Tag Archives: 5k

5k on St. Patrick’s Day Race Recap

Yes, you read that title right. I somehow went from not blogging about anything to writing race recaps about 5ks…?

Now is when I really wish I could include emojis in blog posts, because I would include the scared face with the white eyes and the blue on top of its head. You know the one.

No offense to the distance at all, I’m just generally not a short-distance racer – so I tend to equate a “race recap” to a half or full marathon. Regardless, this was a race I am proud of…so you get to hear about it, like it or not.

Let me back up first, because I realized I’ve given absolutely zero detail about how my “training” this spring has been strategized.

I decided a while ago that I didn’t want to run a spring marathon for a couple of reasons. 1) Our wedding is in June, and while running is a great stress reliever and I do it no matter the circumstances, I didn’t feel like intensive/heavy training would fit well into all the other to-dos that this occasion requires. And 2) I really don’t like spring marathons. They are always hotter than the temps I’ve trained in, and historically I just haven’t run that well in them.

So, a full marathon was out, and since I still wanted a “goal” to get my butt out of bed in the morning, I decided to focus on shorter distances and reclaiming my speed. My target race is a half-marathon in the middle of April, but generally I just wanted to think (for the first time) less about mileage and more about shorter, hard key workouts. My other “short distance” PRs were dusty as well, so I figured this spring would be a good time to do an overall refresh and reset on my running. The end goal, ultimately, being a faster marathon time (because they’re still my jam), but that can wait for now.

Anyway, onto this past Saturday’s 5k!

I was really pumped up for this race, namely for the fact that I really wanted to race it. The time on the clock was certainly a consideration, but mainly I wanted to focus on embracing discomfort and pushing through it. In researching race results from last year, I also hypothesized that I could break into the top 10 women as well. Game on!

I planned a light training week beforehand, and the morning of I did everything 5k-specific I could; a slow 1.5 mile warm up, activation exercises, and strides. Mentally, I treated it as I would another “big” race, including a lot of visualization of running strong and shutting down fear. I lined up near-ish the front of the pack (which with over 2,000 runners was not easy) and took some restorative, calming deep breaths. And then boom, we were off!

I knew the course started on a very slight downhill, followed by a slight uphill, and finished fairly flat. I told myself to take advantage of that first mile and not be scared of a fast split – which in hindsight was a good forethought. My watch buzzed right at 1 mile in 6:16…which might be the fastest mile I’ve ever run. But I felt great! My lungs were a little fiery, but it was manageable and I mentally checked out of mile 1 and focused solely on mile 2. And shortly after…things started to get uncomfortable. We were on that “slight” uphill at this point, and it felt anything but slight. I focused on maintaining my form, maintaining my position (although I had zero idea how many women were in front of me), and keeping calm.

I peeked at my watch a few times, but it frankly felt like too much wasted effort, so I just tried to stay strong. Closing out mile 2 (6:47), I was excited to finish the thing off, since I could mentally handle 1.1 miles to go. There were two hair pin turns in mile 3, which kind of threw off my groove, but they made for nice landmarks to focus on. I was also able to run back by the other runners coming out to mile 3 on the way to the finish line, and I got a wave and cheer from my dad and step-mom who were also running the race. I might have even mustered a smile, but who really knows what it looked like.

pain face, coming down the finishing stretch

Pain face, coming down the finishing stretch. Photo by Adam.

The finish line was closing in, and things were hurting. I had no energy to think about anything other than holding my pace and getting it done – so all thoughts of finishing place and time were completely out of my mind. As I neared the end, I could see the large clock ticking below the 20:20 mark – which was the first time  I realized that my goal of breaking my 21:05 PR was going to the crushed.

photo 2 (3)

I busted over the line, immediately stopped my watch, put my hands on my knees, and tried to catch my breath through the huge smile on my face.

20:17, 9th female overall, and 1st in my age group.

Leading up to the race, I was generally just hoping for a strong finishing spot and a 20:xx finishing time. This result was beyond my expectations for the day, although I won’t say it was beyond my expectations for myself. I think part of why I was excited for this chance to run hard was because I know there’s more out there for me to reach toward, and this result validated that I should probably stop limiting myself as I tend to do. I’m feeling encouraged and motivated after the fact – and somehow for the first time I haven’t sworn off the distance for another two years 😉

Additionally, since I was able to beat a record previously set at sea-level at 6,000+ ft elevation, I realized I need to stop sand-bagging myself with the “altitude” excuse. Sure, it’s a factor, but I think I’ve reached a point where comparing myself to my Seattle-self isn’t really relevant anymore. Which is exciting! I also think these last two paragraphs may have come across as a giant non-humble brag, but…just trying to keep it real.

I’m looking forward to what’s to come, both within the next few months and for the rest of this year. I’ve got the aforementioned half-marathon on April 12th coming up, a 10k on Memorial Day, and I might try and schedule another little race pre-wedding. I’m excited for the momentum shift that seems to have happened, and I’m hoping to capitalize on it throughout the spring.

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Hallelujah for the (almost) end of winter, amiright?

Mustache Dache 5k Race Recap

In the world of running races, 5ks are not really my jam. Honestly, I don’t love shelling out money for a race that’s only going to last around 20 minutes—and a race that is going to be super hard the whole time. Call it stingy, call it me being a baby…either way, I’m just not a huge 5k person.

But, pair together a mustache-themed race and a whole bunch of Seattle bloggers, and I say game on. Which is why I spent Saturday morning clad in a stick on mustache (for a solid 5 minutes) with burning lungs.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…let’s recap a bit shall we?

The set up for this race was nothing short of hilarious. The organizers did a fantastic job with their mustache revelry and shameless promotion…which lead to a really impressive turnout for the race as well as some pretty amusing attire.

Do you know how difficult it is to smile while wearing a press on mustache? REALLY hard. Photo courtesy of Sarah.

It was a fun run for most everyone there, and while I intended to run hard, I didn’t have much of a methodology in mind. I had decided to use this as my “speedwork” for the week, so thinking of it as a standard workout helped my focus a bit. Going into it, I knew running anything below what I’d run during my last 5k (my PR) would be pretty difficult, and so instead of putting too much pressure on myself, my strategy was this: Go out fast, and try to hold on.

And fortunately for 5ks, that method kind of actually works. While half-marathons and marathons always preach the negative-splitting technique, I’m realizing with 5ks it’s actually acceptable to run completely haphazardly with a balls-to-the-walls approach.

I kind of like this, but I also kind of hate it.

Because it took about .75 miles into this race for me to remember just how hard 5ks can be. My balls were at the walls, if you will, and they didn’t love it.

When I took off, I was looking at a 6:30 pace on my watch. Which for me is fast. Probably too fast, but again—in a 5k, there are some shades of grey. Not 50 shades, but a couple.

Anyway, my lungs started hurting pretty instantly. My stomach, which I had probably-not-so-intelligently decided to fill with a green smoothie an hour before the race, was also feeling a little uneasy. But, as I kept telling myself, this was about speed. I knew I had the endurance, and it was really about hanging on for dear life.

So I kept hanging, watching my Garmin flash paces that I never normally see—and simultaneously my lungs argue in retort. I kept having visions of myself hurling up green liquid on the side of the course and racers thinking, “God it’s just a 5k, why are you so stupid and running faster than you actually can?” but alas…I kept pushing. Interestingly, my legs were never a problem in this race. They felt great the whole time actually, it was much more an issue of my breathing and my stomach.

The great thing about the pain of a 5k, though, is that it goes by quickly. And lucky for us, this course was pretty easy-peasy. Very flat, fairly scenic (for such a short distance), and reasonably dynamic. A little pavement, a little dirt, etc.

So I pressed on…forcing my pace to cling tightly to the low 7s.

With a 300 meter-ish stretch with the finish line in sight, I was starting to rekindle my competitive spirit. I knew I would be finishing below my previous 21:43 time, but then I started to flirt with “Hmm, just how far under?” So I bolted, garnering all traces of oxygen from my raspy lungs and forcing my turnover to pick up. It helped that “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” was playing, also. Thanks Kelly.

Pain, lots of pain.

Bada boom, bada bang, and the run was over. Garmin stops, keel over, somehow managed my foot on a stool for my chip to be removed, hands over head, etc.

But also a smile, a big smile.

A 21:04 unofficial time was looking back on my watch face. A nearly 40 second 5k PR.

And oh man, did I feel it. It took me a good 10 minutes before my lungs stopped burning, and even later in the day I felt a little wheeze in my breathing. Speed work I wanted, speed work I got.

Splits (because I finally understand the whole “upload your Garmin stats after you run” thing):

{disclaimer: my Garmin clocked the distance I little shorter than 3.1 km, but since this was an “official” races and I’m certain they did their measurements, I’ll trust them over my little 110.}

I got to then cheer in my fellow Seattle bloggers which was so much fun. They are all smarter than me and decided to enjoy running the race as opposed to making their insides bleed. I guess I can’t help it, or maybe I’m just that psychotic.

After a few photo ops and gathering of all the free food (wonderful job with this Mustache Dache, btw), a few of us trekked over to brunch. I had it in my head that just brunch with these ladies would have sufficed on that rainy Saturday morning, but I suppose a 5k PR is nice too.

As for the rest of Saturday…I scuttled off from brunch to get my hair colored (insert rounds of applause and gasps of shock here), and upon leaving the salon proceeded to rebraid my hair, tuck it under a baseball cap, and head out in the same 5ks clothes for some more rainy running.

Did I mention I’m really bad at being a girl?

But don’t worry, my hair dresser is also a runner, so she didn’t mind the sweaty apparel.

But back to the race recap. What did I learn from this?

Well, my immediate reaction was that I don’t want to do a 5k for a very very long time, at least one that I’m actually racing. But with a new PR that’s just seconds off of a sub-21 time, I’m sure you can guess that I have a new goal in mind.

But that can wait.

Here are the official results:

And as I would discover thanks to Nicole’s notification:

Made the top 10! That was certainly surprising. And with a race of over 1,000 females…that felt kind of cool 🙂

So there you have it. A really fun morning with lots of blog friends with a 5k PR to top it off—and a finale of a big plate of brunch food. My kind of Saturday.

Seattle bloggers!

So good to see everyone, and so nice to meet those of you I hadn’t met IRL yet!

Happy Monday Wednesday because it’s a short week!

Did you race this weekend? Brunch this weekend? Ruin your newly-minted salon hair this weekend?

Float Dodger 5k Race Recap

So, let’s rewind to last Friday, where I said that I wasn’t going to try to PR my weekend 5k.

Was that a lie? Yes. But I didn’t call my own bluff until the second the gun went off.

I truly was planning on a fun, no pressure 5k. And that’s actually what I feel like I had…except that the results, and the effort, were higher than I expected. No harm, no foul…I think I should probably just forget ever saying that I am not going to compete in a race.

But let’s start from the beginning.

BF and I jogged the 1.5 miles to the race start…which ended up being a great idea in terms of preparation, however it was IMO a little too long for a 5k warm up. Oh well.

There were a few hundred people gathered around the start line, which was outside of our local running store—West Seattle Runner.

{Side note} Seattle runners, if you’ve never visited WS Runner, I highly recommend going. They really know their stuff, they sell great products, and they are super nice! They know my name and I love it…maybe because I spend ample amounts of money there, or maybe because I have a bumper sticker with their logo on it, but I choose to believe it’s because they love me and want to someday sponsor me. It’s fine guys…I’m cool with that.

I digress. So, yada yada yada…typical race start, everyone lines up in their corrals, and we gear up to go. I was a little afraid because there weren’t very many people between me and the start line, but I figured I would just run my own race and hope for the best.

Gun goes off, Lady Gaga starts singing to me about the edge of glory, and I feel great. It felt so so so good to be running a race, especially in my own neighborhood. It was very Mr. Rogers’ theme song-ish, and I loved it. I looked at my watch about 3 minutes in and saw a 6:15 looking back at me.


Holy shenanigans Robyn, hold your horses. Yea, I had committed the single worst rookie mistake ever. But, I did feel great, so I slowed a bit…but when I turned the 1 mile marker corner, I was sitting at a 6:23 mile. In my head I was all, “Okay, sweet. But slow the f down homegirl.” Which I did, and kept on cruising.

It wasn’t until I turned the mile 2 marker that I started to feel a bit wheezy. Luckily, 5ks have this wonderful thing about them…they don’t last very long. I knew I could huff it out another mile, no matter how biley my throat was feeling. TMI? No…this is a running blog peeps, get over it.

It was at this point also that I knew there weren’t too many females in front of me. I had picked off a few from the start, and because the final stretch was a straight shot…I could see pretty far in front of me. I started to get a bit of a kick thinking that I might be able to place. I knew it was a long shot, especially since that has never ever ever been a race goal for me, but I figured if there was ever a time to try…it was in the last mile of a 5k.

Then came the hill. Oh, the hill. I have one thing to say about that hill:


I am, by the way, repeating the sentiments of every. single. racer in this 5k, as this hill was placed at literally the worst possible spot of the course. The majority of the course was either flat or a slight downhill, ideal for any racer. However, come mile 2.3 there was a fairly steep and half-a-mile long hill that destroyed any remnants of energy you still had in your legs.

I hated that hill. I’m a baby. I wanted to cry.

BUT I didn’t cry. I kept on going, and about 300 meters from the 3 mile marker, I picked off the girl I was fairly sure had the 3rd place spot.

SHWEEEET, I thought. But I was gutting it out and not feeling super awesome.

Not the most attractive shot…weird, I know, because race photos and flattery go hand-in-hand. BUT look at that mid-foot strike!

So I kept pushing, really wanting to just be done. About 20 feet from the finish line, while garnering all my hope for a sub 21:57 time, I saw something out of the corner of my eye.

Not one, but TWO females were sprinting each other to the finish line…and before I could gather my wits about me, they BOTH passed me, and finished within .02 seconds of one another, and about a second and a half ahead of me.


I got totally chicked, by TWO chicks.

However, when I looked at my watch, I was pumped. I had PR’ed by over 10 seconds, and I had a good feeling I was still in the top 5 females.

A few quick minutes later, BF ran in, and I got to cheer him in while simultaneously recruiting him to assist me in free sample collection.

Later, when the actual results were posted…I found out that I did finish number 5 for females, and first in my AG! I was/am definitely happy with the results, however it stings just a *little* bit that I had a 3rd place finish within my grip.

But it’s okay. It felt so good to go fast, and it felt great to exceed my own expectations. I love 5ks, and I feel like they don’t get enough credit. You don’t need to taper for them, they don’t take much recovery, and you don’t need to worry too much about pacing. Sure, if I hadn’t done that 6:23 mile initially, I may have finished stronger, but I don’t really regret much about the race. I think that might have been the fastest mile I’ve ever run, and I’m excited to see if I can push that number lower in some upcoming speed work.

And if you’re wondering how BF felt about the free coconut water at the finish, here’s about how it looked:

That’s actually an understatement. That first and only sip might have been spit into the sink.

But aside from some not-so-good coconut water, it was a great start to our Saturday. I ran a slow 3.5 miles afterward to round out to 8 for the day, and I rode the faster-than-normal running high for the remainder of the weekend.

Oh, and I found out yesterday that peacing out immediately after BF and I finished the race was not a good idea. I missed out on a ribbon and a prize for winning my AG. Sad face. Fail, RB.

Do you like 5ks? What do you think is the best race strategy for only 3.1 miles of racing? Do you like coconut water? We think it tastes like salt and toilet water.

Olympic Trials and Eugene Registration

Hello! Welcome to Tuesday, friends. Hopefully most of you had the day off yesterday and spent your time sleeping in and doing fun-day-off types of activities. For those of you in Seattle (or anywhere in the PNW for that matter), I hope you are staying safe and warm—snow has engulfed us!

It’s funny to see the snow juxtaposed with the ocean. Although I’ve lived in the area for over 5 years now, I still associate the coast with yearlong greenery and a general sense of Summer. The snow is reserved for winters in Colorado and the ski slopes.

Needless to say, when the two clash, I get somewhat thrown off.

West Seattle on Sunday at noon. Doesn't exactly look like a seaside neighborhood, eh?


Moving on. This weekend was full of running-related fun things. Saturday morning, BF and I tag-teamed a 10k race (each of us ran a 5k and our times were added together). The race was unbelievably cold, rainy, and windy—however we were both glad we did it and we’re planning on doing more in the future. For a full race recap, click here.

After the race, we visited Super Jock ‘n’ Jill, a running store near Greenlake in Seattle, where I officially registed for the Eugene Marathon!

I’m super excited, as this has been the race I’ve been hankering to do for my Spring Marathon. The course is supposed to be fantastic, the weather will be ideal, my grandparents will be able to come, Prefontaine’s legacy will be in the air…it will all around be an awesome experience.

After registering, BF bought a stellar new running top on sale, and we made our way back home where we watched the Olympic marathon trials. I watched both the men and the women from mile 16 or so to the end, and I was engrossed the whole time. I don’t know what’s so enthralling about watching people run, but I loved it.

Not a great picture, but this is BF in his hot new running top.

{Spoiler Alert}

I was really excited for all three of the females who qualified for the Olympics. I love Kara Goucher, and I was really happy for her to make the team after being injured and that whole having a baby thing. Also, Desi Davila is such a hard worker and after reading all about her in Runner’s World Mag this month, I was gunning for her to get a spot. The first place finisher, Shalane Flanagan, ran a 2:25:38 and—get this—it was her SECOND marathon. SECOND. As in, she qualified for the Olympic Trials in her first marathon, and then WON the Olympic trials in her second. Seriously ridiculous. Chick’s got some guts.

I have this Olympic athlete envy problem, big time. Honestly, if I could choose I would probably be a 7 ft. tall pro bball player, however I have always had a big admiration and affection for Olympic athletes. My dad worked for the Olympic Training Center for several years, and so I’m sure this is where it comes from. My biggest/loftiest/far featched dream is to be an Olympic runner, gymnast, or beach volleyball player. Or all three?

Seeing as I am neither a 5 foot, 19-year-old or a 6-foot-tall gazelle of a woman, I would say I have the best shot of the running dream. Okay, maybe I’ll just focus on going for a run later today instead. But I can dream people, ok?

Late in the day on Saturday, after finishing the trials and restlessly lazing around on the couch, I decided to go for a leisurely run. The sun had come out, the wind had marginally died down, and after watching some bad ass chicks knock out 5 minute miles like it was cake—a little neighborhood run seemed quite doable.

I covered 8.5 miles, rounding out my day for a total of 11.6. I loved the run—I felt energized, relaxed, and generally grateful to have a capable and working body. The sun set over Puget Sound as I passed by, and it was nothing short of glorious.

This was my first time doing two-a-day runs, and I was pretty pleased with how I felt overall. Because my first run (the 5k race) was done much quicker than my normal pace, I felt no pressure to do the second run especially fast or aggressive. I understand why more elite athletes and runners use the two-a-day runs as a way to cover a lot of mileage in one week. While I do enjoy showering and being done working out before 9am, I’m not opposed to using this strategy during this training season.

Which brings me to my most forefront thought of the day: marathon training.


I am wavering between being excited for completing 18, 20, and 22 milers every weekend and being completely freaked out and overwhelmed at all the dedication I am going to have to put forth. I am blessed to be wired, psychologically, to handle the strict nature of marathon training, however that’s more on a day-to-day basis. When I look at the schedule I’m slowly creating in its entirety, I get panicked about all the time and sacrifices necessary to get through it all.

One day at a time though. And it starts, oh, say tomorrow. I actually haven’t determined an official start date because I have a week or so of wiggle room until I officially need to acknowledge that “I’m training for a marathon.”

These are the things I do know, going into training season…

My mileage is higher now than when I started training before.

I need to do speedwork.

I will probably train above 26 miles.

I will do everything I possibly can to not get hurt.

Based on those 4 truths, I will have a bonafied, set-in-stone training schedule hopefully by tomorrow or Thursday. It will probably be a conglomeration of the last program I followed, the programs of fellow marathoner bloggers, and my own crazy ambitions. Stay tuned peeps.

Question: Are you thinking about a Spring race? How are you deciding which type of training schedule to follow?