Back to the 5K

The 5K distance used to be pretty much the only distance I raced. Short, all out, and over before pain or boredom could set in. That defined how I lived, too: Doing everything as fast as possible, getting things over and done with and moving on. It’s taken me years to learn to stop – or at least slow down – and take in the beauty of what’s around me. Racing longer distances has taught me to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. I stop to take pictures on trail runs. I listen to my footsteps (one of the reasons I don’t run with music). I notice how a route can appear completely new as the seasons change.

Still, I like to race a 5K every now and then. These days, it seems even shorter and the pace even faster. When the gun went off at this morning’s Lansdowne 5K Turkey Trot and the teenagers in front of me took off, I thought, “this pace is crazy!” Still, I was able to keep up and, these days, rather than telling myself I can’t possibly manage such a pace, if I feel I can hang on, I do it.

So, while the Turkey is cooking away in the oven and the kids are at the movies, I thought I’d write a quick race recap.

I glanced at my Garmin a few times during the race, but mostly I ran on feel. This race was very hilly with lots of quick rollers, so it was better to go by feel than look at my pace jumping around. I looked to see how I was doing after the first mile, and saw I was on 6:42 pace. Mile 2 was much hillier and I dropped to a 6:53, but I also passed the girl in 2nd place during this mile, so I knew I was doing OK. At one point I found myself in no-mans-land – a dangerous place to be – with a group of about 6 in front of me, so I worked to catch up to them and then picked off a few. The group then split up but I hung on to one or two people for the final mile. Mile 3 was a 6:59 because it included a massive climb, and my final 0.1 was a 5:59. I held on for 2nd female  in 21:29.

As usual, the race seemed to be over so quickly. The topic of calorie burn on Thanksgiving made me look at my Garmin to see how many calories I had burned: a pitiful 368…coincidentally, the same as my race number!

Did you run a Turkey Trot? (Here’s where my husband says “No! Someone had to look after the kids!” His turn next year.) 



  1. I ran a nice sized 5k today. We had a huge turnout. 2000 people. Not bad for a small town. I did get a PR, 20:58. I want to break the 20 minute barrier. Plan on getting a Garmin for x-mas. That will help me pace myself. Its all fun no mater what the time.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! Congrats on an awesome 5k! I ran one today with my family, too – so much fun. And a great way to start the day before i stuff my face with turkey, stuffing and wine 🙂 Enjoy!

  3. Congrats on the 5k! Sometimes it’s fun to push at a shorter distance. I ran a 5k yesterday and it was probably the first time I’d ever really raced it and pushed hard from the beginning.

  4. Awesome job on what sounds like a very hilly course! And I think it’s great that you have expanded your horizons over the past few years into longer races.

    Are you sure that was your finish time? Your splits indicate faster! (I’m not a math wiz, but I just ran a 21:29 and your splits were faster than mine. . . )

    • Thanks, Elizabeth! Maybe next year come out and do this one…much smaller than VA Run and so although the kids do line up at the front, there aren’t so many of them that it causes problems. I had fun chasing down the middle schoolers in the latter stages!

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