Tag Archives: 5k

Community Christian 5K Recap

15 Sep

Yesterday, I ran my first race since June 2012, when I ran my first (and only) full marathon. I can’t run nearly as far now as then, but I’m faster!

The night before the race, Emma had her worst night of sleep in months. She woke up every 2-4 hours, which is very abnormal for her. The only nice part about it was that she was in a good mood whenever she woke up – instead of crying, she’d just lay in her crib and talk (aka. ‘squawk’) to herself. My longest stretch of sleep was 4 hours. After being up with her 4 times, I asked Travis to get up the last time so that I could stay in bed for another 40 minutes.

Anyway, not quite the way you want to prepare for a race but oh well. I had a cup of coffee and cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter before the race, dropped Emma off at my friend’s house, and made it up to the race site about 20 minutes before the race started.

It was a very small race so it only took me about 5 minutes to get my packet and go to the bathroom. I found my friend Cathy and her husband James just a little before they asked the runners to move into the street where the start line was. Then they said the start was still 15 minutes away so Cathy and I did a slow jog around the block to warmup.

My goal for the race was to at least run faster than an 11:00/mile pace, and if I beat my previous 5K time of 33:43, that’d be great too. Cathy wanted to see if she could beat her husband so we agreed to not run together.

I thought about taking my phone so that I could keep track of my pace and the mileage, but in the end, I decided to just enjoy the race and push myself by feel.

Finally, the race started and we were off. I settled into a nice, strong pace and kept Cathy and James in my sights for about the first .5 mile. Then they were gone. I kept running strong. I was pushing myself, but not too much. It was downhill, which was nice, but I knew that meant an uphill later so I couldn’t go too crazy.

I had no idea how far we had gone, but I figured it had to be close to a mile at least. I ran past the aid station (stopping for water would have just thrown off my pace) and then saw a sign that said Mile 2. ‘Holy cow!’ I thought. ‘That’s the quickest 2 miles I’ve ever run!’ It didn’t quite seem right, but if it was, I was going to kick this 5K’s butt!

Around a corner, there was another mile sign. It also said Mile 2, with an arrow to the right. Um, what? I took a right and found the uphill. I walked a bit at the top of the hill and was told by a flagger that first time through, we had to do another loop. Second time, go straight.

On my second loop, I saw the Mile 1 sign, which I had missed before. So I was just now coming up on Mile 2. That made more sense.

We passed the aid station again and were directed by another flagger to turn right for Mile 3, making a smaller loop than the first time, but not too small to miss the hills! I walked a bit again at the top, so I could catch my breath.

Even though it was only 65 at the start, the sun and (rare) humidity made it really hot. I was getting tired, and couldn’t accurately judge how long we had left. But I kept pushing it, reminding myself that I wanted to beat my old 5K time, and that I hadn’t been pushing it for 2 miles only to give up at the end.

We passed a different school and I thought we were getting close, but I saw runners far ahead of me… climbing another hill. Bummer.

I muscled up the last hill long enough to see one of Community Christian’s buses, so I knew where we were – and that the end was close! I crossed the finish line strong and grabbed a water, banana, and half a bagel from the volunteers.

I felt confident that I had made my goal of running faster than an 11:00 pace but had no idea of my time. I found Cathy and James, and we stood around talking until they posted the times. James had beaten Cathy, but she wasn’t too upset. Men…

Finally, the times were up. I finished in 31:52! That’s a pace of 10:17/mile, I later figured out, for a new 5K PR! YAY! I was very happy with that. Cathy finished in 29:50 and James in 26:19.

This was my first time doing a really small race (there were about 130 runners), which I’ve always wanted to do because I figured I’d at least have a shot at placing in my age group (which is now 30-39! I feel so old.) But when I looked on their website, it said they would award ‘the fastest in each age group’, which I took to mean only THE fastest (one person). I was mistaken though, and I got 3rd place in my age group. So I actually got a medal! YAY again! (Cathy got 2nd place in our age group. The 30-39 Female winner finished in 25:12.)

So my first race back was a success AND fun. I’m glad that I didn’t take my phone. The mile signs kept me guessing, and I ran on feel not on time, so I didn’t get discouraged.

About the race itself – it was the inaugural race, and a small one organized by parents instead of race professionals, but I was very impressed. They had a decent website, with all the pertinent information included. They sent out a pre-event email with lots of details. There were a ton of volunteers and even though the course could have been a little confusing, their flaggers were very helpful and it wasn’t confusing at all. The course was also USATF-certified and they posted a course map online (though I didn’t realize that before the race). We were instructed to park in the Target parking lot, and they had a shuttle taking people to the school (even though it was only like 2 blocks away). And the race proceeds benefit the school, which is where Cathy and James’ kids go. I would definitely do this race again!


Me and Cathy

I’m unfortunately not going to be able to do the triathlon relay this coming weekend (long story) but I’m already looking forward to doing another race. I’M BACK BABY!

And quick sidenote, this is my 700th post!

Running with a Stroller

6 Sep

Even though I said I was going to start running more than once a week, I haven’t. But at least I’m still running that one time a week. And I can finally see my frequency going up because….

I’ve started running with the stroller.

This is a milestone in 2 ways:

1) Emma used to only last 10 minutes in the stroller (in her carseat) before having a meltdown. Now, she can hold toys and enjoys looking around, so she’s content for up to 30 minutes.

2) Pushing a stroller while running is a crapton more work. Especially when I lock the front wheel to stay straight (like you’re supposed to). The stroller wants to veer to the right slightly, so I’m continually pushing on it to stay in a straight line.

The first run I did with the stroller was around our block a couple of times. MapMyRun on my phone said that it was a mile, but Travis doesn’t believe that. Based on my pace though, I believe it! (If it’s not right, I’m REALLY slow!)

strollerrun1The second run I did was around a small lake (pond?) near our house. One lap around it is roughly .5 mile so I did 4 laps.

strollerrun2One side of the lake is slightly hilly (or at least it feels like it with a stroller!) so I was very pleased about my pace. Maybe I can have a ‘fast’ 5K yet.

Speaking of which, I officially signed up for the Community Christian 5K on September 14! The race raises money for the school, and my good friend’s kids go there. She’s running the race too.


Another one of my friends is going to watch Emma (since Travis will be in Wyoming hunting antelope). I’m very excited. Races are so fun.

Do/have you run with a stroller? Any tips?

Christmas Festivities, in Pics

20 Dec

I finally remembered my camera! So here are the pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Christmas Tea

I found these picture holders at Kohl’s for less than $4 each. These were the guest gifts.

Christmas Decorations

Same as last year

Our mini tree

Christmas Carol 5k

Sweet shorts, huh? (Thanks for the pics D!)

About the race…

It was being held in City Park and didn’t start until 9 so we met D and Doug at our house around 7:45. We got down to the race site a little after 8, parked, got our bib and stood around drinking coffee. The temperature was in the high 20s but besides my feet, I wasn’t really cold at all. Ten minutes to 9:00, we did a quick 1/4 mile warm up and stretched – but we didn’t start running until 9:13. Since I went out too fast last year and ended up walking in the middle to catch my breath, my goal for the race was to do negative splits and beat my time from last year (33:40).

Finally, we were off. For the first mile, I focused on maintaining even breathing and even though we had to weave around people, I tried to not be too ambitious. We reached the first mile marker at 11:03. I was a little bummed because it felt like we were running faster than that, but I was happy that if I maintained that pace (which felt doable), I would definitely beat my time.

The second mile started off with a nice little downhill stretch and a run by the Denver Zoo. It ended with a brutal uphill stretch. But because I was running with Travis and D and didn’t want to fall behind, I kept pushing, telling myself that it would be downhill in a bit. We reached mile 2 at 21:15 – a 10:18 pace. So that’s why I feel ready to collapse. Seeing that motivated me to keep pushing, even though I felt completely out of breath.

The third mile was a mental battle. Just like during the Rock n Roll Relay, I keep telling myself that the pride and accomplishment of setting a new PR will be worth the next 10 minutes of agony. Finally, I could see the finish line. We passed the third mile marker around 31:45. As we got within 100 feet of the finish, I actually felt a little dizzy/nauseous. We crossed the finish at 32:52 – a 10:36 pace. Even though my time is still pretty slow, I feel good that I really pushed myself. The only bad part about this PR is that now I have to run even faster to beat it!

We were funneled into a chute, where the race timers were collecting the tags off our bibs. We were a little confused at how they determined the times that way, since there were 2 chutes, but oh well. We grabbed some water and bagels, our goodie bags, stretched a bit and headed over to Denny’s, where I had their new Bread Pudding French Toast. It was pretty good – not as good as real bread pudding, but close.

As for the race itself…

I thought that A Christmas Carol Classic (5k/10k) was a fairly well-organized race for its first year. There were 425 runners in the 5k and 264 in the 10k – impressive for an inaugural event. They had a lot of volunteers telling people where to park, registration/check-in was organized and quick, and they had coffee and pastries for runners before the start. The goodie bags were pretty decent (they included chocolate milk), they had bagels at the finish, and the course was well-marked (though the markings were sometimes hard to see because of the crowd). The race also sponsored the Denver Children’s Home, which I liked.

But I think it would be better if they used chip timing. My official time was 33:43 (40/82 AG, 193/425 overall) but I don’t feel like it took me almost a minute to cross the start line. And because D ducked under the rope into the other finish chute because the line was shorter, her time was recorded as 34:09 even though she crossed at the exact same time as we did (granted it was her fault, but that’s the downfall of bib tag timing!).

Also, even though the website said something about having carolers out on the course, they didn’t. (They did have them at the finish, which was nice.) I wish that we would’ve gotten more race swag for our $30 (like a shirt, towel, medal or something) – you could buy a shirt for $15 but they weren’t that cute. I just hope that most of our race fee went to the charity.

Finally, if I had been doing the 10k, I would have been a little annoyed. They started at the same time as the 5k and just did 2 laps of the same course. So the 5kers were finished and leaving while the 10kers were still running and we were actually walking on the course to get back to our cars.

But overall, I enjoyed the race and would do it again. I like that the course is all in City Park, so you don’t have to worry about traffic or sidewalks.


We’re heading back down to City Park tonight for Zoolights at the Denver Zoo – we’ve never been and apparently, it’s pretty cool!

Have you gone or are going to any holiday lights shows?

Upcoming Races

9 Dec

I went on a run last night after work and the sunset was absolutely amazing. Luckily, I was running with my phone and was able to get a few good shots around the lake.

Doesn’t it look like Someone painted the sky with watercolors? Wow.


Speaking of running, in preparation for the Eugene Marathon, I have penciled in 3 races on my calendar:

A Christmas Carol 5K on December 17

Hoping to break my one-race PR of 33:40. I bought a Santa hat for Travis and an elf hat for me to wear during the race – it’s a great time to be festive!

Ralston Creek Half Marathon on February 12

This is a new race and super close to my house, so score! I will be shooting to beat my PR of 2:30:46 (11:30/mile pace). If I can run the race at my recent easy long run paces of 11:00-11:15, I will beat my PR by 5 minutes!

I had originally planned on just running the 10 mile race below but I really like the half marathon distance and as much as I would like to think I’ll be motivated to run a half after the marathon is over, I know myself. I might not even do a triathlon next year. This girl will most likely want a break from having a training schedule and striving to fit 5 workouts in a week.

Snowman Stampede 10 mile on February 18

At first, I thought doing races on back to back weekends was not smart, but then I looked at my training plan and realized that I would be scheduled for running 10 miles anyway. Why not run with other people and get a t-shirt?

The last 10 mile race I ran was back in 2006 – the first road race I ever did! I was speedy back then – my time was 1:38:41, a 9:52/mile pace. I would love to run that fast now! (I still think the altitude has a lot to do with my slower paces, but it could just be that I’m getting old! ::single tear::) Anyway, I don’t think I’ll have any time goal for this race. I just want to get out there and enjoy myself.

After the 10 mile race, it’ll be on to the marathon!

Eugene Marathon on April 29

You can read why I chose that race here.


You know what I love the most about local running races? How cheap they are. After paying $100-120 for triathlons and big races like the Denver RnR, I am more than delighted to pay $40 for a race.

Are you doing any holiday or winter races?