Reflections from Another 5k Season

Well I’m glad that’s over.

Another 5k season is thankfully winding to a close, and I for one, couldn’t be happier.

I know that some people love the 5k, but it’s easily my least favorite race distance. Maybe it makes me sound like a wuss, but the 5k is really nothing but pain and agony. A not quite sprint, but nowhere near comfortable, 20ish minute run.

No thanks. Give me 26.2 miles instead of those nauseating 3.1 any day of the week.


Photo by The Wife

Lessons Learned this 5k Season

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Did I Screw Up My Marathon Training?

As someone who absolutely hates using marathon training plans, I’m pretty willy nilly when it comes to my running schedule while preparing for a race.

I know I need to get in a certain amount of miles per week, and that I need to do some regular long runs to get ready for a marathon. I’ve also learned from experience that I HAVE to get in a run of at least 22 miles prior to running my race. I’m not at all sure how people can be ready for a full 26.2 miles when the longest you’ve run to date is only 20 miles?!?!

Oh, it’s because your training plan said to only do a 20 miler. Have fun on race day, bud.

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The Aching Quad 2013 Recap

This past weekend, the Lakeland Runner’s Club put on their annual Aching Quad race series.

The Aching Quad is a 4 race series, with all 4 races taking place within a 24 hour period. The first race, a 5k, took place Friday evening. Then on Saturday morning, we ran a quick 1 miler at 7am, followed by a 2 miler an hour and a half later. We took the hot part of the day off, and then reconvened for the final 5k on Saturday evening.

For some of you, that may not sound all that daunting. If you run these races hard, especially the two races on Saturday morning, you’d be surprised how difficult this series actually is. I don’t think I underestimated the cumulative effect of 4 races in 24 hours, but the Aching Quad series is no joke. Believe me.

2013 Watermelon Series Recap

The 2013 Watermelon Series is officially in the books.

And let me just say that I’m glad to be part of the Lakeland Runners Club, as our organization does an absolutely incredible job of putting this race series on every year. Hats off to all of the organizers and volunteers who skipped out on running these races to allow those of us that did run to have a great time! Thanks yall!

The Summer Sunrise Watermelon Series consists of 4 5k races that are held 3-4 weeks apart with the finishing times of each race added together to determine overall and age group finisher times. If you don’t run all 4 races, you aren’t eligible for any of the series prizes, which is a cool dynamic. Read more

Carol Marsh Kids 2 Camp 5k

This past weekend, my wife and I competed in a 5k race here in Lakeland.

Unlike the majority of 5ks in Lakeland, this one didn’t take place around Lake Hollingsworth. And while there is nothing wrong with running a race around Lake Hollingsworth, the different scenery/course was a very breath of fresh air.

Not only was the course new, but this was the first time that this particular race had been run. We ran in the 1st Annual, Carol Marsh Kids 2 Camp 5k, which was a fund raiser by First United Methodist Church to help kids attend summer camp. The opportunity to run a new race on a new course for a great cause was too much to pass up.

So I signed up.

The morning of the race was great, although some might argue that it was a touch on the chilly side. Temps were in the mid-to-high 50s, but the breeze was almost non-existent. While we were waiting for the race to begin, members of the church’s youth group praise band were singing songs out on the patio.

I had no plans of going very fast, but I have a hard time not giving it my all when I pin a race number to my shirt. So while a nice, easy 25-26 minute race was what I was shooting for, when the race started I took off a little faster than I had planned. When I got to the 1 mile mark and heard someone yell out 7:05, I thought maybe I should go ahead and push it a little bit. I hadn’t run a 5k in over 3 years, and 25 or 26 minutes would have been a PR anyway, so I kept my foot on the gas and went for it.

At 1 mile, I was cruising comfortably and in about 7th place overall. I was hoping to keep steady with the trio in front of me, and see if I could pick them off towards the end of the race. Instead, I got around all 3 of them before 1.5, and set my sights on the guy in 3rd, who was only a half a block in front of me. I passed him at about the 2 mile mark, and never looked back.

The two guys that were out in front of me were long gone, but I was pretty happy with the way the race was progressing. The last mile was a loop around Lake Morton before finishing back at the church. As I was going around the lake, I took a peek at my watch and knew I was in for a pretty good time. As I came to the final turn and last little bit up a (very small) hill, I accelerated as much as I could. When I crossed the line, I stopped my watch and was a surprised to see a 21:38. A few years ago, my goal was to one day be able to run a 5k in less than 24 minutes. I guess I took care of that.

My time was good enough for 3rd overall in the race (can anyone say slow field?), and 2nd in my age group, and for my efforts I got a pretty sweet prize. The kids in the Neighborhood Ministries program at the church were in charge of decorating the prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers in each age group, and they decorated plates in whatever way they wanted to. Whoever decorated mine did a great job drawing a bunch of colorful spirals all over the plate, which really looks pretty neat.


Photo by The Wife

Plans are already in the works for next year, so I hope a few more people will be able to take part in the 2nd Annual Carol Marsh Kids 2 Camp 5k. I know I’ll be there.

I’ve got a plate to defend.