Category Archives: 05k

Jingle All The Way 5K + Extra Jingles

Start time: 12/6/2015, 9:00 & 9:37 am
Location: Pennsylvania Ave, National Mall
Distance: 5 kilometers & 5 miles
Average pace: 8:01 & 9:50 min/mile
Total Miles For December: 15 miles
Total Miles For 2015: 805 miles
Current Shoes: 86 miles

Ran the Jingle All The Way 5K, the first time in a while that I’ve done any sort of jingle bell type run. It was the same course as last year’s Thanksgiving 5K, and in the end I ended up finishing a whopping 1 second slower than that. I’d pooped out a bit about a third of the mile from the end, which is frustrating since that’s normally when I get a nice adrenaline kick. Ah well!

After it was over, I ran another 5 miles with Armand and Steve (both of whom also ran the race), which was perfectly pleasant.

Trot for Hunger 2014 5K

Start time: 11/27/2014, 9:00am
Location: Pennsylvania Avenue, National Mall, Freedom Plaza
Distance: 5K (3.1 miles)
Finish time: 24:52
Average pace: 8:00 min/mile
Total Miles For November: 66 miles
Total Miles For 2014: 742 miles
Current Shoes: 18 miles

It’s been a long time since I’ve run a 5K — 2009 in fact — and I’ve always said that I’ve never really mastered this short distance. This was probably the closest I’ve come to that, in terms of consistency; the three full mile splits were 7:59, 8:04, and 7:54. Would’ve liked a bit more a kick on that last mile but beggars can’t be choosers. I ran it with my friend Steve and we did a good job of keeping each other moving. No PR, but it was only 25 seconds off of the PR from five years ago, and I consider that a huge victory. 5 seconds per year? Thumbs up.

Clarendon Day 5K

Start time: 9/26/09, 9:00am
Location: Wilson Boulevard
Distance: 3.1 miles
Average pace: 7:57min/mile
Total Miles For September: 43 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 612 miles

I swear, every time I go for a 5K, something happens beforehand. Sometimes it’s benign, like simply running a marathon eleven days earlier and getting injured in the process. Other times it’s a combination of getting bronchitis and a trip to the ER for gallbladder problems. So when I ended up with a calf strain two weeks earlier, well, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. But I felt good enough to give it a shot, even though I knew that I still wouldn’t do what I would have been capable of sans injury.

It was a nice, quick race. I started with Butch and Chris, but after about half a mile I remembered that it’s only a 5K and I was moving way too slow for a race that I wanted a PR in. (The GPS said around the 1/2 mile mark that my time was 4:30. A nice “going for a run with friends” pace, but not a racing-just-three-miles pace in the slightest. A 5K is just such a small distance that a too-slow first mile will never really get made up.) I picked it up at that point, and it paid off; a 24:27 finishing time, which finally replaced my old 25:40 from two years ago (the post-marathon-injury race). I like to think that had I not had a few weeks off I could’ve gotten even faster, but that just gives me a new goal for next time.

I still don’t think I’ve mastered running a 5K, but that’s something I’d like to work on next year once I’ve (at least temporarily) bid marathons adieu.

Happy to Finish

Start time: 11/27/08, 8:00am
Location: Clarendon neighborhood
Distance: 5K (3.1 miles)
Finishing time: 26:45
Average pace: 8:38min/mile
Total Miles For November: 13.5 miles

After everything that’s gone on this month—getting bronchitis, scratching my marathon, ending up in the ER with cholecystitis—I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to run this race! With a supreme lack of running this month, coupled with uneasy lungs and abs, I knew I wouldn’t beat my PR from last year of 25:40. It’s frustrating because in August and September I was in shape to have beaten it with little problem today. But that just wasn’t an option, and going into it knowing that wasn’t so bad.

That said, it would’ve been a little hard as it was thanks to a really slow start. Waaaay too many walkers and strollers that were really far up towards the front of the corral at the beginning, meaning they were blocking people who were trying to run. I have no problem with them being there—I used to be ultra slow after all—but it’s important to also pick a starting place that is appropriate. I think I walked the first 30-40 seconds before I could even start running, yeesh. But still, not too bad. I definitely am not up to a full amount of energy just yet, and annoyingly I had to walk a tiny bit of that hill in the last mile again this year. Yeesh.

At the end of the day, my watch says I was 1:06 off of last year’s finish time. Since I’d told myself it might be as much as 1:30 slower, I’m a-ok with that. It is a little sad to look on the big list of races and note that right above it is a 10K race where my pace was 10 seconds per mile faster. I think that really says it all in terms of where I physically am right now. As I told Alma (who flew by me and looked like a badass), at this point I’m just concentrating on making it to the end of the year and starting over in many ways. It’s a shame because I’d have liked to get stuff rolling now and in December, but that’s just not looking possible at the moment. Still, we’ll see.

(8:40, 8:21, 8:55, 0:49)

So Far, So Pleased

Race: The Race for Hope 5K
Start time: 05/07/06, 8:30am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Distance: 5K (3.1 miles)
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Finishing time: 27:01
Average pace: 8:43min/mile

Within five seconds of starting the Race for Hope 5K, I was already composing this journal entry in my head and it began with, “There’s something very liberating about instantly knowing that you won’t be getting a personal record in a race and simultaneously not worrying about it.” That was this morning for me; I crossed over the start line, and my head just wasn’t in it. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. A better description might be that my body just wasn’t in it; I was feeling extremely tired before we even began, and raceday adrenaline just wasn’t doing anything. (I hit the first marker at 8:03 and thought “well, that’s not going to stick.” Sure enough, mile 2 was 9:16 and mile 3.1 was 9:40 (which is an 8:47min/mile for the last 1.1 so that’s not as bad as it looks).)

But you know? This wasn’t a sour grapes “but I didn’t want a PR anyway” moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’d take one in a heartbeat; this broke a run of PRs that began with the St. Patrick’s Day 10K in March 2004 and extended for a whopping total of 15 races. And if this had been any other race I think I’d have been a lot more disappointed. But it’s the Race for Hope, which raises money to benefit brain tumor research. There are a lot of survivors who run the race, as well as people who have both “in memory of” and “in celebration of” bibs, shirts, signs, bandannas, and anything else they can think of. It’s an extremely emotional race; I get choked up at least once or twice throughout the race course every year.

So, no PR. That’s ok; I’m just really happy that I got to run this race for the fourth time in a row, and that I was there. In terms of this time last year there was improvement, I’ve come a long way in the past few years in general, and it was a good day. (A tiny bit disappointing that my maintenance run last Monday had a faster pace, but ah well.) I’m pleased.

Oh, and stats:

2003 — 79/99 (79th percentile)
2004 — 92/148 (62nd percentile)
2005 — 56/141 (39th percentile)
2006 — 60/109 (55th percentile)

Pre-2006 they were automatically assigning timing chips to everyone, running or walking; this year you had to sign up for a timing chip.

The Worst Organized Race Ever

Start time: 11/24/05, 8:30am
Location: West Potomac Park
Distance: 3.1 miles (5K)
Average pace: 8:31min/mile

All right, “The Worst Organized Race Ever” is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration. This morning was, however, the worst organized race that I’ve run in (and I’m still reeling from the nightmare from trying to get to the start line of the Virginia Beach Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon in back in 2003). Now to their credit, SOME (who put on the Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger 5K) is a good organization and their hearts are in the right place. But… well…

I got there half an hour early with Alma and her friend Monica; while they had their numbers, I hadn’t been able to pick mine up yesterday. What happened next can only be described as an eternity of waiting. Let’s put it this way: I got my bib number faster at every single marathon I’ve ever run. Or for that matter, anything. The pages they were checking people off with weren’t in sequential order, the line moved so slowly I was starting to think that everyone at the front had died, they ran out of safety pins, and they finally said they were going to just start handing out numbers to people in line and you could register it to your name (and get your t-shirt) once the race was over… except they didn’t.

I literally got my number when I heard someone way over a megaphone, “Ok, runners, areyouready?*TOOT*” I swear, that’s how fast between the question and the sound was. And, just like that, you were off down a course that had… no mile markers. Helpful, huh? To be fair, there were some markers along the course, as I suddenly discovered when I passed the 2K point. Kilometer markers only? Were any of the runners here really worried about their per-kilometer pace? It was an out-and-back course through West Potomac Park, so it was nice to run alongside the water in the Hains Point area… well, at least until a Park Services truck that had been parked on the side of the road suddenly decided to start moving and do a u-turn on Ohio Drive. No, I am not making this up. The first two leaders had just passed by me going back towards the finish when the truck did this, nearly wiping out not only us at (approximately) the 2.25K mark but also the rest of the leaders. I saw several of the leaders hit the truck’s side in anger, to which I cheered.

At the far end of the course, there was a water stop… well, sort of. Rather than jugs of water, there were two people using a water cooler to pour water into cups. Suddenly I found myself thankful that I’d actually brought along my water bottle and belt, even though my main reason had been to have somewhere to put my keys. There was no chip timing at this race, but there were people standing at the end of the course writing down numbers as people came through. This is a race that, I should point out, over 2000 people registered for. (Actual turnout was probably closer to 1000.)

Meanwhile, how was I? Well, I felt like crap to be honest. It was cold and starting to sprinkle on us, my nose was running and dripping down my throat (ugh), and I got a stitch in my side. Oh, and I ran almost the entire thing by myself because I wasn’t able to find Alma and Monica again before the race started (they’d gone to use a port-a-potty while I was getting my number and then *TOOT* the race was off!). I saw Alma coming back on the course when I was almost at the turn-around, and I finally caught her around the 4.5K point of the race; I picked up a tiny bit of speed at that point (or maybe Alma was slowing down?) because I ended up going over the finish line first, but certainly no more than 5 or 6 seconds ahead.

Despite feeling pretty bad I still did better than my last 5K, with a new PR of 26:23. Yay! (My old PR was 27:45 from back in May.) Pity so much else seemed to go wrong. Maybe I could just find a nice 5K somewhere warm for January?

Oh, and I think next year I’ll just run the Virginia Run Turkey Trot out in Centerville. Hills be damned, I’ll take a slightly harder course if it means simple competence.

Race for Hope 5K

Start time: 05/01/05, 8:30am
Location: Washington DC (Pennsylvania Ave/Capitol Building area)
Distance: 3.1 miles
Average pace: 8:45min/mile

This is always an emotional race, running alongside brain tumor survivors as well as families who have lost members to tumors. I ran with Julie and Laura for the first mile (9:44), then picked up the pace big time to hit my goal time (8:34 for mile two, and an 8:37min/mile pace for the remaining 1.1 miles). There’s a much longer write-up about the race in my main journal.

Running: 5K (3.1 miles)

Start time: 5/4/03, 9:30am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Activity: Running
Distance: 3.1 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 3:2
Average pace: 13:10min/mile

Lesse. In the last update, I mentioned going running Wednesday morning. Well, I must have done something wrong then because I had an achy left calf for Wednesday evening, Thursday, and Friday. (On Thursday night my friend Steve even commented on me limping, which I hadn’t conciously been doing.) When I woke up Saturday morning, my calf was still hurting. Unfortunately, I’d already promised Martha and Kimberly that I’d do the MayDay 5K with them and Julie; it benefits a paralysis foundation, one of the recipients being a friend of theirs who was hit by a car while training for AIDSRide and is now wheelchair bound for life. I felt really, really bad about not not doing this, but the idea of hurting my calf more kept guilt from pushing me into doing it. (I’ve learned the hard way to not run on an injury.)

However, by Saturday evening it was feeling completely normal, so I ended up running in the Brain Tumor Society 5K with the ladies this morning instead. (Julie’s sister is a brain tumor survivor, so it meant a lot for her to have others come.) The run itself went really well—I was hoping for an under-40 minutes time and tried to hustle a bit in the last quarter mile to hit that mark (leaving the others behind—sorry about that!) but by my watch missed it by about 50 seconds. Oh well. My overall pace was still pretty good and I’m not complaining! Nice crisp, cool weather helped it being a pretty enjoyable experience.