5K Race Report

Beach Ford All American Run 5K

Saturday, October 06, 2012 8:00 AM

Weather Conditions

72°F with 83% humidity, sunny with a mostly shaded route


Paved road, around a neighborhood but without too much camber. Flat.

What I liked About the Race

Very fast course and competitive participants, but everyone was pretty friendly. Lots of locals. There were guides from Tidewater Striders stationed at the end of each lap so it was really easy to know where to go. Oh, and the kids! There were so many cute, competitive little kids running the 5k. Of course, that meant a tricky start (crowded and a little bit of stampeding) but it thinned out pretty quickly after the first lap.

Race Objectives/Goals

Even pacing and a more controlled race effort. Clear the crowd from the start since there were no corrals. I also looked up last year’s best time for women in my age group (20-29) and it was 24:05, so I aimed to finish under 24.

Event Details

The race was basically a loop on the north end of Kingston Elementary School starting on a narrow section of Kings Grant Road. The starting line was pretty crowded, but clearing it didn’t require too much effort. Although it was easy to get carried away since the kids who were running the race started strong at paces around 6:30min/mi!

Most of the run was along treelined streets. There wasn’t a noticeable camber and it was easy to cut corners because there wasn’t much of a crowd after the first lap. I also think there was a water stop, but I can’t remember where along the course.

There’s a clearing towards the end so on a hot day, going for a strong finish could be a little rough. It was cool enough last Saturday so I was able to get under a 6min mile for my final sprint!

5K Route

5K Route

By the Numbers

I ran between 90-97% of my max HR for 80% of the race and about 10% > 95% of my max. My cadence was nearly deadlocked at 99 (198 SPM). My average at first split was 7:37, second was 7:36, third was 7:38, and the last 10th of a mile was a 6:17min/mi pace.

Other Thoughts

I am sad to report that I was a mere 17 seconds behind the girl who placed 3rd place overall for women. Sigh. Still, I felt great taking second in my age group at 23:29!

Winner! Sort of :)

Winner! Sort of 🙂

September 2013 – end of month running report

I made one of the best discoveries last month: the distance from our place to the Back Deck (an outdoor bar overlooking Lynnhaven Bay) is exactly 10 kilometers away. That’s pretty much my perfect distance!

It’s already  a  ritual to do $2 fish tacos and Tecates on the Back Deck on Tuesdays. It only made sense to make it even more worthwhile by running there and getting a ride back for the return. The view isn’t bad either.

The Back Deck

Beautiful sunsets every time

The route is a little tricky since the bulk of it runs along Great Neck Road, which has a 45mph speed limit and where you almost always feel like an SUV is coming straight at you when it’s cutting a turn at 55. Although, I’ve noticed that running along the sidewalk of a fast road makes me feel like I’m also running faster, so that’s a plus!

The first mile and a half runs along our neighborhood, then about 3.5 miles along the main road, up and down a bridge, and about a mile through a smaller neighborhood that takes us to the Back Deck.

On hot days, it’s about the worst run you can imagine. On windy days, it’s mildly terrifying to run up and down the bridge. On cool days, you can really charge through the hilly finish and feel pretty awesome about the whole thing!

A new 10k route!

A new 10k route!

I’ve still got this sub-50min 10k goal lingering in the back of my mind so I’ve been running each week a little faster whenever I can train for it. I figured, if I can run this route quickly, considering I have to cross 12 streets and a bridge, I can run a sub-50min 10k on a flat, straightaway course.

Also… trying something a bit different and sticking more to short-term goals!

September Goals:

-Run at least one 10k a week

-Do one speedwork a week

-Cross train at least once a week

All accomplished! Another good month of running 🙂

Miles run per day in September

I also set two new PR’s for the year! I’ve got a new 5mi PR at 43:00 (8:36min/mi) and a 10k PR at 54:33 (8:47min/mi). They’re not that impressive, but they make me really happy!

I’ve got a local 5k coming up this weekend (October 5th) and hoping to finish under 25min but… I very rarely push hard during a race. It’s so silly. I have this irrational fear of getting hurt if I run too hard and that I might not be able to run the next day. Or that I might pass out from exhaustion. Or have my foot land on a bad camber and hurt my ankle. Seriously irrational.

So I’m throwing all that out the window on Saturday! Just cause I think I finally can.

Prepping for Beach Ford’s 5k

It’s been forever since my last race and I’ve been itching to register for all sort of events throughout summer. Since we’re basically counting days until we move (29 days to be exact!), Chris and I finally decided to sign up for a local event just to get a feel for where we stand on our training.

It’s too bad because, I feel like I already missed my peak over the summer and I’ve only been heading down in terms of speed since the start of August. Although, I’ve resumed regular 10k’s and I’ve been going for more controlled speedwork so that’s all good!

The 5k is on Saturday. I ran a 10k this past Saturday, an easy 5k yesterday, and 6 pick-ups today.. thinking the rest of the week will take a riskier path than my usual conservative preparation for most races.

Tuesday: 10K race pace + 35-40s

Wednesday: 1mi warm up, 2x1mi @ 5k race pace, 1mi cool down

Thursday: 5k easy + six 30s pick-ups, 30s RI

Friday: 1mi warm up, 4x400m @ 5k race pace + 30s, 1mi cool down

Aggressive for me. I have the worst turnover at the start of every run so I’m hedging my bets on a PR and running this one like I really want it.

August 2013 – end of month running report

Not the most structured month for my running. Made an effort to more frequently hit at least four miles, but our release in mid-August and scrambling to quickly redesign some fundamentally different pages on Smashrun meant late nights and very little rest.

I tried to keep my trailing weekly mileage close to 30 miles after the first two weeks, but I forgot that it requires a bit of patience to get used to higher mileage. I still haven’t committed to a race yet, but fall is usually a good time for long distance events so I’ve already got higher weekly mileage in the back of my mind.

What worked:

  • Simplifying my training. For example: “1 interval and 1 tempo session each week.”
  • Longer rest periods. Run early the day before and late the day after.
  • Long slow “recovery” runs means I don’t have to compromise on mileage and I just run by feel.

What didn’t work:

  • Offsetting lack of sleep with power naps. A long night’s rest just can be replaced.
  • Cutting back on strength training to maximize rest. I think it actually makes me more vulnerable to injury.

I haven’t really had an opportunity yet to figure out this month’s running goals, but I think I gotta keep it simple in the near term. It would be great, though, if I could cross-train at least once a week, do speedwork twice a week, and run at least three 10k’s this month.

July 2013 – end of month running report

My “roadrunner” month. The heat index averaged just over 80 °F with most of my runs starting around 7:30am. I had one silly run in the middle of the day through a muddy trail when the heat index topped off at 94 °F – that wasn’t my best moment, but it was oddly meditative. I gather, when you’re that miserable, your mind knows how to automatically shift its focus.

July’s run schedule was a little bit tricky, because I didn’t have much room to reorganize my runs. The goal was to log 10 runs under 8:00min/mi – mind you, some people would find this laughable while others would think it’s the shizzle. I am, of course, in that latter group. Yeah!

Basically, each hard run was followed by 2 days of rest. It’s pretty much every third day and I might have done one with only one day apart. Oh, and I still had to hit my 100mi monthly mileage. It was great for discipline because, I had to show up regardless of the heat index. Not so great for performance on some days.

In the end, I re-evaluated my decision to postpone another Cooper Test until it’s cooler and ran another one at 6:51am this morning. The result was almost the exact same distance and speed, but the absolute improvement translated to 2 steps up in my estimated VO2max. Pret-ty awesome, if you ask me.

What worked:

  • Nearly all of my runs were in the morning. Psychologically, I think lower perceived effort in the AM.
  • Speed development is super fun. The 1 mile cut off is also nice when it’s crazy hot out.
  • Tracking HRR made me very mindful of my recovery periods and helped me avoid overtraining.
  • Core workouts. Not a single knee, leg, shin, or back problem this whole month. Woohoo!

What didn’t work:

  • Trying to track my resting HR first thing in the morning. It was too easy to forget. Trying again.
  • Getting a consistent HRR reading. Just gotta remember to do the same thing each time after every workout!
  • Running drills on the road. Just isn’t very easy to do, logistically speaking, but super easy on a track.
  • Tough to get more sleep in when there are visitors (and old friends) in town. I need a re-do.

Of course, yet another crazy month for Smashrun with lots of redesigns and two new features. We also broke through some login and new registration records this month! Active users are up! Dedicated users are up! User feedback is still quite lovely. It helps that we really like our users too. Chris is a happy camper.

An example of a trailing 265 day mileage chart.

An example of a trailing 265 day mileage chart.

Chris worked on the trailing mileage charts while I designed and figured out the weekly running (and non-running) reports. I’m a big fan of the Feltron Report and it always bugged me that everyone’s weekly running reports were so plain when it just didn’t require that much effort to dress it up a little. So I dressed that email report like it was going to a Quantified Self conference, but less dorky and a touch of bacon (we added a “bacon option” for our calorie equivalents).

Smashrun's weekly running report.

Smashrun’s weekly running report.

Hoping to blog a bit about Lift this month and about my efforts to make it a place to help others become better, more well-rounded, runners. Hopefully, I can squeeze in a few entries as well about my recent cooking shenanigans, my killer veggie burgers, and a new porter on the way!

Should August cooperate, I’d like to pick up my usual long trail runs next month, continue tracking my HRR, add RHR, and do running drills early morning before my usual runs.

Training and Detraining Effects on Weight

June 2013 – end of month running report

The easy run month. I know I’m not supposed to cop out and neglect my training schedule, but a rising heat index isn’t the most conducive for hard runs, which ruled out most of my speedwork. Blah.

Last month’s Cooper Test also left me a bit out of it for the first week of June and I finally gave in and bought a pair of compression sleeves for my knees. So far, so good! The compression felt a little weird, at first, but you get used to it and it seems to work. Two weeks in and recovery feels quicker.

I wear the Blitz Knee Compression Sleeve after a tough run – size was smaller than I expected and crazy tight. I switch to the Shock Doctor sleeve when my legs get restless and cramp from sitting still all day. I’m not sure if they work for everyone, but I’m pretty happy with my decision to have them around in case I need them!

Here’s what worked:

  • Morning runs for the win! They worked in the past. I might as well keep it up to avoid the heat.
  • Indulging on easy days meant warding off potential injury. R.I.C.E. and then M.I.C.E.
  • Fartleks are a better option than Tempos on warmer days. It’s nice to have a choice.
  • Jumping in a cold pool post-run. Any run. Reduces inflammation!
  • It’s better to have at least one quality run in a week than none at all – good for morale.

Here’s what didn’t work:

  • Trying to run hard even when my RHR tells me I’ve overtrained is pointless.
  • Sprintwork in the summer. Haha.
  • Running to a sushi place, having lunch, and then (struggling) to run back home. Brilliant plan.

Another busy month with Smashrun but, perhaps, a different kind of busy. The paperwork kind. Taxes and bookkeeping. I mean, I like dealing with numbers but I thoroughly dislike QuickBooks. We also rolled out annotated runs and we’ve been busy working on weekly reports. It’s been ridiculous trying to re-wire my brain to work between balancing accounts, testing functionalities, blogging, and design work. That said, Smashrun’s July schedule is showing a lot of promise.

Thinking this month will be the month of short runs with bursts of speed. Lots of easy runs if it’s too hot, steady state runs if it’s manageable. I’m adding back the power drills and I think I’m gonna start logging my RHR every morning. I’m really curious to see how much my sleeping habits – or lack of sleep – affects my recovery. Should be interesting.

Smashrun Launches Garmin Integration and GPX, TCX, HRM Support

Smashrun’s new importer enables a seamless transition for Garmin users, while GPX/TCX support makes it possible to upload data collected by running apps

Smashrun, a web-based analytical platform for runners, launches Garmin Connect integration and makes it easier for runners to import data from running apps. By supporting Garmin devices and GPX, TCX, and HRM files, Smashrun extends its functionalities to a larger demographic of runners who use more than one app or device for tracking their runs.

Current Garmin users can import their entire running history from Garmin Connect or upload individual and bulk runs using a GPX or TCX file, while runners who use other running apps can also upload files as long as their run data is in GPX or TCX format. A new FAQ addresses how Smashrun processes GPS data.

Users of mobile apps can also take advantage of Smashrun’s Import via Email function, a new feature that automatically imports a GPX or TCX attachment sent to a specific Smashrun account. Certain running apps have the ability to email a file export as soon as an activity is finished. Smashrun users can forward that email to their account and the import process will run immediately.

Smashrun aims to support additional devices and integrate directly with certain running apps over the next few months. New users should register on Smashrun.com to gain more training insight. For updates, follow us on blog.smashrun.com, Twitter or Facebook.

About Smashrun

Smashrun is an analytical web-based dashboard for runners. It creates data visualizations that help runners analyze training history by exposing patterns, dependencies, and relationships in their data. Smashrun began as a personal project in late 2009 and exited beta in January 2012. It is based in Brooklyn, NY and is an alumni of Start-Up Chile.

To learn more about Smashrun, read our story, get in touch with @jcklngrn, or drop us a message at hi(at)smashrun(dot)com.

May 2013 – end of month running report

Summer arrived early in Virginia Beach. The humid days are here! It’s pretty much impossible to avoid the heat so I haven’t really changed my running schedule. I gear up and head out whether or not it’s sunburn territory. So much for moderating my summer tan.

May was harder than April, because I pretty much stopped cross-training. I think it’s had a significant (detrimental) impact on my recovery period and it’s been more challenging than usual to convince myself to squeeze in the weekly speedwork. It doesn’t help that the air feels sticky all day.

Here’s what worked:

  • Eating beans and legumes is just as good as Whey Protein, which makes me pretty happy.
  • Doing more easy runs than scheduled is not bad for my training.
  • Doing Short Tempo Intervals is excellent prep work for long tempos.
  • Steady State runs helped me add just a bit more speed instead of my usual Easy Runs.

Here’s what didn’t work:

  • My 10 x 15sec sprint work lacked structure and it compromised my running form. I was just running as fast as I could to hit top speed, but either didn’t recover enough between each sprint or I was reaching too much in each interval. So I’m switching it to cruise intervals.
  • Cutting out cross-training was a massive fail. It certainly wasn’t intentional, but I definitely need to bring it back to keep myself out of injury. My right knee has been bugging me lately, I occasionally feel my shins, and my legs just feel out of shape.

We had a crazy busy month with Smashrun in May. We finally pushed out some major backend changes to alleviate the rapid growth of our database. It required a lot of meticulous data testing, cross-checking and gathering more test files, evaluating data integrity of files generated by different apps and devices, and fine tuning features for PRO.

We also released Garmin integration! YAAAAY! It was a long time coming. 8 months? Maybe 1,000 hours of work? Actually, probably more. We’re super super proud of it.

I also put together a run tracking 101 page for runners that don’t really use apps or devices and an app finder section for those who are keen to give them a go. I’m proud of those too.

Anyway, my overall impression of my running progress in May rests heavily on what happened on the 30th, when I ran a Cooper Test. It estimated a VO2max of 45 ml/kg/min. It also placed by fastest mile (although certainly not my fastest mile split) this year at 7:25 min/mi (5:16 min/km). I feel pretty good about those. I’m gonna resume my cardio circuits and I need to figure out some sort of strength work for my legs, but otherwise … if I can keep up with the heat waves we’re about to get in June, I should be able to maintain my speed.

Fourth stop: France (Provençal Bouillabaisse)

Someone should have warned me how long it takes to clean mussels and clams. It’s actually the most time consuming part about making a Provençal bouillabaisse. It makes me wonder how much time restaurant kitchens spend cleaning shellfish. I imagine, they don’t brush every single mussel or clam to make sure it’s clean (and cooks probably don’t apologize to mussels every time they yanked off a beard).

Choosing the white wine was kind of fun, only because I know almost absolutely nothing about wine pairings. I had to frantically google “dry white wine mussels and clams” to save myself from just grabbing something organic with a nice label. And look at what I found.

Courtesy of winefolly.com

Courtesy of winefolly.com

A wine infographic! Why the hell not. So I proceeded to look at every variation of “light, herbal, grassy” and “light, citrus, lemon” since neither “floral” nor “nutty” sounded fun for the mussels or clams. I went for a total grab bag, a 2011 Pinot Grigio by Quail Creek that was selling for $6.99 at Whole Foods. And it turned out pretty good! Well… says the girl who’s really a hardcore craft beer drinker.

The bouillabaisse is super quick to cook. You basically sauté the fennel with the tomatoes, toss in the garlic, add the white wine, clam juice, boil for a few minutes and then throw in all of the shellfish. I think once the shellfish made it into the pot, it was another 5 minutes before we sat down to eat. Very summery dish!


Next stop: Germany.