I never used to run 5K races. They are short
but not sweet and I’m more comfortable running a slower clip for a bit longer period of time. To be honest, they weren’t even on my radar because a 5K was “only” 3.1 miles. My focus was on half marathons, marathons and triathlons. Everything changed last year when Aby wanted to start running. She and I began the local 5K circuit in April of 2011 at the Ringing In Spring 5K in Valparaiso, IN. Since then, we have ran quite a few 5Ks in both Indiana and Illinois.
First thing I learned about 5K racing? If you think it’s “only” 3.1 miles, then you aren’t running hard enough. As a seasoned distance runner, I expected it to be easy and it wasn’t. Ironically, when you run a faster pace it
hurts creates extra stress on your body. Who knew? Not me! The second thing I learned was that, I liked the 5K distance a lot and I was able to run as fast as I wanted while not having to worry about needing to taper from my longer miles, or my body being depleted of fuel on the run, or even dehydrating during the race or not feeling well enough to drive home. It was a good, fun distance for me that I really enjoyed AND I was able to share it with Aby. Good thing I enjoy the distance because now as my foot heals, 5Ks are my max race distance for the next several months. So I’m going to hit quite a few, try to build up some speed while still rehabbing my foot so that I can take a down cycle in the winter months then KILL the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K in March.
Yesterday, I ran the Phoenix Phun Run 5K which was a fundraiser for Lincoln Way North in Frankfort, IL.
This was a no frills type race. Nicki T. and I showed up with the kids in tow and registered on site. Photos Below: Nicki & I and Aby & Michael who were our cheer squad.
The on-site registration fee was $30 and we received a cotton unisex t-shirt
which I’ll never wear. No chip timing, no official “start” line but plenty of volunteers to get us lined up properly.
They even offered a 100 yard dash for the kids before we started and they recruited Michael
who totally kicked butt and won!
The kids race started at 8:00 am and was followed immediately by the 5K at 8:05. A local law officer shot a starter pistol to signal the 5K start and we were off. I never saw a course map online, or the day of the event, but I tend to just follow the person in front of me. The course was well marked with white arrows on the ground, plus volunteers were stationed throughout the course to direct and aid runners. I saw 2 water stops but no bathrooms on course, which is normal for a 5K.
I must say this is my favorite 5K thus far. We ran a short distance thru a residential area around Lincoln Way North. The traffic through the neighborhood was non-existent and we were soon directed onto a running/bike path which
I didn’t even know existed ran the perimeter of a large retention pond. The terrain was varied with a few small inclines/declines and it was just a nice peaceful, scenic run. The event was small with 66 official finishers so the path was never overcrowded or constricting. It was just a beautiful Sunday run. The nature of the course also allowed you to see the runners positions around the pond so it was pretty easy to focus on the person in front of you, then the next one, etc. Good course!
Then the finish was on the track and they had donuts, luna bars, bananas and water afterward. Perfect.
My race went well. I’m definitely getting stronger. I ran a 24:54, which was an 8:00 min/mi pace. I wasn’t pushing hard, just tried to stay slightly faster than my comfort zone and keep moving. I still slowed down
a lot toward the end but I felt stronger this week and didn’t notice my lack of endurance as much. That’s a win in my book. Speaking of win, my awesome chiro, Alexis did win the ladies race and took 2nd overall with a 20:32. Although, the results only listed bib numbers and I’m pretty confident they mixed up my bib and the man with the jogging stroller in front of me listing my time as 24:45, Aby thinks I was the 2nd overall female. I did come home with some bling. Here is a photo of Alexis, Michael and I with our medals. Alexis and Michael both took 1st and I was 2nd.
Before you ask, I made Aby sit this one out because she had a Cross Country Invite on Saturday. I don’t want my baby girl to get too fatigued or chance getting hurt for a “Phun Run”.
Huge shout out to TTF reader, Greg P. who dominated his age group!
Great job to all the Phoenix Phun runners! This was a great race and as long as our schedule permits, I’ll will be back for next year!
What’s your favorite 5K so far this year?
** Happy Racing ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** email@example.com