Operation Homefront 5k PR (18:35)

Where to start with this 5k race recap?  I’ve been chasing the sub 19 5k dream for the last year or so.  My only other sub 19 minute 5k was at the Allen Stone Run Swim Run last year and it was absolutely perfect conditions.  Since then I had been running 19:05-19:10 for 90% of 5k’s I did.  If it’s hot, humid, hailing, good course, bad course, lots of turns, flat or hilly…I have run between that time frame. I honestly needed this race mentally to get me back on running track I think.

As I had said in my training post on Sunday last week did not exactly feel the greatest for me.  I honestly felt like dirt the majority of my runs and nixed so many workouts for no reason other then I didn’t feel like it. Two days before this race I ran a long run of 15 miles, which normally before any race I’m targeting I’ll take that day off.  So after I decided that was a good idea, I let go of any mentality that this race would be that great.  Why did I run that 15 miles?  I hadn’t had a longer run in a while and marathon training was more important to me then a 5k.  Though I had never on my blog, since running a 20+ minute 5k, I had given up on them.  I had let my self doubt win.

Friday before the race I worked 10 hours and got home at 8pm.  I had to go to bed early (basically within 20 minutes of getting home) because the race start was at 7 but was also about 45 minutes from my house.  I woke up at 4:45 after about 7 hours of sleep and dad and I were off.

While doing a 2 mile warm up, my legs felt heavy and I was holding about a 9 minute mile.  I was not happy and just hoping it wasn’t a repeat of the Allen Stone Run the previous week with a 20 min+ 5k.  The race was smaller for our area (around 200) and it started with the director yelling “Go”.   They attempted to give us directions at the start but I had no idea what they were talking about and prayed that I could just follow someone else.

So with the Go we all charged the race and went.  During the first mile, I was 4th female overall.  My legs had started to somewhat loosen up.  I began to pass a couple of the females and by mile 1, it was myself and one other female stride for stride.  It didn’t feel as though I was going as fast as I was..the way my body felt I would have predicted it to be a 19:30 5k.  Anywho the other female and I maintained our stride for stride the entire race.  (mile 1 5:33).

The second mile the other female and I were pushing each other hard and I began to feel the effects of running 15.5 miles two days before.  I felt like my legs were stale but I didn’t want to fall behind so I kept pushing them hard.  My breathing was fine but legs were heavy.  We hit the 180 turn at the beach (if you kept running you would be on sand and then into the ocean…) and I hit the second mile at 6:11.

Mile 3, I really had to dig deep and I wasn’t hurting but I also didn’t feel tapered or great.  I kept telling myself you need to push it because today you aren’t going to be able to kick.  Today your legs do not have that much energy and you don’t have that much energy.  The third mile was a 6:09 and in the last 100 meters the other female took off like a missile. 

But it didn’t matter to me because we turned and I saw the clock was only at 18:25.  I nearly became fueledbythesaps and was about to cry I was so happy.  I was finally going to run a sub 19 minute 5k again after a complete junk week of training.  I immediately was on cloud 9 before I finished (good thing I finished) and finished in 18:35, second female and 5th overall.

As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo.  Proper blogging technique!
As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo. Proper blogging technique!

I immediately went into a cooldown because I had work later and didn’t have time to get in miles later.  During my cooldown, I didn’t feel bad at all and just chatted with various people along the course and brought home one of my closest friends Ashleigh’s mom to the finish who also PRed (we need to take a photo in real life so you know I don’t make fictional characters up).

So my final thoughts about this race.  It’s great to have a 5k PR, but I think I can do better (as most people say after a PR).   I ran 15.5 miles two days prior and still didn’t feel 100% awesome during the race.  It was, however, a fast course and also it was decent weather (more resembling early fall).  So with good weather and a good course I was able to PR on tired legs.  Maybe I’ll find a fast 5k in Texas that I can 30 second PR as well.  It seems all my PR’s come from races I have no expectations or am untapered for.  This one and the Nike half are two that come to mind.

Questions for you:

What type of tapering do you do for races?

I normally take two days off before and then a normal run the day before…

What goal or dream are you currently chasing?


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  1. I’m so proud of you (and jealous)…seriously inspiring. I feel like going into a race with lower or no expectations can really help (hard to do though).

  2. Way to live the dream. This is such an awesome recap, and the best part is that gigantic smile of yours in that picture. So glad to see you happy with your race.

  3. I love that medal especially the ribbon of it! Congratulations on your new PR especially during the heat of the summer (even if it was a little cooler during the race and a fast course) AND during marathon training AND after a long run. You look super happy in the picture too.

      1. Cool. Almost all of ours are red/white/blue stripe unless it’s a half marathon or marathon that has the name on the ribbon…

  4. I just started following your blog a few weeks ago. What an awesome time – congrats! I bet the long-run helped to relax you so that you went into race morning without expectations. Your training is paying off! 🙂

  5. CONGRATS on the sub 19! Awesome! Considering you felt like your legs weren’t up to par, I’m waiting for the day they feel up to par for a 5k! You’re going to be a missile just like the other female! My current goals are just to be able to run again! And I’m actually jogging in the morning so I’m praying to the running Gods I continue to improve!

  6. I’m so happy for you Hollie! I just want you to know that I’m always around to talk to and give some cheesy motivational quotes/speeches. Sometimes its the races we don’t think anything is going to happen that we get the most out of. Keep on keeping on with your training for you marathon- some days it might be hard to get out there, but it’ll all be worth it.
    As for dreams I’m chasing now- getting my 5k down to 22 mins by the end of the season (I think I can do it) and signing myself up for a half-Ironman for next summer. Hopefully! (fingers crossed)

  7. Considering I officially signed up for it this weekend, the next major goal is Ironman Lake Placid. With a mini goal of finishing before sunset (Sub-13 hrs). At least I have awhile to train, lol.

  8. I mean I think we have talked about this enough but awesome job, despite all the factors that honestly would have put me at defeat mile one. You know how to rock a race for sure.

  9. I think it’s often the case that PRs come out of less than ideal prep or conditions, and the races we build up towards sometimes don’t go as planned. When I actually ran a decent half marathon back in 2010, I’d been out for long periods twice in the leadup to it with awful shin splints, yet I smashed my old PR by nine minutes. My second fastest half, I’d been out for even longer with a double stress fracture on the left side of my pelvis – I wasn’t even ‘supposed’ to run and I definitely wasn’t feeling recovered, yet I didn’t have any pain on race day and if I hadn’t held back through the fear of the injury I’d have been near my PR again. The half marathons I’ve run since that should have been PR material I haven’t even come close *shrug*.

    Anyway, ramble aside…you deserve some serious congratulations for that performance. I love how happy you look in your classic ‘blogger’ end-of-race shot as well 😉

  10. You are a speed demon! Congrats on the new PR!! You are really getting the hang of the proper blogging technique with the photos . 😉 I’m not sure how to say this without sounding like an a-hole, so here goes. I have no doubts you can run faster than that. It sounds like you had a pretty crap pre-race week, so I’m thinking if you had more ideal conditions you could see an even bigger improvement.

    1. It honestly makes me happy that someone who is objective is so honest with me. I know if I have a flat, fast course and am tapered I could do it. I wish I hadn’t run that 15 beforehand but what can you do. If you have any suggestions for any good 5ks down there, let me know!

  11. CONGRATS! Proud friend right here! I bet the reason you finally reached your goal is because you let go of expectations girl. The whole no stress thing (yes I see that is the post I am about to read lol) I know how happy this race made you and I hope it helped finish July off and now onto a stress free August for you!

  12. You already know I think you are a freaking badass. Congrats on this race lady. Pretty soon you will be in the 17’s.

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