The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…Sharin’ O The Green 5k Recap

This recap is two weeks old, but I think it’s worth the read:

There is a certain number I’m associated with that has been haunting me for years.

It isn’t my weight. I actually don’t weigh myself or even have a scale in my house.

It isn’t my age. That number seems to keep increasing, no matter how often I truly keep forgetting the correct number.

It’s my 5k time. 20:10. And it’s been a limit, a boundary, for the past 15 years. Since then, I have felt self-induced pressure to break my high school 5k Cross Country PR set at the age of 17 (If you did the math, you know I’m 32).

Yes, it sounds ridiculous. But I have always felt, deep down in my running soul, that I was capable of breaking the 20 minute barrier.

To be honest, I did think it would happen WAY before I was 32! Yet, this also feels like the perfect time in my life to break down barriers and push limits.

So now you know that I’ve PR’d, I guess you don’t need to keep reading! I’ll keep it short and sweet, which is easy since it was only a 5k:

I ran the Sharin’ O The Green 5k last year where I got close to my PR. So, I knew this was a flat, fast course with great potential. What I didn’t know was how freaking windy it was going to be! Like, 19 mph winds and 40 mph gusts.

The course runs as a lollipop, and luckily, the main out/back portion was only a sidewind. It was the middle loop that was a real struggle to maintain pace.

Mile 1: Everyone went out really fast. Or, at least I went out really fast. I tried to keep remembering that this wasn’t a race with anyone but myself. And if I wanted to PR, I needed to be smart about this pacing. So I evened out to a pace I felt I could manage for 3.1. I was still pushing it though.

Mile 2: Always my slowest mile in a 3.1. Always. The wind was awful but I put my head down a bit and was determined to just get through it knowing it would be a sidewind again soon. My pace slowed, but I felt I was still doing well, save that feeling of wanting to puke. Seriously. Badly.

Mile 3: One mile straight back to the finish. It’s amazing how much you can be hurting in a 5k at this point. Lungs, stomach, quads, feet. And I still wanted to puke. But I still wanted to PR and I pushed hard. Hard enough to pass a leprechaun in the last quarter mile. And that felt great.

Mile .1: As I glanced at my watch in the final turn of the course, I was ecstatic to see my time and quickly calculated my potential finish time. I crossed in 19:27. A 43 second PR, dating back nearly 15 years! And I still just wanted to puke.

When that sensation passed, I could truly celebrate my accomplishment, albeit solo. I smiled from ear-to-ear during that cold, windy cool down and I felt like skipping the entire time. Elated. Bursting. Relieved. So many exciting emotions were running through me.

Time: 19:27
Overall: 32/2071
Female: 8/????
AG: 2/436

I have no pictures to document this moment, but I have a memory of that time I broke through limits and boundaries and answered the “what if” question. And that will last a lifetime.




…Sharin’ O The Green 5k

I don’t know what it is about me and signing up last minute for 5k’s. But I did it again.

I had originally put this race on my radar at the beginning of the year. Then, all of a sudden March was here and I actually had to recall what I said I was going to race this month!

When I saw that I had chosen a 5k, I was less than thrilled. Those things hurt!! So, I put off making a decision. Finally, late Thursday night, I pulled out the ol’ debit card and registered. Good thing too, since they sold out and weren’t accepting registrants on race day.

SOTG-logo (2)

I’m finding that the longer distances I run, the longer it takes me to “warm up.” I decided on an easy, slow 5 mile warm up. This may seem like a lot to you! And I think so too. But, I was hoping to get a total of 16 for the day, so I figured an easy 5 prior to a fast 3 wouldn’t hurt. Literally and figuratively.

Since I’m throwing this race into the middle of my 50k training, I didn’t expect my legs to feel fresh. And they didn’t. In fact, they felt pretty brick-ish during the warm up. I guess I’d have to see what happened at the race.

The course was a flat lollipop through the downtown neighborhoods of Fort Collins. The current fire blazing up our trails to the west of town caused poor air quality and high smoke clouds, but I couldn’t smell a thing. Instead, everyone was dressed up in their St. Patty’s day best! A sea of green.

Mile 1-6:43
I didn’t really know what my goal pace should be. It’s “only” 3 miles so I figured I would go hard and hope mile 2 wasn’t as awful as most mile 2’s are for me. This part of the course was completely straight. No turns at all. I kind of liked the view of seeing everyone pull away. I started to practice “eyes up”; my biggest downfall in running. I channeled my high school racing days and picked someone’s back who was ahead of me. My goal was the pass that person.

Mile 2-6:44
This mile was a the lollipop. We did a quick mile around the High School and the Flower Garden. This mile is always my toughest. But later, I was happy to see I was only 1 second off of my first mile’s pace. I kept the same plan, keep my eyes up and pick people off. It worked well in the first mile. I could see a woman in green (duh!) that I’d been eyeing the first mile and I was slowly drawing her in. I hoped to catch her in mile 3.

Mile 3-6:22
Off of the lollipop, I knew it was a straight away to the finish. I was breathing hard, working hard, and now it was time to turn on anything I had left. The woman in green was getting closer. I was passing a few other people, but I wanted her! Finally, at 2.5 I passed an older man who whispered, “Get her.” Of course, I knew this was said in the friendliest of manners, as we all have an appreciation for catching and passing the person in front of us! 🙂 When I caught up to her at 2.6, I told her to “stay with me.” We pushed each other (hard!) for the next quarter mile. I barely pulled ahead at the 3 mile mark where I sprinted past another runner right before the finish.

I made sure to congratulate the few I had just passed, including the woman in green.

Official Time: 20:24
Place: 47/2342
Female 6/???
AG 2/545

As I was walking away from the finish, the woman in green asked if I’d ever like to go for a run with her! Later, Monica and I exchanged information and chatted about running. I love these connections!

In a beer town, the typical prize is a pint glass from a local brewery.


I was certainly tired afterward, but as usual, I wonder what I could have done differently in miles 1-2 since I had a 20 second deficit in that final mile. Could I have pushed harder in the first 2 miles? Would pushing harder at the beginning have made my final mile a little slower, resulting in a similar overall time? Does it really matter since I didn’t train for this distance?

It’s safe to say that all this 50k training doesn’t hurt the 5k distance.

This is actually my PR as an adult. I can’t compare my 5k times when I was 17 years old, right?! But, I AM close to breaking my high school time too. Hmmm….Am I in my prime?!


PS-I didn’t complete the full 16 for the day. After waiting around for the awards ceremony, I was freezing. I contemplated going home to get Chase to finish my final 8, but once I got home, I just wanted a shower. So I did. 😉


…the Resolution Run 5k 2012

On a whim, I decided to run a 5k to end 2012.  I have never run a Resolution Run, but have wanted to for several years.  So, when we realized we would be home for New Years, I started shopping for a local race.  I found a 6pm race on the 31st to be run through the CSU campus.  Good enough for me.

I haven’t run a 5k in nearly two years.  From what I remembered from that experience, as well as all of those 5k’s in high school cross country, is that they are fast and they hurt.  I was expecting the same from this one.

So, I was nervous.  I was nervous about the short distance.  I was nervous about the hamstring.  I was nervous about not having done speedwork in months.

But when I toed the line, I put it all behind me and just focused on flying through the next 3.1.

The race would be two small laps around the interior of campus along with a short out and back.  It was dark and cold.  15 degrees or so.  And I would soon find out that about 1/3 of the course was snowpacked and icy.  My plan was consistency.  Especially in mile 2.  My all time worst mile in a 5k.  I know many of you can agree with me!  I wasn’t sure what my time goal was going to be.  It all depended on how the first mile went and felt.

The group of us (a few hundred) gathered at the informal start line.  At the countdown, we were off.

Mile 1-6:53

We immediately started on snowpack and ice.  I saw a group take off and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them.  Instead, I weaved through a few, found a pace and held through a handful of left turns.  The course was marked fairly well with an arch of orange cones at each turn, along with a few volunteers waving flashlights.  I’d never raced at night, though I have run many time after dark.  I wasn’t sure how the experience would be and considered wearing a headlamp.  I could have gone either way.

Mile 2-6:54

During another snow/ice section, I was seriously wondering if it was worth it to try to keep a sub 7 pace.  I mean, it was just a 5k.  Just a 5k I randomly registered for.  Just a 5k I hadn’t trained for.  Maybe this breathing hard thing wasn’t all that fun.  Oh yeah, back to the 5k’s-are-fast-and-they-hurt bit.  I figured I may as well stick with it through mile 2 and see about that last mile.

Mile 3-6:59

Fell off the pace a bit here.  Don’t really recall why.  I kept my eyes up to catch a few people.  And I did.  That’s always fun.  I was looking forward to wrapping this little race up so I could take a hot shower.  It was cold.

Time:  21:34
Overall place:  30th
Female place:  5th
Division place:  1st

I was surprised at my placing, but super happy with the result, despite the not-so-fast time.  I can’t wait to run another few 5k’s this year, hopefully with a little more training!

This race put me at 1337 miles for the year.  As I embark on a new challenge this year, I am excited for healthy running and many more miles for 2013.