Piper’s PR at the St. Agnes 5K

Today Piper earned herself a new 5K record of 22:43! That time came within 5 seconds of my own personal best, which I set on a PR-friendly, point-to-point net downhill course in December. With that in mind, I’m going to consider today’s finish at the St. Agnes 5K my own new “loop course” personal best as well, albeit with an asterisk next to it for *Piper-assisted.  😄


As the asterisk indicates, I do know that at least some of our speedy time can be attributed to the fact that Piper sets a grueling pace and pulls me forward just a little bit throughout the entire race. (Except when we passed a cat in the first mile, then she pulled left!) Piper is a very serious running buddy who never lunges at other dogs, never veers off course, and never, ever stops to sniff or pee during a run. Once we’re moving Piper rarely breaks out of her rapid-fire trot stride; all she wants to do is go, go, GO!!


Here we are near the halfway point. Piper’s tongue is making a rare appearance. (Photo credit: St. Agnes 5K)

So about the race… As is usually the case, I wanted to avoid running the first mile too quickly.  I mentally set a goal of 7:40 and began the race with Piper at my side, way out to the left of the field (the first turn is a right). Piper snorted and urged me forward but I kept our speed to a comfortable jog and let other runners and lots of kids move out in front of us. We cruised down a hill and along a flat section of road before my watch beeped a 7:19 first split. Too fast! But it felt SO EASY!

I’ve started many past races too quickly and, after seeing the first mile split, justified my actions by thinking “maybe today will be the day that I go out really fast and actually maintain it for a 5K!!” Until today, however, every time I’ve thought this I’ve been dead wrong.  Instead of magically maintaining a too-fast first mile pace I end up struggling through a painful second and third mile and later kick myself for blowing it at the start. But not today… today I actually DID maintain that pace AND got even faster as the race went on!

Piper and I cruised through some uphill and downhill during mile 2, and soon I was smiling to myself as my watch beeped a 7:18 second mile split.  I joyfully took a break from my near-constant commentary of “heel!” and “Piper, WAIT!” to tell Piper she was a good girl. Then we blasted into mile 3. At this point I knew that we were likely on pace to beat my previous “loop” 5K PR of 23:17, but I didn’t think that I could realistically manage to run any faster than a 7:18 third mile.


But run faster we did! Piper and I somehow sped up, passed two guys on a long straightaway, and powered into the final incline up Market Street to the finish line. With the end of the race in sight my Garmin notified me that we had covered our third mile in an unbelievable 7:13 (7:13!!!) and that gave me the oomph to push up the hill and cross the finish line. As I bent over to catch my breath I looked at Piper and realized that she wasn’t even panting. What a show off! 😄

Pipe and I cooled down together, then she got to meet lots of little kids and happily accepted many pets and hugs in exchange for her hard work on the race course. Our 22:43 finish time put us 34th overall and 8th female (well, 9th for me, technically speaking) and I belatedly realized that I also won my age group. Cool! Most of all, I am just thrilled to have had such a great experience with my lovely pup this morning and I look forward to many more runs (and hopefully more races if the weather stays cold!) together this spring.


Miles since last post: 268.9
Days since last post: 76
2016 Miles: 1578.8
2017 MILES: 229

Past Races:
• February ’17:
 Pickle Road Run 5K (2/18)
• December ’16:
Jingle Elf 2M (12/2), Brian’s Run 5M (12/11), DE Downhill 5K (12/18) [5K PR]
• November ’16:
Trinity 5K (11/5), 7 Summits Turkey Trot (11/24)
• October ’16:
Run for the House 5K (10/1), True Blue 5K (10/16), Boo Run 5K (10/29)
• August ’16:
Cure4Cam Rustin (8/18)
• June ’16: Media 5 Miler (6/17), Cure4Cam (6/20)
• May ’16:
Media Mile (5/7) [1M PR], Rocky Run Trail 5K (5/13), Turtle Trot Trail 5K (5/15), Elwyn Max 5K (5/21)
• April ’16:
Evolve IP 5K (4/2), Empower the Children 5K (4/17), Haverford Twilight Run (4/23) [5K PR Tie]
• March ’16:
 St. Agnes 5K (3/5), 3-2-1 Loop 10K (3/12) [10K PR], Pickle Run (3/19)
• February ’16:
Pickle with Piper (2/20)
• January ’16:
Pickle Trail Run (1/30)
• December ’15: Jingle Elf Run (12/3) [2M PR], Brian’s Run (12/5) [5M PR], Reindeer Romp 5K (12/13)
• November ’15:
Trinity 5K (11/7), Seven Summits Turkey Trot (11/26) [5K PR]
• October ’15:
BAAR 5K (10/3), Double OyVey 10K (10/25) [10K PR], Boo Run 5K (10/31)
• September ’15: Run-A-Muck Trail 5K (9/19)
• August ’15:
Boxcar Mile (8/13), Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/27)
• June ’15: Media 5 Mile (6/19)
• May ’15: Broad Street 10 Mile Run (5/3) [10M PR], Rocky Run Trail 5K (5/15), Victory 5K (5/17)
• April ’15: Tyler Trail 10K (4/11) [10K PR], Empower the Children 5K (4/18), Haverford Twilight 5K (4/26) [5K PR]
• March ’15:
Athlete’s Closet March 5K (3/7), St. Pat’s 5K (3/14), Granogue Trail 10K (3/21), Pickle Run #3 (3/28)
• February ’15: Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/7), Pickle Trail Run #2 (2/21)
• January ’15: SRA New Year’s Day 5K (1/1), Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/3), Pickle Run #1 (1/17)
• December ’14: Jingle Elf 2 Mile (12/5) [2M PR]Brian’s Run 5 Miler (12/7) [5M PR], Athlete’s Closet Holiday 5K (12/14)
• November ’14: Trinity Berwyn 5K (11/1)  [5K PR], Metal Run 5K (11/8), Seven Summits Turkey Trot (11/27)
• October ’14: Martin’s Run 5K (10/5), Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/18), Bark in the Park 5K (10/25)
• September ’14: Talk 5K Trail Run (9/13), Run A Muck Trail Race (9/20), Haverford Township 5K (9/27)
• August ’14: Riddlewood 5K (8/3), Radnor Red Steeplechase (8/17), Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28) [5K PR]
• July ’14: Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10), Swarthmore Independence Eve 8K (7/18) [5M PR]
• June ’14: Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1), Media 5 Miler (6/20)
• May ’14: Elwyn 5K (5/3), Run for Victory 5K (5/18) [5K PR], Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30)
• April ’14: Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3), Rick’s Run 5K (4/19), St. Tim’s 5K (4/26)
• March ’14: Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1), Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30)
• February ’14: Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1)
• January ’14: Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4)
• December ’13: Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14), New Year’s Eve YMCA 5K (12/31) [5K PR]
• November ’13: Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2), Turkey Trot 5K (11/28)
• October ’13: Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19), Oy Vey 5K (10/27) [5K PR]
• September ’13: Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21)
• The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

11 thoughts on “Piper’s PR at the St. Agnes 5K

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