Flower Show 5k (18:13)

Last Sunday I participated in the Flower Show 5k.  To be honest, I signed up for the race because there was a promise of “flower cannons” at every mile.  I had no idea what that meant, and it intrigued me! The weather was beautiful, so I chose to take advantage of it.  The race started at 8:30 am which was perfect for me.  I was going to do a workout over the weekend, but the race looked fun, so I hopped into it.

My husband and I arrived at 7:30, warmed up around the Schuylkill River and headed to the start. We saw a few friends doing their long run during our warmup but other than that, the warm-up was uneventful. At 8:30, the race was off.  They threw a few flower pedals, and that was the extent of the “flower cannon”.  To be honest, I was disappointed.

flower show cannon
I was laughing at a little kid on the side. So ready to race…

During the first mile, I found myself as the second woman to a friend of mine.  I trailed about 15 seconds behind.  The course was out and back directly next to the highway.  I hit the first mile in 5:52.

During the second mile, I was surprised I maintained my speed.  In the last few faster 5ks, my first mile is below 6 minutes and the second is not.  I passed a few males.  At the halfway point I began catching the first place woman.  After we turned around several racers running the opposite direction cheered us on.  I hit the second mile in 5:57.

Since I had done a mini workout the day before, my goal was to run under 19 minutes for the race.  After the turnaround, I realized I was close to my PR from last month.  I had not expected to feel that good!

During the third mile, I caught the first woman.  I gave all of my energy, and we rounded a final loop where I saw the clock was in the low 17s.  I still had .2 to go and hit the third mile shortly after in 5:52. Staring at a clock for nearly a quarter of a mile is rough.

I watched as my husband crossed the finish line.  There was one other male in between us as well as a nearby cyclist.  By the time I looked up, I realized I got to run through and “break” a mini tape.  I quickly rose my hands and ran right through.  It was a blur. I crossed the finish in 18:13 by both gun and chip time.

First and Second Place
First and Second Place

Afterward, they gave me a bouquet of flowers and the overall winners took a photo together.  It was awesome that both my husband were part of that.  He was second male overall and got a bouquet as well.  We cooled down around the Schuylkill and headed home after.

Overall winners
Overall winners


  • I was not expecting to PR in February at all.  I had a hard training week before which made the PR more surprising.
  • Reflecting on the last ten months, I’ve made a 2-minute improvement from my baseline fitness. It’s hard to believe the first 5k I ran in early May was a 20:20.
  • It’s nice to see my fitness coming together.  I’m 14 seconds from breaking into the 17 range, but a 14-second improvement is a long way to go for any race distance.  I’m happy to see how far my fitness has come, and I know I still have more to go.

Questions for you:
When was the last time you surprised yourself
Have you ever been to a flower show or expo?