Reindeer Romp 5K

Happy New Year! Now that the holidays are over I’m catching up on some posts from last year… here’s the recap of my 27th and final race of 2015!

Three weeks ago I ran the Reindeer Romp 5K in Havertown, PA. At the time what was most memorable about this race was the weather… it was 70 degrees, in Pennsylvania, in DECEMBER!!! (By comparison, it was 30 degrees when I raced this same weekend last year.)

The hot and humid weather was shocking at the time, but since then we’ve had multiple days in the mid-60s so now it seems less bizarre. The weather topped out at 71 degrees on Christmas eve!! Although I definitely prefer running in cold temps I have to admit that these warm days have been a nice way to ease into winter. 😄

Running in Philadelphia (in a tank top!) on Christmas Day

Running in Philadelphia (in a tank top!) on Christmas Day

So back to the race… this was my first time doing the Reindeer Romp. It was very well attended with over 500 runners, several vendors, AND a visit from Santa in the middle of the course!! Prior to this race I had PR’d three races in a row (5K2 mile, and 5 mile!), so I didn’t feel a burning need to vie for a new personal best at the Reindeer Romp. I figured I’d go out quick just in case I had another PR in me, but if a sub 23:17 seemed out of reach I’d just settle in and enjoy myself.

Reindeer Romp 5K Stats_

Thanks to a slight downhill during much of the first mile, split 1 was a speedy and comfortable 7:21, right on par with my 5K PR performance from Thanksgiving. But then mile 2 began with a long uphill climb. This hill combined with my fast first mile and the unusual heat and humidity definitely got to me and I struggled through the second mile with a split of 7:46. The only redeeming part of this mile was when a fire truck drove by and I belatedly realized that Santa Claus was on it, merrily cheering us on. Thanks for the encouragement, Santa!! 😄

I knew after seeing my second mile split that I wasn’t going to PR, so I just hung in there for mile 3, trying to keep my pace under 8:00. I just barely met that goal with a 7:57 and before I knew it was crossing the finish line with an official chip time of 23:49.

23:49. Not my best race of the year, but a very solid time, especially considering the weather and the fact that I had run two fast races the weekend before. I was feeling a little indifferent about my race performance until the race director announced the age group awards and I found out that I came in 3rd in my age group! That was a total surprise and cheered me right up, especially when they handed me a big glass mug with the race logo on it. What a great prize!!

Reindeer Romp Mug

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I ran 27 races in 2015: one 1 miler, one 2 miler, nineteen 5Ks, two 5 milers, three 10Ks, and one 10 miler. Overall the Reindeer Romp was a fun way to end my year of racing, but for my race schedule the timing of this race will always put it the weekend after my big double race weekend of the season. Therefore I think if I run the Romp next year it will again be as more of a fun, end-of-season event rather than a major goal race. There’s nothing wrong with that though, especially when a mid-course wave from Santa and a giant beer mug are involved!

Miles since last post: 120.7
Days since last post: 27
2015 TOTAL MILES: 1718
2016 MILES: 9.8

Past Races:
• December ’15: Jingle Elf Run (12/3) [2M PR], Brian’s Run (12/5) [5M PR]
• 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)

Brian’s Run 5 Miler

This afternoon I raced the 5 mile Brian’s Run in West Chester, PA. Last year I ran a huge personal best of 39:11 at this race and still think of that performance as one of my top three best races ever. 2014’s race was so good that I actually had second thoughts about registering for Brian’s Run this year… I just didn’t think there was any way I could improve on last year’s time.

Just before Thanksgiving I set my doubts aside and signed up for Brian’s Run, resolving to simply do my best and not worry about last year’s time. Then I ran a 5K PR on Thanksgiving Day and a 2 mile PR two days ago and started to think maybe… maybe there WAS some way that I could run another 39:11… but probably not.

Perfect day for a race

I arrived at the race about an hour early, picked up my bib and immediately bumped into a friend from my running club. The weather was gorgeous for December – mid 50s and sunny without a cloud in the sky – so we decided that we’d race in short sleeves (a wise choice) before running a short warm up together.

The race began promptly at 1PM and I crossed the start line with 487 other runners. My race plan was to basically just try to equal my splits from last year’s race, so that’s how I’ll recap each mile.

Mile 1 – 2014 Split: 7:33
The course starts by looping through the neighborhoods next to Henderson High School. I only glanced at my watch once during this mile to look at my average pace… 7:15. Too fast! I dialed it back slightly but then purposefully did not look at my mile split. I figured there was nothing I could do about it now and it was better NOT to know so I wouldn’t spend the next four miles over-thinking my overall race time. If I had looked, I would have seen a 7:25 split.

Mile 2 – 2014 Split: 7:42
The second mile swings by the high school (the start/finish point) before veering northwest into the hilly portion of the race. At this point I switched on my music (I ran the first 1.5ish miles without it) in an attempt to take my mind off the hills. The second mile includes a nice section of downhill, so I was pleased but not shocked to see a split of 7:29.

Mile 3 – 2014 Split: 8:06
The third and fourth miles of this course are tough, with rolling hills and lots of turns. I was really happy to have my 5K playlist streaming through my earbuds and I used the upbeat songs to try to increase my cadence and keep my pace up. I was excited to see my third mile split of 8:03… maybe there was a chance I could come close to last year’s time.

Mile 4 – 2014 Split: 8:16
I made a point of checking my 5K split as this mile began. I went through the 5K in 23:42, the same time I had raced The Boo Run in just 5 weeks ago. Only now I had another 1.9 miles to go! The fourth mile finished off with a huge climb and I was thrilled to see my watch report an 8:13 split. It was then that I realized I could definitely PR this race!

Mile 5 – 2014 Split: 7:31
In 2014 that final split time of 7:31 was an absolute record for me. I have never even finished a 5K’s final mile faster than that! This year I pounded into the fifth mile knowing that a PR was completely within reach; all I had to do was run FAST for a few more minutes.

This race finishes with 1 1/2 laps on the track in Henderson High School’s stadium – the same place I ran the Boxcar Mile in August. As part of the chip timing you get your final 400m split and I knew that last year’s time had been 1:50. With that in mind, I decided that as long as the clock was not past 37:11 when I passed the finish for my final lap, I was definitely going to PR.  Imagine my surprise when I passed the clock at 36:42! Just one lap left…

The last lap was really, really hard. At that point I didn’t care that my PR was basically locked up; I just wanted to go as fast as I possibly could. It turns out that the fastest 400m I could muster at that point was a 1:47 (7:08 pace) which put me across the finish line at precisely 38 minutes and 28 seconds… A 43 SECOND PERSONAL BEST!!!! And the final mile split? 7:18!!!!!

Brians Run Stats_

Wow. I really didn’t see this PR coming, and certainly never imagined that I was capable of PR-ing by 43 seconds! Moments after crossing the line I got a text from Matt who had been watching my race via Garmin’s LiveTrack function: “Did you just crush your PR?” Why YES!! I DID!!!! Best feeling ever.

Happy Selfie Post Brian's Run

I joined up with another running friend after the race for a nice, long, happy cool down (we both PR’d) and then drove straight home to shower and write this post. (Well, I had to write the Jingle Elf post first, but you get the idea.) I have now been lucky enough to PR three different race distances in a row. Each of them were exciting, but this 38:28 finish at Brian’s Run takes the cake. Best race ever!

My next race (and possibly my final race of 2015) is the Reindeer Romp in Havertown next Sunday. Before today’s race I was planning to just take it easy at the Romp and run it for fun, but now I’m thinking that I might be in position to come close to another PR… we’ll see what happens!!

Miles since last post: 0
Days since last post: 0
2015 MILES: 1607.1

Past Races:
• December ’15: Jingle Elf Run (12/3) [2M PR]
• 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)

Jingle Elf 2 Miler

Guess what? I ran TWO races this weekend.  I’m home from the second race (Brian’s Run 5 Mile) and enjoying a well-deserved chocolate covered marshmallow Santa as I type.  I’m SO EXCITED to tell you about how Brian’s Run went but I like to keep things in chronological order so I’ll start by recapping the weekend’s first race.

On Friday night I ran the Jingle Elf Run for the second year in a row.  This 2 mile race kicks off the enormous West Chester Christmas parade which means that the runners are treated to amazing crowd support from the hundreds of families waiting for Santa along the parade route.  It also means that parking in town is insane, but I learned that lesson last year and this year opted to park at my brother’s house and jog into town as my warm up.

Last year I set my (automatic) 2 mile PR at this race with a finish time of 14:33.  This year I was hoping to better that time and I got my wish!!  I started off fast and before I knew it I had completed the first loop around town with a 1 mile split of 7:02.  (Which actually wasn’t quite as speedy as last year’s blazing 6:52… proof that I am making incremental progress in my quest to not start out too fast!!)

Crossing the finish line -- look at the huge parade crowd!

Crossing the finish line — look at the huge parade crowd!

I continued into the second lap, hoping I would be able maintain enough speed to beat last year’s time.  I felt much slower as I entered the long stretch down Gay Street so I tried to focus on the crowd and use their energy as motivation.  I high-fived a few kids and was so relieved when the gentle downhill turn onto Matlack Street finally came into view.  I zoomed down the hill, turned into Market Street, and pushed hard towards the homestretch.  I crossed the finish mats in 14:28… a 5 second PR!!

Jingle Elf Stats_

I ended up 34th overall, 11th female and 3rd in my age group. Not bad! I loved this little race and will definitely plan to do it again next year.  The crowd support is great, it’s an unusual, fun distance, AND it’s a great way to “warm up” for Brian’s Run on Sunday.  More on that race in the next post…

Miles since last post: 15.1
Days since last post: 3
2015 MILES: 1607.1

Past Races:
• 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)

Turkey-Trotting my way to a 5K PR!

On Thanksgiving morning I ran the Seven Summits Turkey Trot 5K for the third year in a row. When I run the same course multiple times I love comparing my splits and stats from each race:

Turkey Trot Stats 2013-15

Comparing races is even more fun when you run a new personal best!!! 😄

Matt and I arrived at Wilson Farm Park about an hour before the race started, just in time to get a good parking spot and admire the view across the park. It was 39° and sunny… perfect conditions for a 5K.

Pretty Morning for a Turkey Trot! 2

After a year of consistent speedwork and interval training and some faster race performances this fall I went into Thursday’s race believing that I was capable of running a PR. The race got underway just after 9AM and I crossed the starting line with 842 other turkey trotters, eager to see how the race would turn out!

Turkey Trot Start

Where’s Annie?

Run the first mile with your head…
In 2014 I clearly remembered wishing that I had started the Turkey Trot faster to take advantage of some early downhills. With that in mind, this year I pushed myself a little more than usual in Mile 1 and was happy to see a first split of 7:20.

The second mile with your focus…
As the second mile began I focused on my running form and cadence and was surprised to realize that I still felt comfortable and in control. The course wove back towards the parking area and I saw Matt cheering me on. (I couldn’t hear him over the tune of Elle King’s Ex’s & Oh’s , though.) After what felt like a strong second mile I was thrilled when my watch beeped a 7:22 split!

And the third mile with your heart.
I got a spurt of energy after seeing my second mile split and entered the final mile feeling optimistic about my PR chances. Then some gentle uphills began and I realized how tired I was! I felt slow and kept checking my watch to check my average pace for the final mile.

On the fly, I had calculated that I needed to stay under 8:00 in the final mile to get my PR… it was going to be close! I somehow found some extra speed and was relieved when my Garmin reported that I had completed mile 3 in 7:51.

The final tenth of a mile was an absolute blur. During most of the race I had been just behind a man pushing a double stroller (wow!) and as the finish line came into view he picked up his pace with an impressive kick. I decided that I had a kick left in me too and went with him. We were neck and neck for a few seconds before I blasted by him in what felt like a dead sprint. (In the man’s defense, he had to slow down slightly to safely cross the timing mats!)

Turkey Trot PR Finish!

I could not see the finish clock through most of the homestretch. I had not looked at the total time elapsed on my watch so until the final moment of the race I did not know if I was going to PR. Then the clock came into view and it was in the 23-teens!! I zoomed across the line and stopped my watch at 23:16.XX. An 8 second PR!!

According to the official results, my clock time of 23:21 was good enough for 113th overall, 35th female and 3rd in my age group! Bizarrely, the official results display my chip time as 22:45 which I know is wrong, so for the sake of my PR I’m saying that my time was 23:17 since that’s what I had on my Garmin. Strange that the chip time was so off but I am quite pleased with my new PR nonetheless!

My next race is TONIGHT!  At 6:30PM I’ll be running the Jingle Elf 2 Miler to help kick off the Christmas Parade in West Chester, PA. This is another repeat race for me… I’ll find out soon if I can beat last year’s 2 mile PR!

Miles since last post: 88.6
Days since last post: 19
2015 MILES: 1592

Past Races:
• November ’15: Trinity 5K (11/7)
• 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)

Year 3 of the Trinity Berwyn 5K

10 seconds faster than last week, 1 second faster than last year, and 6 seconds off my PR.
…that pretty much sums up my performance at this year’s Trinity Berwyn 5K!

2015 marked my third consecutive year running this race. In 2013 this was the fourth race of my post-college career. That first year I struggled and had to walk up the final hill before finishing in 25:48. In 2014 the Trinity 5K fell on my birthday and I zoomed through the rain with a new PR time of 23:32 – a great way to kick off my 30s! In 2015 I basically matched my previous year’s efforts, a sign that I’m right on pace for my end-of-year races!

Post Trinity 5K Selfie

2015’s edition of the Trinity Berwyn 5K was held on Saturday, November 7th. The weather was ideal for running – 61° and overcast – and I drove to the race alone while Matt and Piper slept in. After the two previous years I was very familiar with the course (which actually goes through my grandma’s old neighborhood!) so I knew what my plan would be.

Trinity Elevation Chart

Although it’s generally a good idea to start a 5K slow and try to run negative splits, this race’s elevation profile gave me a different idea. After a long downhill in the first mile, the second half of this course is mostly uphill with a steep climb in the final mile. For this reason I threw rational, negative-split thinking to the wind and decided to go out FAST. I wanted to take advantage of the downhill while it lasted!

Mile 1 clicked by in 7:13, feeling smooth and very comfortable thanks to 116 feet of elevation loss. I dropped to a relatively normal (for me) 5K pace of 7:44 during mile 2. Then the fun began.

Mile 3 was tough!! Gone was the cute “run with your heart” saying from the previous week’s race. This was just “run with your training and strength and hang in there for one. more. mile.” I pushed up the big hill, remembering how I had walked it two years before. As I neared the top I passed a guy and then really tried to pick up my pace as best I could. I had covered this section of the course during my warm up and knew that I was very close to the finish.

I flew through the third mile split with a time of 8:16. I think I probably ran up the hill at 9:00++ pace which meant that I really was moving quickly by the time my watch beeped the mile time. I took the final turn into the Trinity parking lot and saw the clock. Things were a blur by this point but I knew I needed to get across that line in under last year’s time. I gave the last few meters everything I had and crossed the line in 23:31… 10 seconds better than my race the week before, 1 second better than 2014, and a mere 6 seconds off of my all-time 5K personal best. Success!

Trinity 5K Stats_

After the race I ran a long cool down through the town of Berwyn before returning to Trinity to see the final results. I finished 5th place female and 1st in my age group! I collected my medal and then drove home to Matt and Piper to tell them all about my morning.  😄

I’m taking this weekend and next off from racing. I’ll be biding my time until Thanksgiving day, when I hope to finish even faster than 23:31 at my third running of the Seven Summits Turkey Trot. Hopefully come race day I’ll be targeting a new 5K PR!

Miles since last post: 43.2
Days since last post: 9
2015 MILES: 1503.4

Past Races:
• 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)

A Halloween 5K: Recap of The Boo Run

Last Saturday was Halloween and I decided to kick off the holiday with a local race. My choices were Philadelphia’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (WAY too long for me!), a local “Zombie Run” where zombies chase you on the course (eek!) and a good old 5K race in the hilly neighborhoods of Wallingford, PA. I opted for the safe, non-living-dead option and at 10:30AM found myself toeing the start line of my second Wallingford road race in just 7 days. (See the Double OyVey 10K for the first.)

A beautiful day for a race! (Photo Credit: TCLR)

A beautiful day for a race! I’m the one wearing a different orange shirt. (Photo Credit: TCLR)

The inaugural “Boo Run” was hosted by local non-profit The Creative Living Room. The 5K course differed from any other race I’ve done in Wallingford and I thoroughly enjoyed its many twists and turns. The race began on a flat stretch of Plush Mill Road, passing Pendle Hill (a Quaker retreat) before veering right onto a section of the Leiper-Smedley Trail that was blanketed in colorful fall leaves. The course then plummeted downhill on Rogers Lane (mimicking the finish of the Fueled Up 5K) before turning right onto a loooong uphill section of Turner Road that lasted for most of the 2nd mile. After a quick loop through a neighborhood and a little downhill the race finished back at The Creative Living Room in the middle of a mini festival with sponsor tents, food, kids’ games and music.

The night before this race I read an article by Lauren Fleshman in which she laid out a strategy for the perfect 5K. The following line really stuck with me:

“Run the first mile with your head, the second mile with your focus, and the third mile with your heart.”

I attempted to follow this plan and repeated that mantra to myself multiple times during the race.

Running with my heart during mile 3.

Running with my heart during mile 3.

I often go out too fast in the first mile, so on Saturday I tried to use my head and worked hard to stay at a slow, steady pace that didn’t feel too hard. I chose not to look at my watch for the first split because I didn’t want to spend mile 2 overthinking how fast or slow I went out. If I had looked, I would have seen that mile 1 was over in 7:37.

Mile 2 was almost entirely uphill. I knew this hill was coming but that didn’t make it any easier. I tried to stay focused on my cadence and pace but when my watch beeped a second mile split of 8:06 I figured that I probably wasn’t going to finish the race with an especially fast time. (Plus remember, I didn’t know about the 7:37 first mile!)

As soon as mile 3 began I told myself to relax and just give the end of the race everything I had left. At that point I was pretty sure that I was currently the first place female on the course. If that was the case I certainly didn’t want to get passed in the last mile so I pushed myself hard, only glancing back once at a turn to confirm that no one was right on my heels.

The finish line finally came into view along with a big surprise… the clock was in the mid-23s!! I happily crossed the line as the clock struck 23:41 and was thrilled when the race timer told me I was indeed the first place woman. Woohoo!

Boo Run 5K Stats

After the race when I checked my final split I did a double take… apparently I ran the last mile in 7:31!!! That’s my fastest final mile ever (tied with Brian’s Run, to be precise) and one of the only times that the final mile has been my fastest of a race. Cool!

Top female Boo Run finishers. (Photo Credit: TCLR)

Top female Boo Run finishers. (Photo Credit: TCLR)

The first place prize was a gift certificate to a local yoga studio. The certificate is being mailed to me and I haven’t received it yet, but I think it’s for 5 weeks of yoga or 5 classes or something like that. I haven’t done yoga before but I guess next month I’ll have to give it a try! 😀

My next race is tomorrow’s Trinity 5K, where I will once again try to apply the head-focus-heart mantra to my run. Trinity ends with a giant uphill in mile 3 so I don’t think I’ll be running a negative split, but hopefully I can put down a good 5K time for the second weekend in a row!

Miles since last post: 47.4
Days since last post: 10
2015 MILES: 1460.2

Past Races:
• October ’15: BAAR 5K (10/3), Double OyVey 10K (10/25) [10K PR]
• 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)

Double OyVey 10K Recap and a New PR!

Yesterday I ran my first road 10K ever! After two challenging trail 10Ks earlier this year I was fairly sure that the easier road surface would enable me to run a new personal best, but I had no idea what a realistic 10K goal was. Here were my goals going into the race:

  1. “A” Goal: Sub-50. Again, I had no idea what I would do in a 10K but this seemed like a challenging goal, much like the sub-25 minute 5K time that I chased down during my first year of racing.
  2. “B” Goal: Beat my Broad Street Run 10K Split. I thought I remembered getting a 10K split of 52:30-ish during May’s Broad Street 10-miler so I decided this time would be my second goal to beat. (Note: After yesterday’s race I looked up my actual Broad Street stats and realized that my 10K split had been more like 50:24… sort of glad that I didn’t know that was the real goal going into this race!)
  3. “C” Goal: Beat my previous 10K PR of 58:34. My old PR was set on a hilly trail course at the Tyler Arboretum back in April. If I can’t beat this time on the road something is wrong with me!
Double OyVey 10K Finish!

Spoiler Alert: I finished in 49:50!!!!!
(Photo Credit: Ohev Shalom)

Sunday’s Double OyVey 10K was hosted by Ohev Shalom Synagogue in Wallingford, PA. The race began at 10AM and I started off conservatively with a relaxed first mile split of 7:52. Just after mile 1 the 10K runners veered off from the nice, flat 5K course (a course that I PR’d on back in 2013!) and plunged down a steep hill onto Avondale Road.

We wound around on Avondale for a mile or so, passing under the Blue Route (I-476) and by the Thomas Leiper House. Mile 2 beeped by in 8:04. We eventually emerged out of the woods and onto quiet neighborhood streets, where the course proceeded to climb, and climb, and climb. Up up up! At the top of the hill my watch finally reported that Mile 3 had taken me 8:41 to complete.

I glanced at my watch to see my 5K split and was dismayed to see 25:16. That sub-50 goal was looking less and less attainable. Nevertheless, I knew I had a lot of downhill ahead of me and I was pretty sure that I was currently the first place female on the 10K course. I ran on, trying to keep up my cadence and carefully watching for the white arrows on the road that would indicate my next turn.

Mile 4 clicked by in 8:06. Not bad, but the course’s steepest hill awaited me on the climb back up Avondale Road to 320. This climb felt HARD and I focused on putting one foot ahead of the other while listening to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” — isn’t it funny how you remember some songs so clearly during a race?

Mile 5 beeped by in 8:38, with a total cumulative time of 42:26-ish. If that time was correct I was way off my sub-50 goal and running even slower than my Media 5 Mile race from June. This was disappointing, but I knew that my watch was somewhat off as it hadn’t been lining up with the mile markers that I saw out on the course. I pushed on, telling myself that I only had one flat mile to go.

Mile 6 was the hardest mile for me physically. After the climb up Avondale my legs felt heavy and my whole body was fatigued. The final stretch of neighborhood seemed to last forever and I really focused on trying to get my feet down on the pavement as quickly as possible. Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” helped me with fast turnover… don’t judge me, it is the PERFECT upbeat, fast-cadence song!  😄

OyVey 10K Stats_

At long last I reached Rt. 320 and took the left turn into the Synagogue’s parking lot. The race organizer passed me in the final seconds and I attempted to pick up my pace to stay with him… but mostly I was just relieved that it was a man – not a woman – who was passing me right at the end!

I felt my watch vibrate for mile 6 but didn’t bother to look because I had just spotted the finish line clock. It was ticking away at 49:40! Up until that moment I did not believe that sub-50 was within reach, but when I saw the clock I started sprinting for the finish, eager to earn my shiny new PR. I crossed the line in 49:50, first female and third overall in a very small field of 10K runners.

Overall the Double OyVey 10K was a great race with very friendly people and a low-key, relaxed vibe… AND a cool name! The course was certainly not easy, but 10Ks are rare in the western Philadelphia suburbs and I was very happy to finally get a chance to race this distance on a road course. Now I’m looking forward to the mental boost that Sunday’s race will give me when I return to a “mere” 5K next weekend!

Miles since last post: 80.8
Days since last post: 17
2015 MILES: 1412.8

Past Races:
• October ’15: BAAR 5K (10/3)
• 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)