Category Archives: Races

St. Mary’s Academy 5k Recap

SMA 5k | HappyFitMama.com

Over the weekend I ran my second ever 5k – St. Mary’s Academy 5k. Despite being a clueless newbie about this whole run as fast as you can with a burning throat and legs and feel like you might puke at any moment type of race, I surprised myself.

And I think I might be kind of sort of liking it.

Saturday morning was an absolute gorgeous day for running and racing. Temps were around 50 with clear blue skies and sunshine. It felt marvelous! I took a leisurely 3 mile warm up run before the 9 a.m. start. As I waited at the start, I looked around at who was around me. Lots of kids (since the race is put on by a private Catholic grade school) and some members of a local racing club. I figured there was no way I was going to have beginners luck like last month. It was announced that the number of entries doubled from last year to 849 thanks to the new Dover Road Race Series.

I had no plan and no expectations for the run. I was just going to go by feel.

Mile 1: We started off downhill, took a right so we could climb a progressive hill for the next 1/2 mile or so. I found a comfortable spot right away despite having to constantly bob and weave around the little kids stopping in their tracks and proclaiming they were “exhausted!” I had to laugh at their dramatics. Things thinned out quickly and the course flattened out. My watch beeped 7:13 as I got closer to where I knew my cheering section would be.

Mile 2: As we rounded another hill, the next section was relatively flat. I recovered quickly and stepped it up a bit. I had to look good for my cheering section after all. I could see Ron and the kids waiting and clapping. I felt strong, confident and most importantly, happy. Seeing their smiling faces and their excitement of seeing me gave me a boost.

SMA 5k (2)  HappyFitMama.com

The course made a sharp right soon after seeing them. As I turned, my right knee either gave out or I stepped in a dip in the street. What the????? It didn’t hurt and I didn’t fall but it scared me. I slowed down after that in fear of an injury. 7:44

Mile 3: My knee was feeling OK but I let doubt start to sink in. My throat was burning and I knew that I had slowed down quite a bit. What was the point of running fast now? I tried squashing the voices by counting my steps – 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4. It gave me a pace rhythm and it occupied my mind but I never really regained my confidence. As we rounded the corner off the bike path, I knew it was the last big hill before the finish. This hill is a beast. It’s one I use for hill repeats often. I felt like I was crawling but even more so when a group of young boys who were walking at the end of the path decided to sprint UP the hill and fly past me. Of course they were walking again as soon as they got to the top. I ran past them and caught up with a young girl. The finish line was close and she picked up the pace just as the boys decided to sprint to the finish. They gave me something to chase (even though I was at least 20-25 years older than them!). Of course, their young legs left me in the dust but girly kept up with the boys (woohoo girl power!). Mile 3 – 7:43. Mile 0.13 6:24.

I crossed the finish line in 23:25 (7:33 avg pace).

A PR! I knocked 28 seconds off my time from last month. Woohoo!

Imagine my shock when I found out I was first in my age group (30-39)! What??

SMA 5k (3)  HappyFitMama.com

Never ever did I think I could place in any race. My area has a very, very competitive fast group of runners. I’m thankful that all of the super fast ladies in my age group decided to stay home!

I’ve got the itch to see what I can do with speed. Since I’m doing the road race series this year that is essentially almost all 5k’s, I’m going to have a lot of trials in seeing what works and what I need to do better. The track and I will also begin a relationship.

So this 5k thing might not be all that bad especially if it means winning free FroYo from Orange Leaf! I will never be a competitive racer but it’s kind of cool that I won FroYo for my family. :)

Orange Leaf FroYo | HappyFitMama.com

Don’t forget that it’s NOURISH week for the Lorna Jane Spring Clean Pinterest Challenge! Get your board together and you could win big. Check out my board for inspiration to nourish your body from the inside out. I can’t wait to nourish my skin with the Chocolate and Coffee Sugar Body Scrub. Doesn’t that sound delightful?

If you placed in a race, what kind of prize would you like?

How do you NOURISH your body?

My First 5K!

Race Pic  HappyFitMama.com

It’s taken me countless proclamations over many, many years but I finally did it.

Last Saturday I ran my first 5K!

Not a virtual race but an actual in real life 5k!

Do I love the distance?

Short answer? No but it might grow on me.

Getting prepped for the race, I had no idea what I was doing. With longer distances, I’m good. I know what to eat, when to eat it and how much I need to warm up prior to gun time. I kind of just went about my morning business. Ate oats for breakfast, drank a few glasses of water and then did a warm up run of 1.6 miles. It was the inaugural running of the race and the first race of the Dover Race Series. There were about 800 people running/walking. Not bad for a first year race!

From the moment I picked up my bib, I had an inkling that this race may not be like all 5ks. First, I had to walk through a cloud of smokers standing outside of the bib pick up area. Second, there were tons of people talking more about doing the pub crawl afterwards than actually about the race. I guess I should have expected this when the name of the race is Run Before You Crawl and it’s the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day!

Can I just have a rant here for a second? I’m all for everyone having a good time and running for fun but there is no need for you to line up at the front of a race with a stroller and/or a dog. Go to the back for everyone’s safety! Thank you. End rant.

The route of the race was nothing new to me. I’ve run it countless times. I knew that there was a hill within the first 1/2 mile followed by a huge hill that kicks my butt every single time around mile 2, followed by mostly downhill with a little incline near the finish. My plan was to not have a plan. I was just going to run by feel and have fun. I haven’t done a speed session in months and my mileage is still mega low. The closest I’ve come to running fast (for me) lately was my two most recent 5 by the 5th Virtual Races in February (24:23) and March (24:17).

No expectations.

I took off easily as we had a slight downhill first. I found a good pace just as we hit the first incline. I’ve never been a huge fan of hills but I could definitely tell that I haven’t been running outside as much. This hill had me huffing and puffing. My pace slowed a bit. I watched a girl that was ahead of me pull farther away. Even though I said this run was all for fun, my competitiveness came out just a little. We neared the top of the hill and I felt in control of my breathing and legs. She slowed, I sped up and passed her.

Mile 1: 7:24

The next mile was relatively flat in prep for the huge hill. I knew my pace would drop significantly once I got there. And. it. did. I felt like I was running in molasses. It’s the usual feeling I get from it. As I was running up, I kept repeating “It’s all downhill from here.” I was also thinking “I must do hill repeats on this bad boy from now on!”

Mile 2: 7:56

A weight was lifted at the top of the hill. Sweet downhill here I come! My breathing recovered quickly from sucking wind up the hill but my legs were feeling the lactic acid build up. I could feel my form getting a little sloppy at this point so I tried to concentrate on correcting it rather than looking at how much farther I had to run before turning towards the home stretch.

Mile 3: 7:44

The last 0.1 was a blur except I remember hearing a man say “You’re in the top 10 women!” I crossed the finish line and proceeded to not stop my Garmin. Gah! I always do that. I figured my time to be around 24:00 or so.

Mile 3.1: 23:53

A PR! Wait – is it still a PR if you’ve never officially run the distance before? Oh well, I’m counting it. :)

And the icing on the cake?

I won 3rd place women 30-39 and was in the Top 10 Women overall!

Who knew?

I caught up with my friend, Mariette, afterwards. Speedy girl won first place 30-39 women! Way to go girl!

Run Before You Crawl 5k | HappyFitMama.cm

I felt quite well afterwards once I caught my breath. I don’t think it was entirely enjoyable nor pure torture. I’m intrigued now. With as little training as I’ve done recently, I was still able to run well. Imagine what I can do with more training? Hmmmm…I’ll have plenty of opportunities over the next 7 months to learn to enjoy the 5k distance. I signed up for the Dover Race Series and it’s almost all 5ks.

This could be interesting. Here goes nothing!

Do you like 5k races?

What’s your favorite race distance?