any photos, video, etc. that I see (more to come)
More Info: Facebook Page