Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Run, Walk and Roll 5k race report

My first 5k of the year was this past Saturday.   I'm so used to marathon start times that I was pleasantly surprised when this one started at 9:15AM.  Run, Walk and Roll was a very small race along the Tempe Town Lake waterfront.  I loved the lack of crowds at this event.  I loved how I could race to the porta-potties 10 minutes from my start time and still make it back to the starting line on time.  And I loved my place in my division, but more on that later...

This year, I plan to focus on speed.   I set my Garmin pace partner to a 10:30 pace thinking that I had been running 11:00 minute miles in training, so a 10:30 would be an appropriate race goal.   Keep in mind, I had only started running again 2 weeks ago.

As the air horn blared, I kept up with the pack of runners.  At about the half-mile mark I started passing people who were moving a little slower than me.  When I reached the mile marker, I looked down at my Garmin.  Staring back at me, my virtual partner told me that I was 1 minute ahead of pace.  1 minute?  I just ran that mile in 9:30?  Yes!

Amazingly, I was able to keep close to that pace throughout the rest of the race and cross the finish line at 30:59.  Not bad for my first race of the new year.  I checked my results when I got home and saw this:

The number on the far right is my division place.  A single digit number for my division place!  Seeing these results, my next goal formed in my mind.  I'm going to place in my division at a race this year.  If I can get seventh place with only two weeks of training, imagine what I can do if I trained.  My strategy for placing in the top three of my division is as follows:
  1. Run more small races.  My division for this race only had 25 people in it.  That helped a lot.
  2. Find races that give awards based on five year age groups.  This means I'm looking to place in Female 30-34.
  3. Finally, (and most importantly as well as most difficult), I need to get my time below 28 minutes.  I think this is doable, although it is going to require a lot of work.
Anything else I should consider for this goal?  What tips and tricks do you know for improving 5k times?   Please fill me in!


  1. I placed 1st in my AG on a very rainy day :) Nobody wanted to get out and run! Congrats on a good race!!!

  2. Great race Joann! Awesome place. Yes, I definitely agree with the small races at first, then build up. Last April, I got 3rd in my age group. However, there were only 4 people in my age But little things like that really boost you up. And I think it's more fun during a race trying to figure out how old the girl in front of you is and if you need to pass them now or follow them and pass them later. It only SOUNDS weird, but believe me, it's more fun. :)

  3. Just found your blog! I am a fellow AZ runner and thought I'd say hello :)

    Great job on your race time! I really think that small races help boost your race confidence (or at least mine!). I once got 2nd place in my age group at a really small race - I was so excited! As soon as I noticed that there weren't many girls around me and I was passing mostly guys I knew I would have a chance, which motivated me a little more :)

    Happy running!