Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sometimes I Surprise Myself

Saturday, I ran my first 5K in who knows when. Now I know some of you are thinking, "Wait? You've run two half marathons in the past year but can't remember when you last ran a 5K?" Yeah, well, I do things a little differently.

It's been over 20 years since I've ran in a 5K. Honestly, I don't remember what race it was or when it was. All I know is that it has been a long time.

But after my last half marathon I wanted to find some other races to run before my next 13.1-miler as well as find some local races to participate in. The first one I came across was the Thin Mint Sprint 5K, a race to help raise support for Girl Scouts.

First to answer your obvious question, yes I did get a box of Thin Mints for participating - a winning reward, no?

Heading into the race, I did not know what to expect. Running a 5K is so different than the half marathons I had been running and training for. For half marathons, it's all about maintaining a steady pace for the long haul, while 5Ks are more of a sprint.

Knowing the course was relatively flat, I planned to attack the course - which was basically a two-lap, 1.55-mile loop, with a strong, steady, fast pace.

It's only 3.1 miles, right? Most of my morning runs are at least 4.5 miles, so this should not be a problem for me.

My goal was to finish the race in under 29 minutes. Normally, I average around 10 minutes per mile, so I thought I'd up the ante and try to post a 9:30-average for the 5K.

Well, not only did I eclipse that goal, but I shattered it.

My time: 26 minutes, 34 seconds for a 8:34 per mile average for a speed of 7 miles per hour.

I shocked myself!

When we lined up for the race, I got in the group of 'serious runners' at the front of the pack. And as the race started, I sprinted out with the lead pack ... and I stayed there ... the entire way.

I got off to a pretty fast clip, and the flat course really helped me to maintain that pace.

The. Entire. Way.

I was running pretty hard and wanting to slow down once I hit the high school track which served as the finish line. But I kept my legs a pumping since I knew a PR was at stake. So, I kept motoring around the track toward the finish line.

Let me just say I was more than surprised when I heard my time called off!


Timekeeper say what?

I checked my stopwatch, and sure enough, I did the 5K in a little over 26 and half minutes!

In all honesty, I had not planned to stick around for the awards ceremony. I primarily ran the race to just race and participate in a local run. But figuring I was in the top 20 overall finishers, I had a hunch that I might place in my age division.

Not going to lie, so glad I hung around. Not only did I finish 13th overall, I was the 10th fastest male and I won my age group!

All in all, Saturday was a good day! :-)


  1. A Thin Mint Sprint 5k sounds SO fun! I would run ANY distance for some Girl Scout Cookies!!

    Holy cow! You did AWESOME for your time!! That rocks! My 5k PR is 27:30 and I am super jealous of your time! To have a 9:30 pace goal and then to come in at 26:34 is OUT-FREAKING-STANDING! Great job!

    And, as if a box of Thin Mints and a 5k PR aren’t enough, you won your age group too!? Look at you go! Keep it up, Speed Demon!

  2. Thanks, Katie! I was shocked when I heard my finishing time called out. Could. Not. Believe. It.

    Can't wait to until my next 5K. Love to challenge myself.