The Veteran Haven 5k (20:30)

The Veterans Haven 5k was the last 5k in my May streak of 5ks. I did what I set out to do for the month (which was to run a lot of 5ks).

While I can’t say any of them went exceptionally well, I did get out there.  To be honest, this one was probably the most disappointing of the bunch but it was also very hot and humid.

The Veterans Haven 5k was the closest to our house. We left at 8:01 and got there at 8:07. I don’t like to run to races because I’m high maintenance and need two pairs of shoes as well as a change of clothing, bag, water and gel. I’m not running a few miles holding all of that stuff.  Hashtag diva.

So with that we drove to the race, signed up and did a 2 mile warmup around Cooper River.

The race start was actually a half a mile from the signup area. I’ve walked to race starts before but never that long. It seems that is the typical “course” for 5ks in the area.  The race itself is around Cooper River (a well known lake for crew and a great 3.4 mile running path too).

At the race start I saw a high schooler I sold shoes too (who I knew was extremely fast).  There were a bunch of people I recognized from work and from around the area.  We saw Liz (the other member of our self formed team…”team 5k”) and Chris.  Both are personal friends and local runners!

veterans haven 5k group

I had decided to position myself right in front of a sign…if I wasn’t paying attention I probably wouldn’t have run straight into it.  After Chris said “Hollie don’t run into that sign”, we were off.

The high schooler positioned himself in first, Tim in second and myself in third. During the first mile, I felt awesome. I ran the fastest mile I have run all month and ultimately payed the price. It was hot and humid and running a 6:08 mile was probably not the best idea.  I felt great though.

During the second mile, I felt myself fading quickly. I was running by myself but on a popular running trail in the area. There were plenty of runners around me but none running the race. It made for a bit of weaving. I was tired, hot and miserable (a common theme of racing in May). I ran a 6:35 mile and ultimately knew I was getting very tired and another sub 20 5k was not in the cards.  I went from a serious running high to a serious running low in the matter of 6 minutes. 

The third mile was a similar story as the second. I was focused on finishing and I was by myself. I felt tired, hot and overheated. I didn’t realize there was a slight headwind during the first two miles (which felt amazing).  After the headwind was gone, it got hot, fast.

I ran the third mile in 6:58 which is the slowest racing mile I’ve run in a while. In fact, I ran several of my miles at the Phoenix marathon faster! The heat struggle was real!

The race was a little long and we finished on the track.   I finished the race in 20:30 with an overall pace of 6:30. This 5k had both my fastest and slowest miles.

liz and i 2


Liz got second female overall and our team 5k lives on. 


I am trying to take away the positive from the race which was my fastest mile in a while. With the positive comes the negative of the slowest mile in a while. I’ll continue to do more speed work. I hope that I will be able to break through my 20 minute plateau barrier soon.  It’s hard not to compare yourself to your previous racing shape.  I do know with consistency, I’ll get back to where I was.

It was fun to run with friends but I can’t say I’m overly happy with the race.  I always expect to run a positive split 5k but (6:09, 6:35, 6:58) is a little too much positive.

Questions for you:

How has the weather been where you live?

Are there any “common race” areas around you?

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  1. Your 5K recap and splits sound like all of my 5Ks….go out too fast and feel great then fade badly. This is why I hate the 5K 🙂 So fun that you and Tim run races together!!

  2. I think a 20:30 5K is very impressive! We have a lake near my house with a beautiful trail around it and it’s becoming a popular place for 5Ks. Which is super nice since it’s less than a 5 minute drive from our house.

  3. You and Liz are superstars 🙂 I bet everyone else is quaking in their running shoes every time you two turn up to a race!

    It’s been sunny but really windy here. We’ve had gales today and bits of trees have been blowing down the street…at least it’s not sheeting it down with rain like it was yesterday.

    When you said ‘It’s hard not to compare yourself to your previous racing shape,’ I just nodded my head so vigorously I’m surprised it didn’t fall off. I’m sure you’ll be back to regular sub-20s in no time at all, particularly if the weather becomes more favorable.

  4. This is about the time of year when I wish you and Tim could teleport here to run in the mornings. This morning, left the house just before the sun came up, and it was a cool, clear 53 degrees. Even in the heat of the summer, I can count on cooler mornings almost every day…and of course, low humidity. 🙂 Because I run in that 99% of the time, running in heat and humidity – like I surely will next month – nearly kills me!

    Right in my backyard, quite literally, is 210 acres of city open space – with soccer fields, a softball complex, and a Frisbee golf course. Big Dry Creek runs right behind my house and a city trail (part of one of the biggest trail systems in the state & connected to the best trails in the country) runs in both directions. About 6 times a year or so, races are run right behind the house on the trail. You may be a diva, but I’m spoiled!

    1. Maybe I’ll just move out there for a few months. It sounds like it would be perfect weather. Hopefully we have nice weather when you come this way next month!

  5. Great recap. Unfortunately there aren’t many common race areas, maybe a nearby town that has 2-3 races a year. Weather has been great, slightly humid, but the rain these past few days has really helped cool things down! I think 5Ks are such difficult races, but they help teach us a lot about our racing strategies. Always a learning experience. Great job and as always, I appreciate your honesty in your recaps! Hope you have a fantastic day! : )

    1. Thanks Jamie! I find honesty is the best policy. I think we might finally be getting that rain. It has started to cool down a lot, thank goodness!

  6. Congratulations on your win, even if your splits were so positive and you weren’t thrilled with the time. I find that in the summer heat, just running effort-based is the way to go lately. You completed the 5K uninjured and it looks like you had fun doing it, so that’s a big victory anyway :).

    1. With the heat and weather in definitely with you! I think it’s better to base it on effort versus pace!

  7. Congrats congrats on the win!! Great job – you’re such an inspiration not only in your running, but on sharing the whole story- the good and the bad.
    Weather has been (up until this week) hot and steamy… i did a half marathon at 70 degrees with 80% humidity recently as well as a 5k – not so fun!
    A few races start and end near Browns stadium in Cleveland, but not sure if there are other common areas.

    1. Awe thank you Melissa that really means a lot.

      I cannot imagine racing a half marathon in this weather! Holy moly!

  8. Woohoo! The humidity has been absolutely brutal lately. Way to get it done in tough conditions.

  9. The heat is so tough until it’s “normal” for us. You’re still running killer paces, even if they went in the direction you didn’t want.

    Did I tell you I did a tri in that park? yep, swam in the Cooper River.

    1. Thank you Grace! The top is actually from lululemon :-). It’s a little longer than a sports bra which I love!

  10. The heat and humidity wrecked my last 3 races of this spring and meant no PR. It was terribly disappointing and frustrating. You probably know the common ones around here, Boardwalk, Mt, Trashmore. Virginia Wesleyan Saturday but not sure if I’ll run it.

  11. Learning to pace yourself and/or know the shape you’re in is invaluable to becoming the type of runner/racer that you’d want to be. Best of luck with training Hollie!

  12. Great job! I always pay the price when I go out too fast. But my guess is no matter what that last mile was going to be tough, so at least you got in a great first mile! It was hot around here for awhile but over the past few days its cooled off alot..and its been gross and rainy.

  13. Sometimes it’s really weird to see people running…who aren’t in the race! I always wonder if they are banditing or just doing their daily thing. The weather here has been chilly the past three days 🙁 but a slew of 70s are coming with means perfect running weather!

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