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June 10, 2013


Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

I can identify with those feelings in a 5k, and especially in the heat. 80 degrees is way too hot to run your best time- it's frustrating that the time doesn't accurately reflect your effort, but you can easily shave a minute off for the heat. :) I'm like you- can't just do it for fun! But man, I always want to quit about half way through a 5k. There are definitely my least favorite race!!


Your comment "Why can't I be one of those people who just does this for fun?" really hit home with me. I've tried to let go of the competitiveness and PR seeking part of me, but I just can't. Honestly, that side of me ruins far too many race experiences, but like you, that's just who I am. I know you'll get that PR one of these days, because that's who you are!


Michelle, you remind me of myself...SO much, right down to the black Oiselle running shorts at Boston and blue tank (because, literally, I wore the same thing). I'm not that person either, the one who just does this for fun. I am fiercely competitive, more so with myself. I'm also a very mental runner. I put a lot of thought and review into my training and my racing. It is so incredibly frustrating to hit some really great training paces at the track, yet they don't come out to equal a PR on the road. I have the same goal as you - a sub 20 5k (and I'm very jealous of your 3:30 26.2. I've had my eyes on that for 3 marathons in a row. My best is 3:36. I see a 3:30 for me this fall). I know that I can execute a sub 20, but in the same breath I know that it will not be without hard work. I had a bad race experience this past Saturday (missed the turn for the finish, and missed my 2nd female overall slot). While I was running, I just felt like my perceived pace was faster than my actual, but it wasn't. I was so frustrated. After that race I know that I need to take a step back. Summer racing is not successful for me. I have exercise induced asthma and the humidity just kills me. So, I'm going to still train, but tweak some things. I'm adding spinning back into my week, more core work, and swimming. I think making these changes WILL help me execute that sub 20. Hang in there and keep your head up woman! You inspire me, along with SO many other woman out there!!!

Mary Reilly

You mustn't forget that you have put in lots of hard work and great track sessions but I think you need to ease up a bit when you're planning a race. You ran hard last week and a tough track session on Friday didn't help. You are so strong and you will break that 20 barrier but you need to give your body a few days to get the benefit from your training.


My goal in 2012 was to also break 20 min for a 5k. I had done it lots of times before having kids but not since then. After seeing my sister run 19:11 at age 41 and posting some other fast times using our friend Brad Hudson's program (he wrote a book, "Run Faster from the 5k to the Marathon") I finally decided it was time to follow a training program again. For the last few years I had been seeing how fast I could run on as few miles as possible. i kept running the same pace for a 5k and I was finally sick of it. I jumped into his 12 week program (I doubled back a few weeks since my goal race was Nov.3 so it was more like 14 week)last August. My first race which was 6 weeks into the program I already post-baby Pr'd at the Goddard Park 5k course with a 20:30. Next race was a few weeks out and hilly - I ran 20:18. My goal race was in Nov back at Goddard Park which was great so I could compare times from the 20:30 in Sept. It took track workouts (which I really had fun with)but I was running times in these workouts I hadn't run in 16 years. I ran 19:39 in my goal race - something I though I never could do again. So, my suggestion is YES, you can break 20! I encourage you to take a look at Brad's book - it worked for me.


Laura - yes, 5Ks are way overrated, especially in the summer! : )

Janet - I know I'm in very good company, which is part of the reason I like writing about my races - I know so many people can relate!

Michelle - you will get your 3:30, and we will BOTH get our sub-20! Positive thinking!

Mary - I should clarify - I didn't do a tough track workout on Friday; it was a cross-training workout. I maybe should have even eased up on that, though, if I really wanted this to be an "A" race. Next time I really go after my 5K PR, I am going to make sure I have some seriously rested legs for running - and hopefully cooler temps!

Sharon - Will check out the book when I get a chance. I've had great success in my marathons with Run Less, Run Faster, but for shorter distances I don't really do a lot of race-specific training, and I think I need to focus my speedwork more on those shorter distances I'm doing now. The Goddard Park course is a great one, and that's an amazing time!

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