DAR 5k (19:18)

I don’t remember if I even noted that I was doing a 5k on my blog last weekend.  I had actually found the deal on living social a few weeks prior and for 10 dollars how can you resist a 5k in your favorite park?  Plus I would probably run down there anyways so why not pay 10 dollars and find myself a nice baseline time.  I haven’t run a 5k since January so this was a nice change of pace (literally). 

After the last week of training and being sick, plus recovering from a 20 miler, I wasn’t exactly sure where this race was going.  I wasn’t really that worried about it either way and the morning of decided I would still drive down there.  I could use it as a nice speed workout that wasn’t on the treadmill.

The morning of the race, I woke up to find the weather outside to be beautiful.  I was a bit confused and thought maybe it was a dream but it was sunny and absolutely gorgeous.  I ate my breakfast and drove down to Syracuse around 8am.  I got to Syracuse and it started snowing…and all of a sudden it was overcast and about 30 degrees.  Oh goodie, good thing I brought mittens and pants.  I had actually almost not and just brought shorts and a singlet since it was supposed to warm up to 40.

After picking up my shirt and race bib, I did a nice 2 miles in the park and tried to warm up.  I warmed up enough that I decided I would run in shorts…but not enough to delayer my long sleeve, headband or mittens.

I used my favorite festive porta potty (no really, the porta pottys at the Onondaga Lake Parkway are decorated on the inside with wreaths and whatever Holiday is coming up.  They also have hand sanitizer and some sort of air cleaner…).  They are the gold standard.  I’d take a picture but um…a picture of the inside of porta potty on a blog?

When I got to the race start, I was immediately greeted by a friend Dylan and we chatted for a second before the race.  (Shoutout to you Dylan…wish we had gotten a photo, at Mountain Goat we will!).  The race went off and ran parallel to the lake.  It was windy…it was cold, it was snowing but not too bad.  I started off something like 10-15th overall.

My first mile was 5:45 and I felt good.  Not great, not awful.  I kept powering through and moved from around 15th place to 7th passed the other females as well.  It was around mile 1 that I was able to notice every single person in front of me.  That was a bit strange for me…I’ve never been a “front runner” in a race so it was pretty neat to see all the race competitors at that point that were ahead.

The second mile included the turn around point (180 degrees).  Late during the second mile, I moved into second place overall.  Not second female overall, but second place between male and female.  That is a HUGE deal for me, and something I had never been before.   I hit the second mile in 6:18.  I was still feeling good and not like I was dying so put on my mean face (because I really do look mean when I run).

The third mile, I saw the 1st place person was probably 2 minutes ahead and no way I’d catch him but I was all by myself.  Literally no one around.  It was one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me at a race.  I’ve placed top female in races before, but I have never placed second overall in a race and never been in a position that I’m just all by myself and no boys around.  I was going against the wind at this point but managed to pull at a 6:08 final mile.  I saw the finish line for like half a mile before I crossed it.  I didn’t help because I run these trails at least 1-2 times per week too so the last half mile felt longer than the entire race.


My final time was 19:18.  A lot of people said they had the race at 3.2-3.3.  I’m wondering if the people measuring the 3.3 went for a swim in the lake on their way back…looked a bit choppy to me.   For an inaugural race, it was very well put together and went by pretty smoothly with no issues.  (You never know with first races I guess, but races at the parkway seem to always go well).  This race has all the credentials on a nonwindy day to be a PRing flat, fast 5k…but there are very few of those days in Upstate NY.  No matter, I got some speedy miles on my legs in preparation for my half in a week.

After the race I actually had the honor to meet up with Heather (Upstate Runner) and ran 10 miles with her.  If you know my running style it’s generally a no cooldown and shakeout a few hours later but today it was an enjoy 10 mile cooldown/shakeout/chat session with Heather.  She ran the Shamrock full marathon last month and is from an area somewhat close to Syracuse as well.  It was really nice to finally meet her and chat for a solid 10 miles.  I was glad she took it easy for me, since I was dead after the race…I was also really glad that she didn’t think I was terribly awkward…or if she did , pretended that I wasn’t.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a race and been alone?

I’ve run a few smaller races that I have ended up being by myself (not placing overall but just because there aren’t a lot of people).  I actually nearly got lost a couple of times because there was no one around and no signs.  That’s upstate mentality for you.

Do you like mittens or gloves?

I like mittens, specifically I like the mittens I stole from my brother…let’s hope he isn’t reading my blog today. 

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  1. Congratulations on your 5K! I also like $10 races. Cheaper the better, I do wish we had Groupon/LivingSocial for more races. Or either I had more money- I’d race every weekend.

    I run a lot of races alone because I started running doing super small races in my hometown that were 5Ks, so there was never a big crowd. Sometimes I think I’m the only person who runs my pace- like I’m not a podium runner or front runner, I’m not a back of the packer, not a local elite, but I’m just someone who’s slightly trained? No matter how many people are in a race I never feel like I run right with someone?

    I always wear cheapo Target throwaway gloves when it’s cold and like you I will wear shorts and gloves! Gloves and headband come out before running pants!

    1. Same here Amy. I’ll wear a headband long before I’ll wear pants…pretty sure for me to wear pants while racing it has be like 20 degrees LOL.

      This was the first (and probably only) race I’ll ever find on Living Social..yet another reason I had to jump on board.

  2. Those small races are usually my favorite. I’m hoping to get a few in this summer at least. I kind of like picking people off one by one, or getting out hard and having people slowly catching up. When I’m in a pack it stresses me out too much. But that may have been too much alone time for me, even. Either way, sounds like a pretty good race to me!

    1. It had about 300 people, so not a 50 person race but not massive either. It was a pretty good size. I am socially claustrophobic so I don’t like to run with big packs either.

  3. I never ran in shorts and gloves, I hate when I won’t warm up during a run, and gloves just won’t help me in the cold. However, I would were shorts during the hardest winter month if I could only run as fast as you 😉

    1. Gloves don’t help you? Gloves are seriously my god send when racing outside. I often wear gloves/mittens and shorts sleeves. I cannot physically run when my fingers are cold!

  4. Dang girl, that’s awesome.

    I’ve never run by myself in a race, wait…yes, I did…and got lost…during a pub run. The pubbing had nothing to do with the getting lost sadly. *shame face*

    I have never worn mittens, but I am also another shorts, jacket and glove wearer. Give me shorts over pants anyday.

  5. Wait, you get to use a festive portopotite? What?!? The only ‘decorated’ ones I’ve ever been it have left me wanting to puke with what they were decorated with….ew. Congrats on another stellar 5k, Hollie!! Oh, and I like both mittens and gloves but my mittens have to be the kind that I can flip the flap over and air my fingers out, I get hot easily.

    1. They decorate them! They are so well maintained! I actually don’t bring my cell phone (for photos) into portapotties…god knows I would not go after it if it dropped.

  6. Great job! So far all of my races (but my very first) have been HUGE races. So I am never alone, always in a pack, dodging people, getting stressed out! I prefer to run in my compression shorts over anything. I was actually just feeling totally sleepy for my last race and ran in spandex capris. It was cold and I didn’t want to get out of bed : )

  7. I ran a turkey trot by myself a couple of years ago. It was kind of fun, in some ways, but I was SO BORED waiting for the race to start, haha

  8. Congrats on the race! I hate running alone in races- I like people around to compete with! I think you should post a photo of this fancy holiday porta potty. Access to good porta potties is invaluable to runners!

    1. No I have not tried a marathon and I actually have no interest in running one for quite some time! I’ve had a lot of great half races…not so much 5ks…or other distances really LOL 🙂

    2. I think I have the base milage to be able to finish one (since I’ve done 20 mile runs before) and am currently running between 70-80 mpw but I just don’t have the interest for one I guess. 🙂

  9. Dear goodness, you are fast and I am so wicked proud of you for this race. Even though I already knew how you did I loved reading about it. Being alone in a race can be weird, hard to push yourself when no one around, but clearly you did! 🙂

  10. OMG I think we are connected even though we are like a million miles away, that is the exact thing I felt when I did the exact same thing in my 9km race, it was the weirdest feeling being 2nd overall behind the guy… and you wrote out my exact inner thoughts haha… wow freaky! And yes I want to see a pic of the porta potty haha that made me laugh! Anyway, big congrats for you time and place… can’t believe how cold it is there, I feel bad now about even complaining about being cold… anyway trying to keep it short haha yes this is short… When’s your next race? I’d better get my butt to sleep it’s like 1am here oh dear… Keep being awesome! 🙂

      1. Haha yeah weird… we have weird distanced races here in Australia, like we have the City to Surf in Sydney that’s 14kms and oddly I love that distance as it also includes a hill called heart break hill, it’s the best! 🙂 Wow yes I remember seeing that on on twitter update, really hope u smash it and get a nice PR or PB or whatever you wish to call it haha, can’t wait to hear all about it… 🙂

  11. Hollie, that is so awesome you smoked the boys! I know it isn’t realistic for us to measure ourselves against them, but it’s definitely cool when we can compete and come out on top. Also, so typical of CNY to be warm and sunny and then freezing–good thing you were prepared!

  12. Dang girl, your running just keeps getting better and better – congrats on another great race. I’ve never actually run one, but I don’t imagine being alone would do me much good. I tend to get super competitive, so seeing other runners around me would probably kick my running up a few notches. And I prefer mittens, hands down. I think they’re kind of cute, and my fingers get cold if they have to hang out by themselves in gloves.

    1. While the place is def better, this isn’t a personal best for me but I appreciate that! I love mittens too-the warmth they provide versus gloves (and of course who doesn’t love the cute factor?)

  13. I am so glad we got a chance to run together! Doubly awkward fun times in the snow and wind. Maybe a repeat sometime next week?

    Also I was totally going to call you out if you didn’t mention 2nd place overall 😉 So awesome and something to be proud of!

    1. I’d love that! I’m actually driving down to DC next Friday for the Nike half but don’t have a lot going on (that I know of) right now in the week…I mean besides that whole work thing LOL.

  14. I’ve run more small races than large races! For the majority of a lot of my marathons and half marathons I’ve been running alone…and ended up getting lost on more than one occasion. For the most part this is a personal choice because crowds=anxiety, but I must admit that when it’s a really, really tough race you do miss having someone there, if only to reassure you that there’s another crazy out running who isn’t going to quit, so neither should you (figurative ‘you’ – I can’t imagine YOU actually quitting anything. Unlike me!)

    I like gloves, but I’ve never really worn mittens…personally I’m always so hot that I very rarely need gloves anyway.

    Congrats on such a strong race and a high placing – show those guys who’s boss 😉


    1. There have been a few races that I have felt so awful, I’ve wanted to quit. Before my previous half marathon, the last 3 halves I went back and forth with stopping…they were loop courses though so would have been moderately difficult and would have still had walk back!

  15. Mittens are the best things in the world. And that’s like asking for a nonwindy day around here. HA. Great race..even more impressive that you ran ten more miles after it!

  16. Love it! 🙂 I love small races. Like you, I end up running alone by myself. 🙂
    I love mittens! But during my extreme cold winter run, I wear my snowboarding gloves. 🙂

  17. You definitely killed it that race. Next time I’ll trip the 1st place guy on the turnaround and give you a chance to take the gold :-p Looking around online, that’s the last 5k there until late summer/fall. See you at the Mountain Goat, but leave the snow up in Oswego!

    1. You had quite the race yourself! I sear I was running around the parkway and saw a sign for a race there May 11th. It could be all in my mind or elsewhere LOL.

  18. I’ve run a race and been kinda alone. At least I couldn’t see any one else for a little while- As you said-this always makes me feel like I made a wrong turn lol. (pretty sure I have once) I like small races though. Pretty BA race- 2nd overall! WOO.

  19. Congratulations – that’s huge! And I love the finishing picture 🙂

    I’m excited to see how the half goes for you. I really, really love reading your race caps.

  20. Yes to mittens! I always love em over gloves :D.

    I’m glad the race went well for a first timer… you’re right–you just never know! And as per usual, GREAT JOB!

  21. I must run an awkward pace. After the first mile in most races (regardless of distance), I find myself a good 15 seconds behind the person in front of me and at least 20 seconds ahead of the person behind me. Or maybe I smell.

    It’s a blessing and a curse — usually when people start to pass me, it hurts my ego and I slow down. And if there’s somebody that pace ahead of me, if I try to catch them I’ll wind myself.

    Without fail though, I’m always alone.

    Great race! I’d kill to break 22 so I can’t even imagine being under 20!

  22. $10 for a 5K, pretty sweet! And I would have laughed if you had taken a photo of the inside of the port-a-potty!

    Congratulations on a great race and coming in second overall, that’s wonderful! I’ve been alone during races, but not because I was out front. We just sometimes run small races. I don’t really like having things on my hands while running, I get too hot even during the winter.

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