Hangover 5k (19:42)

I knew eventually the day would come where I would get a solid reality check.  A solid reality check that my speed is not where it was last summer.  A solid reality check that I needed to move on and begin training again.  That being said I chose to take two solid months off after the marathon from racing (except the 10 miler because I really just like J&A races) and just focus on logging quality miles.  Easier said than done but I did get more mileage.  Now until the Virginia is for Lovers 14k, I plan to run 5 more 5ks and work on some speed.

But I should probably start with my first 5k recap. 

The Hangover 5k was pretty far north of me but the promise of finally meeting Ashley, Danielle and Amelia enticed me to drive the distance.  It seemed like a decent course and I have never been up there so that was that.


During my 2 mile warmup, my new nike watch decided it wasn’t going to link up to satellite.  Honestly I’m done with this watch and the amount of problems both of them have caused me.  I’m going to go back to my old Garmin.  I jogged two miles around the course as my warm up and then just waited for the race to start.

It was cold and I left all my clothing on until 1 minute before the start.   The command signal went off (ie: an air horn) and off we went.  It was extremely crowded the first mile and I tried not to elbow any little children so my blog title would become LOLZinJail.  The first mile I ran in 6:05.  There was a man calling out splits at the mile.  I believe he was probably one of the high school cross country coaches because there were a ton of teams there and he was writing splits down too.

There is one type of runner I like to pass more than any other, which is the high school male.  They think they are god’s gift to the world so cocky and arrogant.  I really try to hold my breath and look like I’m effortlessly passing them as well.  Anyways today while passing two boys, they bellowed “Good thing this is a recovery run.  Yeah RECOVERY, WE AREN’T TRYING AT ALL!!!!” (They were practically screaming it…).  I snarked back, good thing I’m not a lanky high school boy on my recovery run then.  Keep in mind we are going around a 6 minute pace…so yes not recovery for them.  I know the mature thing to do is not talk but I have a harder time biting my tongue when racing.

The second mile was rather uneventful.  I continued to pass a few more women and moved to second place female (where I stayed).  I saw the first place female way up in front (who later ran 18:40ish) and knew I wasn’t passing her.  I had dug my heels into the pain train and knew I just had to hold on for the ride.

Mile 2 I hit in 12:37.  I kept telling myself okay Hollie in order to run a sub 20 minute you must finish in less than 7:30.  I really fought to keep myself together and push to do so.  A little less excitement in the third mile.  I saw Ashley and she said good job.  I responded with I am about to die.  Aren’t I a bundle of fun?

I hit the 3 mile point in exactly 19 minutes.  By my previous life of math major calculations, I knew if I held the same pace (because lord knows I was not getting any faster or kicking it to the end) I would be under 20 minutes.

I finished in 19: 42.  Obviously not my best and nowhere near it but the reality check I needed.  I am ready to begin training again and ready to excel in hopefully many more 5ks to come.  This next month is dedicated to finding myself in this distance.  A 5k is not an easier distance (in my opinion) because it is shorter.  I find it harder with less room for mistakes.

I knew this wasn’t going to be anything close to a PR.  I really haven’t done many 5ks since the summer time.  I ran one in October but none in September or August.  I might run more this month then all of last year.  At least it gives me more content for my blog I guess.

I did pose with my second place trophy...trying to mimic it...but I failed.
I did pose with my second place trophy…trying to mimic it…but I failed.

Questions for you:

What sports watch do you use?  If you use Nike do you have as many problems as I seem to have had lately?

What is your 5k race strategy?

I honestly just go out like a headless chicken and prey to the high heavens that I don’t crash and burn.

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  1. I use a Garmin Forerunner 310XT and I love it! You can use it for running, biking, or swimming. It’s expensive, but so worth it! I really don’t have a strategy for 5ks, I just kind of run lol. I usually just do 5ks for fun with family or friends, so I don’t care too much about my time.

  2. Hi, congrats on 2nd place, very nice. I’m on my 3rd Garmin watch. One theyhad to replace dues to a software issue that they could not fix and my current watch (610) because my 410 finally died and the wrist band broke off.
    I think all of these wtaches are finicky. In 2011,about 15 minutes before the Great Bay Half Marathon was to begin my 410 froze up. I re-started it 3-4 times and it was stuck in watch mode at 9:47. I resisted the urge to throw it in the woods and went out and ran my ass off old school – not knowing my time, distance etc. Some people call it naked running. Sounds a lot more exciting than pissed off running!
    My 5K strategy is to warm up first and run as fast as I can. If I feel like i’m going to get sick, I’m probably running as fast as I can! 😉
    I’ll have my New Year’s 10K report later todat or tomorrow. It was frosty!
    Happy New Year.

  3. I use the Nike+ app but am looking into a Garmin because I’d rather have something on my wrist that doesn’t drain my phone battery. The newest Garmin looks so nice but also so expensive.
    I always get to the “I’m going to die” stage during 5ks, too. I feel like I’m not trying hard enough if I don’t, because since they are so short, I should be able to tolerate being really uncomfortable for that amount of time. And if I am able to speed up at the end I wonder if I could have gone faster all along, so it sounds like you appropriately used everything in your tank!

  4. Congrats Hollie! Can’t wait to read about you breaking 18 later this year! My 5K strategy is simple, go out hard, suffer, then kick 😉

  5. Well done on second place female! 🙂
    5ks are so much tougher than long distance in my opinion. You have seconds to rectify a mistake, whereas in a marathon or longer race you’ve got much more time to pull it back again. I’ve been so calm before each of my marathons but a proper bundle of nerves before each 5k I’ve raced!

  6. I love that you get to pass the high school kids – do it for all of us who can’t! 😉 And snark away while doing it.

    My main goal during a 5k is to stay consistent and PUSH. I’m used to running longer races so I tend to conserve my energy – even during a 5k when you really don’t need to.

  7. I have the Garmin 10 and it’s given me trouble. Maybe because I’m the end user of the watch but still… it never locates satellites easily at a race and it dies way too soon (battery life of 5 hours is a joke bc it died right after the finish of my marathon). I don’t think any of them are 100% obviously, different ones work for different people and their goals.

    Congrats on the sub-20 5K. I know it’s not what you’re used to but even for being out of speed shape it’s a good time. I also love passing cocky males, but not many of the high school kids here do road races and if they did I wouldn’t pass em cause they’re way fast. And, thank you for saying a 5K is not easy… I feel like people think of 5Ks as “just a 5K” but really if you race it correctly, it wipes you out and is very difficult!

  8. Haha agreed on the HS boys! I had a nike years ago and gave it to a friend because I hated it. I use a garmin now 🙂 I’m better at longer distances so my 5k strategy isn’t great, I go out first mile at pace I’d like to run, usually pick it up a little in mile 2 because I mistakenly think it’ll be fine, and then hold on for dear life. A out 30% of the time this is an excellent plan and I PR (but I haven’t run many 5ks haha), the rest of the time I fade and finish slightly above target time 🙁 I need a better plan probably but I so rarely race that distance so I just go and let my crazy competitive nature dictate

  9. awesome job!! And I’m with you on the male high school runners – so obnoxious. If you’re in the market for a new Garmin, be on the lookout on my blog next week for a giveaway!

  10. Nice work with second place!!! I have used the Nike watch in the past and had similar problems where it wouldn’t link up. I was so frustrated with it the one run that I bought a garmin 110 just because I needed a watch. It works great, I definitely want to upgrade but the 110 is doing its job.
    My 5k strategy is to start in the front and not burn all of my fuel the first mile. Usually the first mile is really fast then in the 2nd I try to relax but still keep a high tempo, and the last mile I give it everything I have, especially if I’m chasing someone down.

  11. Oh and I use both the Garmin 610 and 10. I am really loving the 610.

    My 5K strategy is hold on tight and don’t die.

  12. High school boys, ugh. I found myself racing a 10 year old a few weeks ago… He ran a sub 20 and beat me. Talk about feeling humbled. I think 5ks are just as hard as longer races. They’re fast and they hurt but for some reason they are one of my favorite distances. I think we all need those races that give us a dose of reality- we learn more about ourselves as runners and it gives us a place to start.

  13. You still kicked butt, I know it’s not your fastest but still sub 20 with no speed training. I cant wait to see the times you throw down when you have actually trained more for it~

    5k plan- don’t die. It’s too short for me to feel like I can have a strategy for it. So instead I stick with… don’t die.

  14. I have yet to run a 5k and this is largely the reason why ha. I think they’re incredibly deceiving if you haven’t trained for one (if you care about time that is), and I haven’t had an interest in training. I like distance running because I can take a few miles to warm up and they seem a little more forgiving of mistakes/bad judgment calls about pacing, to a certain extent anyway. Good luck with your races this month! I’ll be excited to live vicariously through you for a bit 😛

      1. Exactly haha. I did a 4 mile race this fall and wasn’t warmed up till after mile 3…so the race was over haha

  15. Congrats!! I love my Garmin Forerunner 110. Simple to use and no issues at all. I have yet to race a 5k. I think it’s mostly because I don’t think I’m fast enough to do it and be proud of my time.

  16. I have a Garmin Forerunner 210 an love it! It’s still new to me (November) but it’s one of my fav things now 🙂

  17. I know it wasn’t a PR, but nice job on getting second female OA! My running reality check will come on Wednesday when we have our first two-mile time trial of the season. Oh geez, lol. Anyway, I use the Garmin 310XT, but the Forerunner 10 is a great watch too (that just does running stuff).

  18. I have to admit I miss your blogs. I’m glad to hear you had a relatively good 5k. I love the name of this race by the way. I use a Garmin mostly just for training. I don’t like racing with a Garmin except for marathons. I hadn’t raced a 5k in about 2 years until yesterday. Dai told me to go out hard and hang on. That was my strategy. I have to admit I like the 5k because it’s over so quickly.

    1. Hey thanks Justin! I saw you really stopped the hammer with that last 5k! If it okay took me 15 minutes I would probably grow to enjoy it more 🙂

  19. Oh, 5Ks are much harder than longer distances IMO! Sure, anyone can shuffle through a 5K in whatever time, but running an impressive one? The idea intimidates me so much that I haven’t run a 5K since…2008. Yes, so that shows exactly how much I like 5Ks. I would rather run multiple marathons than attempt another 5K. So serious respect to you for mastering every distance from 3.1 miles to 26.2 miles! Only true athletes ever manage that.

    Honestly, my Garmin isn’t much better than your Nike watch! For what they cost it’s utterly obscene that Garmins are so unreliable sometimes.


  20. Congratulations on your second place win!! I have only ever run one 5k and I didn’t have much of a strategy… just stay within my goal pace to achieve the time I wanted! Oh, and try not to get stuck behind a bunch of people…

  21. Congrats on the 2nd OA. Haha, those HS boys, good for you!

    I sent my Garmin 220 back, after Garmin told me that the satellites are in fact, faulty for it, and I went back to using my 610, which I really do love.

    My hubby has the Nike watch, we went for a run one day, and after, it totally died. It looked like it was wet inside, (it was hot and sunny outside), and just died. It would charge or turn on. A few months later, he was finally getting it, to send it back to Nike, and when he pushed the power button, it worked. It’s been fine since, (it’s been a month). So weird.

  22. My Garmin 305 is fine for me, but my husband has a Soleus that links to satellite really quickly. However, I noticed that it tends to measure a little long – he’ll beep a mile a few seconds before I will.

  23. I use the Garmin 405CX – oldie but a goodie. Brennan has the Nike + and I HATE IT. Come to the light side Hollie. Garmin is calling you.

  24. Great job on your race!!! I have a Nike GPS watch and I’ve never had any major problems, I actually really like it. It took some getting used to and it seems to have frequent software updates which have helpe some of the initial freeze up and accuracy issues I had. The shoe pod linked up is never accurate so I don’t use that.

  25. I have a Garmin Forerunner 410. It takes a while to connect to satellites lately, which forces me to warm-up properly while waiting (kind of a nice perk… I guess…) but it drives me crazy if I forget to start it like 10 minutes before a race, just in case.

  26. Not bad for just base miles lately! I hope I can do as well when I start racing again!

    I use a Suunto Ambit2 right now and it’s fantastic, but designed more for trail running/exploring and such. I use it for everything though.

    I used to use a Polar RCX5 with GPS pod and stride sensor, but when I started doing more trails and mountains I went with the Ambit2. No complaints about the polar though, sometimes it took a good minute or two to find satellites, but it never failed! I’m actually trying to sell the Polar setup so if you know anyone… 🙂

    1. Oh and my 5k race strategy: start hard, try not to die. Keep the leader in my sights if I’m not ahead. There’s always a point where I second guess my pace, but it never drops by more than 10 seconds a mile for half a mile or so, so I don’t worry too much.

  27. 2nd place female without really training. That’s a dream come true for me, haha! Regardless, I’m glad that it was motivating for you to begin training. I need a fire like that lit under my butt!

  28. My nike watch is the worst! I doesn’t keep pace right, never links and sometimes I want to pound it off the sidewalk – mind you I don’t that will really help in remedying the problem 😉 I should most def buy a Garmin! Glad to hear it’s not only me!

  29. So first, thank you for being snarky to high school boys. They deserve it. Always will.

    5ks, I’ve decided, are ridiculous. I ran my first official one at midnight on New Year’s. There is no room for anything.

  30. This is my first time reading your blog. How fantastic! You are super funny and I can absolutely appreciate your dry sense of humour. Thanks!

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