The 5k: Quick and Dirty

5ks are quick and dirty. 

reasons to run a 5k

During a 5k, you have two options:

Option 1: You blink and the race is over

Option 2: You take the race out too fast, and it feels like five back to back marathons. 

If you’ve run more than one 5k, you’ve probably experienced both situations.

So why race such a short tactical and precise race?

The half marathon and marathon bug has bit a lot of people.  “Only” becomes associated with half marathoners and new runner has become associated with those training for 5ks.  5ks are one of the most painful and intense races distances despite being one of the shortest.  Thinking out loud, any athlete can benefit from adding a few 5ks into their training plan. 

  1. The need for speed: They make you feel fast. Longer distances make you feel strong and shorter distances make you feel fast.
  2. 5ks are quick and dirty. 5ks are all of a distance “race pain” in a short amount of time.  This means the race is more mentally challenging and much more intense.
  3. If you have a terrible race, try again next week: I’ve had some terrible 5ks only to be chased by an awesome 5k the following week.  A few years ago, I raced one of the most mentally challenging and grueling 5ks I’ve ever run.  It was slow (for me), my legs were fatigued, and I felt awful.  I had high expectations and fell hard.  I rested and recovered and ran an entire 90 seconds faster the following weekend.  Have a poor marathon? It’s much harder to have a come back the next weekend.
  4. Consistency and benchmarks: with 5ks you can see improvement over the course of time. You can mark your progress.  I’ve raced 5ks for the last 11 months, and I’ve been able to track my progress from starting at a 20:20 to recently an 18:13. For some people, myself included, seeing progress is motivating.  I like to feel like my hard work is paying off!
  5. They are fun. It’s one of the few distances you can see a range of people finish.  It could be someone’s first 5k or someone going for a PR.  Either way, most racers stay for the entire race!

Questions for you:

What is your favorite race distance?

When was the last 5k you ran?

Adidas Energy Boost Review

Adidas Energy Boost Shoe Review

This was the first pair of adidas shoes I’ve run in.  We’ve stocked adidas for a long time at work but never committed to buying a pair and running in them.    When we received the new adidas Energy Boost 3, I decided I would try them out. Did you know the “a” in adidas isn’t capitalized? It’s adidas, not Adidas (unless at the front of a sentence). Anyway, I digress.

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Adidas is not paying me to review their shoe, and all opinions are my own.

adidas Energy Boost Fit:

The adidas Energy Boost, as well as most adidas shoes, are narrow.  Unfortunately, the adidas energy boost is not available in a wide width.  I have a wide foot and wear between a 9.5 wide or size 10.  While I was comfortable in an adidas energy boost size 10, I think I would be more comfortable in size ten wide.

Adidas energy boost 3

The upper is seamless and stretches.  Having a seamless upper has become more popular in running shoes.  The upper fits and accommodates bunions or sore spots without irritating feet.  With the wider toe box, it’s able to accommodate my feet, despite the shoe still being too narrow.  If the shoe was mesh, I wouldn’t be able to run comfortably at all.

The heel counter of the adidas energy boost is slightly harder, so be aware.

adidas Energy Boost 3 Ride:

Adidas is well known for its boost material.  The boost material is the same material as BMW dashboard.  If it’s good enough for BMWs, it must be good enough for adidas running shoes right?

Adidas claims the boost material last longer.  Since I’ve seen several customers run through different models, I can say this is pretty much true.  Most running shoes last about 400 miles and the adidas Boost line lasts about 600.

The adidas boost midsole material is more firm and responsive.  Every step feels like a bouncy springboard with energy return.  To me, the adidas energy boost feel the most similar to Newtons because of how bouncy they are.  There is another step up, the adidas ultra boost, which gives even more boost technology and boost cushioning.  The adidas energy boost is good for road running, treadmill, or wherever you want to run.

Adidas energy boost 3

adidas Energy Boost Pros:

  • The shoes last longer
  • Seamless upper design can accommodate more foot shapes

adidas Energy Boost Cons:

  • Cost
  • No widths available

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Saucony Triumph ISO 2 (the majority of miles)
Saucony Kinvara
Asics FuzeX
adidas Energy Boost

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:
Have you run in Adidas before?
What shoe are you currently working out in? 

Phillies Charity 5k (18:27)

My husband and I registered for the Phillies 5k a while ago.  The race has been on my bucket list since hearing about it last year.  It’s well put together, the registration fee helps the Phillies charity, and you get to finish with a lap around the stadium.  It’s a unique and fun 5k but it sells out quickly, so I bit the bullet a few months ago and signed up.  I normally and wait until the last minute to sign up for any race.

After the Shamrock half last weekend, I was sore and tired.  Time wise, I had no idea what to expect.  I haven’t raced a 5k since my PR at the Flower Show 5k.  To be honest, I toed the line wanting to win.  You can’t control who shows up to a race so that is a game of rolling the dice.  I normally don’t make goals of winning or placing but overall winners received autographed baseball bats which was awesome.

We got to the race around 8 am, warmed up and then headed to the race start.  My legs felt tired and heavy.  I mentioned yesterday; my hamstring has been acting up since Shamrock, and it has taken me a lot longer for my legs to recover.  It’s not anything for me to worry about (yet) but it’s something I want to monitor. 

The race started at 9 am.  It went out fast, and I found myself boxed in between several racers.  We made a few turns in the parking lot and around the stadium.  You don’t realize how big the stadium is until you’re doing laps around it!  I hit the first mile in 5:44.  I was pleasantly surprised because I didn’t feel that good.  I think guts and grit prevailed, because I desperately wanted to win.

The second mile went by in a blur.  I felt like I blinked and the second mile was over.  We went through a park and near a band.  Racers were running the opposite direction yelling  “first woman,” and it was motivating.  I hit the second mile in 5:40.  I haven’t run a mile that quickly in over three years.  I was excited because I didn’t feel great but was still running well.

To recap: mile 2 was my fastest mile in 3 years, and mile 1 was my second fastest. 

The third mile ran directly into headwind.  It was demotivating but I reminded myself it was a beautiful day, and at least the weather was nice.  The last mile of any 5k is always challenging and a windy mile is no exception.  We turned the corner and faced the finish line for over a quarter of a mile.  It felt like the like the finish line was not getting any closer.  I hit the third mile in 6:09 which I wasn’t surprised about.  It was windy, and I felt like I was still working hard.

As I approached the finish line, the Phillies Phanatic rode his go-kart to “run me in”.  I even got to break the tape.  I finished the race in 18:27.

via Phillies facebook
via Phillies 

Thoughts:

Winning such a big race was cool.  I’m hoping I get back on track because I believe I have a 5k PR in me.  If there hadn’t been a headwind, I think I could have dropped a few seconds from my time.  I ran my fastest two miles in almost three years (5:40 and 5:44).  This race was on tired legs, and it’s motivating to know when my legs felt 100% I do have a faster 5k in me.  After the race they also interviewed me.  I didn’t think it was possible for me to be more awkward than usual but life is full of surprises…

phillies 5k interview

The Phillies 5k was a well put together and fun race.  The winners received an autographed baseball bat.

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Questions for you:

Are you a baseball fan?

Have you ever run a race put on by a professional sports team?

Training: Hamstrings and Recovery

Training last week did not go as planned but I ended on a good note, so there is some positivity there.

Last Sunday I ran the Shamrock half.  As most people know, it was a slower than anticipated race.  I expected to bounce back quickly and be running well all week.

As you can see from the introduction, that didn’t happen.  In fact, one of my slower races took the longest to recover.  I also had a minor panic when I realized my hamstring was extremely tight and sore.  There was no bruising, so I assumed the muscle wasn’t torn.

On Monday, I felt good.  It was an easy, uneventful run but towards the end, I felt my hamstring tighten up.  When I stretched, I felt the muscle.  I foam rolled on Monday evening, but I woke up and felt the same thing on Tuesday.

I was hoping to come back strong this week and seek revenge on my race.

Strong Wednesday workout…

Strong mileage…

Strong emojis…

None of those happened.

Monday: Easy run VA
Tuesday: AMT cross training
Wednesday: Easy Run
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy Run
Saturday: Phillies 5k (18:27)
Sunday: Workout: 6.55-mile tempo (6:36 average)
   

The tenderness in my hamstring was enough to make me worried, so I cross trained on Tuesday.  I only felt the issue during running, not walking or cross training.  I was able to book a deep tissue massage to loosen up my muscles on Tuesday too.

Deep tissue massages have cost a significant amount this month (about $200), but they kept me able to run a few races on back to back weekends (such as Shamrock and the Phillies 5k).  If I were injured, I would easily pay $200 in injury-related costs (despite having insurance).

On Wednesday, I skipped a workout and ran easy.  Overzealous me thought because I had an off pace race, I would bounce back quickly and effortlessly into mile repeats on Wednesday.  Haha….Hahahaha….I think I was still hypothermic from Shamrock when I believed that.  My hamstring didn’t feel any worse or better during the run.  It was a good sign that running didn’t aggravate it more.

I took Thursday off and Friday I ran easy.  My hamstring felt better than it had all week but it was still noticeable.

The Phillies 5k will receive its own post.  In summary, despite not being fully recovered I was able to run a fast (for me) time.  I ran two of my fastest miles in the last three years (5:40 and 5:44).  If the third mile hadn’t been straight into the headwind, I could have possibly Pred!  The race itself was motivating to see what I could do on tired legs.  My hamstring didn’t bother me any worse, so that was the major success of the week.

via Phillies facebook
via Phillies

On Sunday I ran a tempo run with my husband.  The first mile was 7:00 but after getting into the groove I ran between 6:30-6:36 the rest of the miles.  I felt good and my hamstring didn’t feel bad.  It was a great confidence booster after the week.  Back to back workouts are tough but they do help fitness. It’s important to adjust the pace appropriately so that you don’t injure yourself.

I haven’t mentioned my husband’s running lately but he has progressed and is significantly faster than I am again.  I’m happy T can continue building his base.

t and I running

Thoughts:

Sometimes rest weeks are needed, cutting my mileage way down was definitely something I needed.  I am feeling stronger going into next week.  I’m going to still monitor my hamstring too.

Questions for you:

Are you a baseball fan?

How was your Easter holiday weekend? 

Delmar Diner

Delmar Diner (Delmar, Md)

Last week I stopped at the Delmar Diner located on the border of the Delaware and Maryland.  I’ve driven by on the way to college and work in Upstate, NY as well now back home to New Jersey.  It’s a diner I’ve passed a lot and have never paid it much attention.  I was getting hungry, so I stopped at a rest stop, googled diners and found this one.

Delmar Diner Atmosphere: C
As I said earlier, it’s easy to drive by the Delmar Diner.  The outside blends into the scenery, and most people are focused on the state line 100 feet away.

Delmar Diner

The inside atmosphere of the Delmar Diner is decent but nothing out of the ordinary.  The restaurant itself is clean, however, nothing unusual.  It’s a small restaurant with a small town feel.

Delmar Diner Service: A
The waitress at the Delmar Diner brought several refills to my water and coffee.  It was great service, and I have no complaints.  The food was brought out within 15 minutes, and I was in and out within 45 minutes.

Delmar Diner Coffee: A
The coffee at the Delmar Diner was a milder roast.  I liked it, and there were plenty of refills.  Any coffee that doesn’t taste like water is a win for me.  Even though there were plenty of refills, I forgot to take a photo.  You can only take so many photos of coffee without it becoming boring…

Delmar Diner Food: A
The Delmar Diner has all of the typical diner options.  They have a lot of breakfast staples such as eggs, pancakes and omelets as well as a few different diner staples such as steak and chicken pot pie.  You won’t find healthier options here!

At the Delmar Diner, I decided to order the chocolate chip pancakes.  I’m a pancake snob.  I like big filling pancakes versus small dinky ones. The pancakes at the Delmar Diner were light and fluffy.  There were plenty of chocolate chips, and they were cooked all the way through with no uncooked batter.

They added more powdered sugar and chocolate chips on top.  I liked the pancakes a lot and after all of that sugar, I had plenty of energy to drive back to New Jersey.

pancakes1

Delmar Diner Cost: $
For my coffee and pancakes, the cost was $8.  For the amount of food and coffee, it is a good value.

Would I come back to the Delmar Diner?
I thought it was a good stop along the way, and I would stop again.

Summary:
Atmosphere: C
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $8-13
Overall: A-

You can see all the diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite type of pancake?
Do you like to stop and eat while traveling?

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