Last Sunday I participated in the Jamie Fund 5K race. I know, I’m a little late getting this race recap up – sorry! But the race was awesome. This is the 2nd year I’ve done this 5K, and I really like the course, atmosphere, and post-race festivities. Plus, all the race proceeds benefit the Jamie Fund
and iCare Disability Awareness Program.
My husband and I got to the race and met up with some friends who were also running. It was their first 5K in a while, so kudos to them for getting out there and tackling it with us! I know they’ll be joining us for some more in the future.
I was super excited to get my bib number – 33. Anyone who’s ever raced with me knows I like bib numbers with 3 or multiples of 3 for good luck. Yep, I’m superstitious like that. I also always drink a diet pepsi on the morning of my races. I know, it sounds crazy, but us athletes have our quirks.
The course was fast and flat through local Mansfield roads. I knew I wasn’t going to do fantastic in the race – I’ve been struggling a bit with speed the last month – but I always give it my all. I pushed hard in the first mile, clocking a 10:24 mile. That’s pretty good for me, because I’m normally a 12 minute per mile runner. Second mile I slowed a bit with 11:29, and then picked it back up slightly for an 11:17 in mile 3.
My finishing time was 35:01, with an overall pace of 11:16/mile. All in all, I was super happy with my performance. That’s a pretty good 5K time for me. After the race, we headed over to Casey O’Conors where we were treated to some post-race appetizers and indulged in a few beers...
.. And I was so excited to get my first Shipyard Pumpkinhead of the season, complete with cinnamon sugar on the glass – yum!!
Anyway - time to look for some good fall races – only a few 5Ks or 10Ks though. I took a lot on my plate this summer and had a road race, cycling event, or triathlon just about every weekend. I’m looking forward to having a little downtime (and going to zumba and some other classes; I like to change it up during the off-season)!
My goal for next year is to finish a 5K in under 32 minutes. Think I can do it? We’ll see! I’d love to hear from you too - What are your goals for exercise and fitness?
Ever been confused my fitness magazines or exercise articles? Here’s a quick refresher course on the terminology often used by personal trainers, exercise physiologists, and those who compete in endurance events. If you’re new to running or triathlon, these may be quite helpful!
Foot strike – This refers to how your foot lands during running. Ideally you should land on your mid-foot – not on your heels (more common) or toes (less common).
Overpronate – This is when your foot rolls inward when your foot strikes the ground in running. Overpronation can make you more vulnerable to injuries. Stability-type shoes can help to correct overpronation.
DOMS – Delayed onset muscle soreness. A soreness that can occur 24-48 hours after you exercise.
Cadence – Most commonly referred to when discussing cycling, this refers to rate at which you’re pedaling (or the number of times you pedal per minute). Ideally, athletes try to maintain a fairly steady cadence. If you find yourself slowing down pedaling, consider shifting down to a lower gear so you can maintain your cadence.
Glycogen – The form of carbohydrate stored in your muscles that gives your body energy for workouts. When glycogen stores run low in long events, athletes may feel themselves “hit the wall.” That’s why it’s important to take in carbohydrate through fuel sources during exercise lasting longer than 60-75 minutes.
Bib – This is your race number. You pin it to your shirt or wear it on a race belt. The photo below is my bib number from the North Shore Tour de Cure!
Body marking – In triathlon (not road races), your arms and legs will be marked with your race number using a marker.
Gun time – The time the clock says when you run across the finish line.
Chip time – Your actual time based on when you crossed the starting line and when you finished. In big races or triathlon, you’ll almost always have a timing chip (usually built into your race bib or that straps on your shoe or around your ankle). Smaller races where everyone crosses the start around the same time may not have a timing chip.
Transition – The 4th part of triathlon. This is the time between the swim and the bike and between the bike and the run when you must transition into the new sport. Between the swim and the bike, you’ll put on shoes, your helmet, your race number, and grab your bike. Between the bike and the run, you’ll re-rack your bike, change from bike to run shoes (if you have different ones for each), and take your helmet off.
Before the race, you'll set up your transition area with all your gear (see photo below).
Cross-training – This refers to a workout day where you’ll choose another exercise rather than the one on which you focus the majority of your time. For example, runners may cross train on the bike or elliptical. Fortunately for triathletes, the nature of having to train for 3 different disciplines means that you’re essentially cross training anyway.
Tempo run – This is a run done at a relatively tough pace, usually just a little slower than race pace. Some people call it “comfortably tough.” For example: you may do a warm up, run a few miles at tempo pace (the specific number of miles will vary based on your race distances and goals), and then do a cool down.
Speedwork – These are structured workouts that usually involve a warm-up, set distances where you’re working at fast speeds, and recovery time. They may involve hills, intervals, and/or track workouts.
Fartlek - This is a Swedish term meaning “speed play” – a form of interval training. Rather than set intervals though, a fartlek workout is more unstructured and spontaneous. Start out with a 10 minute warm up run, and then start adding some speed – run as fast as you can until the next stop sign or pick a speedy pace and maintain it for two minutes. After each speed burst, return to a comfortable running pace to recover. Add in multiple intervals and switch up the speed and distances throughout the workout.
5K = 3.1 miles
10K = 6.2 miles
Half marathon = 13.1 miles
Marathon = 26.2 miles
Sprint Tri = ¼ to ½ mile swim, 10-15 mile bike, 3-4 mile run (distances may vary based on the race)
Olympic Tri = 0.9 mile swim, 22-28 mile bike, 6.2 mile run (distances may vary based on the race)
Half Ironman = 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run
Ironman = 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run
DLF>DNF>DNS – This is a common phrase used by runners, cyclists, and triathletes. It stands for dead last finish triumphs did not finish which is still better than did not start. A great motto to use going into races – it doesn’t matter what place you come in, because you’re already doing more than everyone sitting on their couch at home.
The very first 5K I did was at a triathlon expo several years back. I don’t know why I thought it would be a smart idea to sign up for my first 5K event at a location where there were bound to be people much more athletic and experienced than me. As I got to the registration area, I noticed tons of very athletic looking people in serious running gear – a bit of a different look than my old sweats and t-shirt. Some of them were talking about minimalist shoes, some talking about barefoot running, some talking about compression socks – I stood there with my friend thinking “what the heck are they talking about?!”
There were only about 45 people racing, and of course everyone finished incredibly fast. I, on the otherhand, did not finish fast. I finished in my typical ‘slow and steady’ fashion. So slow, in fact, that I got lost at one point on the 2 loop course because the person directing the turn had left by my 2nd loop. I missed the turn and went straight, and as I started running up stairs (yep, stairs) a minute later, I thought... “Hmm, this doesn’t seem right.”
Luckily I had enough sense to turn around and figure out where to go. I finished in second to last place, only 10 seconds in front of a woman who was at least 30 to 40 years older than me.
Did I feel scared before the run? Um, yes! Overwhelmed during the run? Yep. Did I finish proud of myself, despite coming in 2nd to last? You better believe it.
I wanted to share this story because one of our rock star
2012 Challenge participants is nervous about tackling one of their February challenges – signing up for a 5K. She is doing amazing in the 2012 Challenge
, and is definitely one of our top competitors. And I know there are others out there who might feel a little nervous and intimidated about road races.
Don’t let being scared of an event deter you from tackling it – I know anyone out there can do a road race, triathlon, cycling event – anything if they put their mind (and body) to it! And remember - not every race is going to go as smoothly as you’d like it to. You may have an off day, run slower, feel sick to your stomach, or experience any number of setbacks. Doesn’t change the fact that you’re there, putting effort into accomplishing something great. You may not finish in a time you’d like or finish ahead of the crowd – but you are still finishing.
So go out there and find a 5K. And if you end up surrounded by some serious athletes who just lapped you, finding yourself running up a set of stairs, and barely beating out someone 40 years older than you – just take a deep breath, calm yourself down, and smile. I look back on that first 5k with a fond memory and a laugh. It certainly makes for a great story, and only makes my successes since then that much sweeter.
Good luck to all newbies reading this! If you’re an experienced runner or triathlete, please share some words of motivation in the comments section to help out our readers who may be nervous about completing their first road race!
Dressed as a ninja turtle, I ran next to princesses, witches and Dr. Seuss characters today when I tackled the 13th Annual Milton Monster Dash 5K. The race was scheduled to be held last Sunday, but due to our unexpected snowstorm in the Northeast they rescheduled it for this weekend. And we lucked out with much better weather today, a sunny day approaching 50 during the run.
This annual race is held in memory of Sam Cichello, a child from Milton who died following a playground accident in 1999. The funds raised in the Monster Dash support hands-on science education and curriculum enrichment in the Milton Public School District.
I’ve never done this race before, but I loved it for 2 reasons: 1) the emphasis on the cause, and providing science education for children, and 2) the huge number of families that ran this race together. It was really great to see families embracing a fitness event.
After the 5K, there were also dance contests and limbo events for the kids. I will admit, I'm a little sad they didn’t do an adult limbo contest...anyone who knows me knows that I am amazing at limbo. At a friend’s engagement party last summer, I won the limbo contest, b. I did have a bit of a sore back the next day, but oh well…
Anyway - For those families out there, I challenge you to find a fun race, bike ride, or other fitness event this month and participate together as a family. Maybe try a turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning and start a new tradition before your delicious meal? You might be surprised at how much your kids will enjoy it. A key is to focus on the fun of participating, and not worry so much about times and other participants. Finishing is a great reward in and of itself!