Spooktacular 5K Review & Giveaway Winner

I have been trying to hit quite a few local 5Ks as of late.  The primary reason is to keep Aby running and having fun in her off season and secondly to try to keep myself pushing so that I can hopefully get up to speed sooner rather than later.  I almost feel as if racing each weekend is backfiring on me because I seem to be getting slower which in turn just kills my confidence. 

If I’m honest, I also have a few things working against me.  I am carrying almost 10 extra lbs from not being able to run this summer and it doesn’t seem to want to move out now that I’m back at it.  It is very difficult for me to lose weight, I have to be almost perfect with my intake and I’m not even close to perfect.  I’ve been hitting my workouts hard, plus trying to race and I’m not getting results in either area.   I just don’t feel like I can move.  It could be the extra weight.  It could be the lack of fitness and endurance.  It could be a lingering issue in my hamstrings that is literally being hammered out on a weekly basis but the bottom line is I have heavy feet/legs that I can’t lift up to run fast.  I do feel like I’m getting stronger; I’m just not seeing it materialize in the 5K results.  So I raced this weekend, I race next weekend at the Hot Chocolate 5K and then I’ll be stepping back and not racing again until Thanksgiving Day at the Running For Kicks 4 Mile Turkey Trot.  I won’t give up because I know it takes forever a long time to build back up but as always the waiting is the hardest part.

On Saturday, I was out of town and found a 5K somewhat close to my parents, the Spooktacular 5K in Warsaw, IN.  I found the race thru the Run Indiana website.   The race was hosted by the Kosciusko County YMCA.  It was small, cheap and well ran.  I rolled into the parking lot at 8:48 am for an event that started at 9.  I “normally” don’t like to cut it that close but the cross country travels from my parents house to the race site took a “little” longer than I had anticipated.  I easily found parking, ran inside, handed them $20 and my entry form,  and they handed me a bib (with chip timing!) and a shirt.  I was registered by 8:50 am.  I hit the indoor bathroom and was out the door for a very brief warm up by 8:52 am.  The race started on time at 9 am. 

Spooktackular 5K_2012_swag

I was a bit nervous standing at the start line because nobody wanted to be near the front.  I’m not familiar with the town at all, and found myself damn near in the front row as everyone kept backing away from the start.  As the race director spent a few minutes discussing the route, I busted out laughing thinking, I’ll never remember all this!  My motto is always to follow the people in front of me and the people in front of me were disappearing before the gun even went off!  So we started the race and I was still laughing, hoping that a few people would take off and of course they did and I just settled into my pathetic pace.    The cool thing about this town is that they must be very bike friendly because each side of the road had a bike lane, so between the random sidewalks and the bike lane, I never felt crowded or unsafe running on the side of an unclosed road.  The course was easy, had plenty of volunteers helping direct runners and it was thru a scenic neighborhood beside Winona Lake and then thru the lakeside parks and artisan area. 


It was a bit of an adventure and I was looking around checking things out probably more than I was focused on the race.  I kept thinking I’d like to go back and check out the area with the family.  I really liked the course and there were some rolling hills but nothing crazy.  And I do feel like using the word “hills” is somewhat of an exaggeration.  There were a few inclines and declines but nothing too intense.

I do not think there was water on course and there were not bathrooms but this is normal for a small 5K.  There were about 60 finishers and several of those were run/walkers. 

The awards ceremony was nice.   They had the normal age group awards and gave awards 3 deep.  This was definitely a race where almost everyone walked away with an age group award.  That always makes me happy for people and I feel like they deserve something for getting up and out on a cold morning!

I took 1st in my age group with a 25:25, photo below.  I was 4th female overall.

Spooktackular 5K_2012_1st Age Group

“Run”Way Fashion for the Spooktacular:  Athleta Hurdle Top – $69 &  Athleta Relay Capris – $69.  The Hurdle Top is a new favorite of mine and I’ve worn it several times now.  It is long, so don’t order a tall unless you have a much longer torso than me or you’ll have to return it like I did.  I normally wear a tall in the  Athleta tops but not this one!  The top fits great though once I figured out the proper size.  It has a small zip pocket in the front, plus long arms with the thumb hole for these cooler fall days!  I also love the reflective accents and it has tiny stripes that I didn’t notice when I ordered it.  Several color choices.   Cute!   As for the Relay Capris, I have these in 3 colors, the black (above) which I purchased 3 seasons ago, the blue which I purchased last year and the asphalt (below) which I purchased this year.  These capris last and they are the perfect length.  They come in regular and tall (for me!) and are a little longer so they hit below the knee.  Great fit.  Great look.  Very flattering. Plus the waist comes up a bit higher to hold in my mommy tummy.  Total win!

image   image

Did you race or just get out an enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend?  Do you have a couple pieces of clothing that are your current fall favorites?  Tell us!

The winner of the Nike+ SportBand is #5 – Julie Belka. 


Julie, please contact  me at amanda@tootallfritz.com to claim your prize!

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

15 thoughts on “Spooktacular 5K Review & Giveaway Winner

  1. Well…TTF…don’t fret if you don’t feel like you are getting faster. First…extra weight will slow you down….a lot….! If you believe you are truly 10-lb over…then that’s a lot of weight that you won’t be able to run 5ks other than at your long-distance endurance pace (i.e. half/marathon)…or somewhat faster into temp and maybe even threshold zone.

    Second…running 5k races won’t do all that much to make one faster….ya have to do specialized training routines…usually short-fast intervals (i.e. 400-800) and even faster stride-outs & 100-200’s. Those latter train the neuro-rmusclar coordination run that fast 5k “turn-over.”

    Third…the shift into colder-weather will also make it harder to run faster…at least until you acclimate more to running in cold temps and breezy N/NW winds!

    Fourth…there is a way to loose fat-weight….and drop it off quick…with some adjustments in how you eat and how you time your workouts. In its simplest form it would mean cutting out b-fast…maybe just a cup or two of coffee or tea. Then…you go down and do an aerobic intensity workout or run on treadmill or outside. At least 30-min….45-min even better. You run the pace slow at low-intensity…say 60% of HRmax.

    You wait to eat first meal til about noon….then low-carb as possible…higher in protein. The idea here is to shift metabolism and force the body to burn fat. Of course this is contrary to most run-training programs…especially and not desirable when training for half or full marathons….but in the off-season…when only running short-distance races….can be very effective taking off fat weight and leaning down. It is not my system but based on some British author that developed the system for wealthy, British ladies that wanted to take the weight off and take it off fast!

    His system also includes taking a cold-shower or bath in morning….also intended to jump-start fat metabolism. But I don’t apply that…especially when temperature cold outside.

    And…ya have to sacrifice that morning run to the “slow-fat-burning” side of the speed equation. So…if ya want to train to run fast at same time…ya have to shift to split-day runs….then do the fast-workout routines in evening…or possibly some combo of alternate the morning workout with easy…hard pattern.

    Won’t clog up your blog site anymore than I already have, so just email and I can fill you in on more specifics. Still waiting for my friend that uses this (and he is non-runner) to loan me the book so I can pin-down more finely the program’s specific principles. But it works for my friend who in about month or so of applying the principles is down to 171-lb…the lightest he has weighed since post-HS days. And I applied some of the principles to my run regimen and in only 2-weeks had my normal weight from the 154-155 down to 150-151 and the first thing you notice…that 8-min marathon pace which seemed to feel comparatively hard-driving….started feeling comfortable to run! Dropping 4-lb weight for mean is really leaning down!

  2. Congrats on another age group win!

    I LOVE the length of those capris. They are a little longer and more like cropped pants. That is my new favorite length and with my long legs, I don’t get that ideal length too often. (I know, Tall Girl Problems, right?) I haven’t tried Athleta gear as I really hate paying for shipping. But now that they have an actual store, I shall have to investigate their stuff further!

  3. Finished my first 5k this weekend, the Monster Dash in Atlanta. Finishers medal was a nice way to remember the first, some of the orginaization was sketchy but it was still a fun time. Curious to see how your hot chocolate 5k/15k race experience will be as we have one here in Atlanta in January.

    • I saw that you ran the Atlanta Monster. I was out of town though so kinda breezed thru the post. I’ll go back to review it b/c I was interested to see how it went for you.

      I ran the Hot Choc 15K last year and loved it. I decided last minute to run b/c they had changed our race to the streets verses the lakefront path and I knew it would be a fast race. I had a blast but I was at the front. I heard it got a “bit” conjested in the back but I had a good experience. Here is the 15K race report if you are interested: https://tootallfritz.com/2011/11/07/hot-chocolate-15k-race-review/

      I’ll be running the 5K this year.

      • I just put up a quick finished and done post. Later today I will have a thorough review and experience recap. I will read through the recap as I am thinking of signing up for the one in Atlanta. Thanks for pointing me to the earlier post.

      • Posted a review and report. Thanks for the write up on the chocolate race, looking forward to trying it here in Atlanta. Sounds like it will be fun.

  4. Love me some Athleta gear. We just got one in our mall. Sigh. It’s awesome! The biggest way difference that I made when I saw significant changes in my speed was when I just simply ran faster rather than just trying to get 4 miles or 6 miles in but when I ran it as a tempo run or did a speed workout each week. I would do this 1-2 times a week and it made a big difference.

    • I need to make some changes. I’ll need to be building up my mileage a little over the next couple months so may just let the speed come in time with the miles. Trying to figure things out.

  5. Congrats on the AG placement! So cool that they did the normal groups and a lot of people got to place.

    I am sorry you are not feeling the speed these days. And that your hammie is still giving you issues. I hope you are fully healthy soon soon soon so you can enjoy running more!!!

    • I feel good, just can’t pick up my feet/legs to move fast. The Chiro is hammering on the hamstrings so actually starting to get them stretched out and working the knots out that have been there forever.

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