Spirit of Recovery 5K Recap

Spririt of Recovery | HappyFitMama.com

Over the weekend, I ran the Spirit of Recovery 5K.

It was my 4th 5K ever(last weeks Mother’s Day 5K was not really racing but still a 5k). It still amazes me that I’m doing this distance. I’ve said it before, it’ll never be a favorite but it’s growing on me. I learn a little something new with each race.

One thing I do know is that with every distance, there are pros and cons.

PRO of a 5K: It’s over with relatively quick.

CONS of a 5K: It’s freakin’ hard work. Your lungs and legs are burning.You may want to puke.

In my head I tell myself, it’s only 3.1 miles.

Yeah, only 3.1 miles of practically all out running.

I’m trying to find my inner Lauren Fleshman since she thinks the 5K is “freakin’ awesome!”

I went into this race unsure of how I was going to do. Since Wallis Sands, 2 weeks ago, I’ve been laying low, my mileage has dropped and all my runs have been an easy pace. My legs have felt tight and achy for most of the time. I’ve been stretching, icing and rolling like it’s my job. What’s really strange is that my legs felt like this last month around the same time in my cycle (my apologies to the guy(s) reading this). Saturday was the first day since Wallis that they felt improved.

With that in mind, my plan was to run hard and maybe try for a PR if feeling decent.

I met up with my running buddy, Mariette soon after arriving. We did a quick 1 mile or so warm up before heading to the start. I should note here that last year this race had 120 people entered. This year it had almost 700. Still a small race but it was quite obvious that the usual attendees of this race were not used to having so many competitive runners.

Mariette and I lined up near the front of the pack. When it was go time, there were a lot of walkers in the front. In fact I was blocked by a line of them. Not cool. Especially when they yelled at ME for going around them.

FYI – Unless you are a competitive speed walker, if you are walking a race, line up somewhere other than the front. Thank you!

After getting around the walkers, I took off a little too fast. I just wanted some breathing room.

I felt good for the first mile. I was working hard but not dying. The course was relatively flat with some rolling hills. Nothing that I wasn’t used to.

Mile 1: 7:15

I was kind of shocked about how good I was feeling. My mind started to wander which was not a good thing. Then a guy pushing a stroller flew past me right before the turn around point. I felt like I was booking it and he looked like it was a walk in the park, pointing out the excavators to his child with no signs of breathlessness. Nothing like taking the wind out of your sails!

spirit5k2crop | HappyFitMama.comExcited to see people I know! Big thanks to Mariette’s husband for the pic.

Mile 2: 7:26

This is where the wheels fell off. My focus was gone. As I was running down one hill before going up another, I clearly remember telling my legs to slow down. I have no idea why I did it and why my legs listened. I checked out. The finish line was almost in sight!

What was I doing?

I pushed up the hill, slow as molasses it seemed and got sight of the turn to the finish. C’mon legs GO!

Mile 3:  7:49

I pushed as much as I could for the last 0.1 – 6:43.

Finish: 23:34

Spirit5kcrop| HappyFitMama.com

First words out of my mouth when I saw Mariette (who was super speedy and got 3rd overall female and 1st in her age group!) – That sucked!

I completely sabotaged myself with my lack of focus. Why did I purposely slow down with less than a mile to go? I think I forgot that I was running a race. As odd as it sounds, I seriously think I did.

Yesterday, I stumbled across an article about whether it’s muscle fatigue or it’s brain fatigue that makes you bonk in a race (particularly longer races). Read it HERE. The study concluded that it really is all in your head that you’re tired. I immediately thought of the quote –

“The body achieves what the mind believes.”

Further proof that mental training is just as important as physical training.

I’ve clearly got some work to do for the next 5k in the series!

Any tips on how to condition my mental physique?

50 comments on “Spirit of Recovery 5K Recap

  1. Nice work!! I totally agree with you on a 5k being a really hard distance. You really have to give it your all and there’s not much time for fooling around if you want a certain time. I feel like with a 10k, half or full you have a lot more room for pace changes. My friend who is a Boston Marathon runner told me that doing quick short runs help you to be faster at longer distances. I wish it was easier haha!

    Also- love the quote!
    Heidi @ Idlehide recently posted..Top 6 Baby ThingsMy Profile

  2. You did great!! Is that a pr for you? Or close, right? The mental piece is huge. I think in a 5k or 10k, you can definitely feel the effects of going out too fast and burn out but the physical bonk is more “real” in a marathon when you zap glocogen stores and your body isn’t efficient at turning fat into fuel.
    So when’s the next one? 🙂
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Best takeaways from the IIN ConferenceMy Profile

    1. 23:25 is my PR. The next race is mid June. My plan for the next month is to hit the track and bust out some speed work in preparation. I want a PR bad now!

  3. The mental aspect of running is definitely the hardest part for most of us. 5k’s are my least favorite distance and I sabotaged myself the last two that I did, although I did PR one. However, it should have been a huge PR. Those mental lapses in a short race are a killer! Anyway, congrats on a great time.
    Pam recently posted..Racing with Lucas a 5k recapMy Profile

  4. OMG Angela – we are on the same page today with the mind of matter mantra!!! My race recap is all about how I won the mental game and my last mile, was my fastest – after I found out I was in the lead. It truly all comes down to your mental game.
    Sounds like you blazed through those first two miles and then just checked out. I don’t blame you. 5Ks are brutal and probably my least favorite – no matter what the awesome Lauren Fleshman says :-))) Congrats on a speedy finish, despite the last mile.
    Allie recently posted..Ten Penny Ale Duathlon! Race RecapMy Profile

  5. Yay Angela!!! I still think you should be proud, and you are right….5ks HURT!!!

    This is SO appropriate for me right now, and I am going to head straight over to your prior post, as I think mental breakdown was part of the reason I struggled last weekend. I think it is so much more important than people realize, and once you start letting those negative thoughts in, it can become a downward spiral FAST. I love the believe to achieve quote, that s one of my favorites!
    Tina Muir recently posted..3rd Place Finish at the Brooklyn Half MarathonMy Profile

  6. I’ve only done 5Ks and am new to running. I am finally getting to a place where I can find a different pace when racing and training. Last week was the first time I truly overcame my head and pushed harder than I knew was possible.

    Hopefully, I can take that experience with me and continue to push myself. I spent most of the winter letting my mind win the battle and really not giving it my all.

    My mantra last week was, you can do this, you are going to hit your goal. Don’t slow down and don’t stop!!
    Susan recently posted..Getting ready for our CSA!My Profile

  7. I know you expect more out of yourself, but you did a great job pulling it all together and finishing strong! I love that first mile picture, by the way!!

    Funny you mention the walkers…I’m thinking about doing a 5k this summer, the Esprit de She, but I’m reluctant just for that very reason…I get frustrated with participants who ignore race etiquette.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..Chicago Spring Half Marathon recap–sort of…. #BESTFOOTMy Profile

    1. Thanks Wendy! With all of the other 5k’s that I’ve done in this series, the walkers have started more in the back. This group of walker ladies were right at the front. They weren’t familiar with race etiquette at all…or really any etiquette with what they yelled at me.

  8. Sometimes 5k’s are harder than longer races! I feel like I have to run faster which is not my strength. They are not my fave-I figure if I am getting dressed and getting out there I’d like to run longer than 3 miles!
    Deborah recently posted..Girls on The RunMy Profile

  9. Awesome job! I haven’t done a 5K in years b/c of that awful puke factor. It’s amazing how far 3.1 miles can suddenly feel! I think the more speedwork you do, the more you get used to that mental block of physically needing, wanting to stop. Your body thinks it needs to save itself so you have to convince your brain otherwise, by practice.
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Runners are Thinkers – Random Running ThoughtsMy Profile

    1. This series is made up mostly of 5k’s. By the end I’ll have done at least 6 of them. Hopefully my brain will be a little bit more trained come December!

  10. I’ve noticed a lot more muscles soreness and tiredness at certain times in my cycle too. I think it has to do with how hormones effect your hydration and nutrient uptake. I try to focus a lot more on recovery during that time (both food/hydration and rolling).

    Great job on the 5k. I’m not a big 5k runner either, but I’m trying to work on pushing better during them!
    EB @ Running on E recently posted..50k Training Recap Week 1: 5/12-5/18My Profile

  11. This is pretty timely because I just raced a 5K this past weekend and I had to talk myself out of walking… with less than a mile to go! I have no idea why. I knew the end was near, and it would be done soon, but still, it was a struggle to not just stop and take a break. I’m glad I managed to keep it going – I got a new PR (sub 25!!) AND got 2nd place in my age group. It was worth it. I’m glad to see I’m not alone with these struggles 🙂 (PS, I’d take your bad time any day!! Great job!) And, what the heck? Blazing fast dudes with strollers?? Not fair!

    1. It’s good to know I’m not alone in checking out during a race! And CONGRATS on the PR and age group place. After I saw the times posted for my race, I was really kicking myself. If I would have pushed rather than slowed down, I would’ve got 3rd place in my age group…I was 4 seconds behind!

  12. Focus in a race can be hard. I always have that problem on the bike leg of a triathlon, in particular. I think really tapping into how you are feeling and not paying attention to your surroundings is one good way to help maintain focus. As is having goal and working hard to achieve that particular split you want. You’ll get there–practice makes perfect!

    Great race!
    misszippy1 recently posted..Cheers to title nineMy Profile

  13. As someone who isn’t a big runner, I always assumed the 5K was a breeze for seasoned runners like you. I’m still very impressed with your running this weekend. Keep your chin up!

  14. You’re such a bad ass it’s not even funny. How I mentally condition myself before a work out = I tell myself that before I even know it, it will be over! I also say, hey, at X time, I will be done, relaxing and maybe even napping! LOL! That helps me a lot – LMFAO!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..Miss Matcha Has Met Her MatchMy Profile

  15. I know for a fact my slow times are from mentally checking out. I’ve literally run for fun in my neighborhood faster than I have in several races. And I have a hilly ass neighborhood. 😉

    The worst distance for me is a 10k. It’s not short enough to keep me engaged or long enough to let me make up time, so it always ends in disaster.
    Presley @ Run Pretty recently posted..Positive Outlook + Positive SplitsMy Profile

    1. I’ve only done one 10k and really liked it. I’ve got another coming up in July. It should be interesting to see how it goes.

    1. I thought I’d try something new this year with the road race series. It’s getting me out of my comfort zone of only distance. I’m really digging the variety!

  16. I am not a huge lover of the 5K but find them a necessary evil for helping to increase speed for longer distance. They definitely hurt! You rocked your run! I bet you will get faster with each one!

  17. 5k’s are a whole different kettle of fish compared to marathons.
    However if you can get good at 5k’s they do help your long distance runs.
    Well done. Great time too.
    Matilda recently posted..Leaving HomeMy Profile

      1. I have a 21 Trail half marathon end of June, after that I’m going to concentrate on 5k’s and see if I can bring down my 5k time even more.
        Good luck.
        Matilda recently posted..Leaving HomeMy Profile

  18. I have a hard time focusing sometimes in races too. I think it can happen in any distance, 5K or marathon. Or even sometime during a really hard track repeat of 400m. My mind wanders, I check out and my pace nose dives. Running is just as much mental as it is physical! So glad you had fun and great weather!
    Sarah @runfargirl recently posted..Sugarloaf Marathon RecapMy Profile

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