5Ks are scary but wonderful


It’s only 3.1 miles and I’ve done at least a hundred of them.

It’s the expectations…. or more specifically what I expect of myself.

I expect to be fast!! (Fast for me.)

The last time I ran a 5k was in December and that was at night. My last competitive 5k was back in November.

That was 5 months ago!!

I finished that race in 28:14 and won my age group.

But not much speed has happened since then except for a few 4 & 5 mile races. I have run 2 half marathons (and another scheduled for April 18), a 10 mile race and 2 15K races.

That means a lot of long runs…slow long runs. And many slow snowy icy weekday runs.

So what am I worried about?

I signed up for a 5K on Saturday!!

At the end of half marathon training!? What was I thinking?

Bacon Hill Bonanza

before last year’s Bacon Hill 5K

I ran this race last year and it was fun. I won my age group but I wasn’t training for anything. I was just running 5ks each weekend. and enjoying myself.


enjoying a AG win last spring

Here is some advice from Lauren Fleshman about running a 5K:

Run the first mile with your head, the second mile with your focus, and the third mile with your heart. In the first mile, you can’t let any emotion or excitement in at all. Start with a pace you are confident you can maintain and then relax a little bit more. Until you see that one mile marker, all you are allowed to think about is running smart. From 1-2 miles, focus on maintaining your form and start to look around you, taking a survey of which runners around you probably went out too hard, and which ones you should make your prey in the third mile. You are taking some time to strategize for the big battle, and you aren’t allowed to draw your sword until you pass the 2mile marker! The last mile, start to pick off your victims, and allow your mind to feel gratitude for how powerful and strong your body is. As soon as you can see that finish line, pretend you are Meb running down Boylston St in front of all of America and run with passion, tall and proud!

Wow! Not sure if I could do all that.

I only have accomplished the last part.

Moms Day 5K

heading to the finish line in a 5K last May

I always think I am super woman and go out too fast.  Then I die so I walk.  I get it back and speed up and then I die again so I walk. Then I speed up through the finish line.

I am lucky that my fast segments get me through and I finish with a decent time.

She also suggests:

.. set A, B, and C goals for time. C is “meh, but acceptable, and I’m not going to let it kill my buzz.” B is “Yeah baby! That was solid! I knew I could do it!” And A is “That was out of this world insane! I thought on the perfect day it might be possible if everything went right.”

I can do that:

Goal A: PR (under 27:11)

Goal B: Course PR (under 28:56)

Goal C: Under 30 minutes.

But I found this quote from an ultrarunner about how great 5ks are despite the fact that they are hard:

The 5k race is a wonderful distance.

One of my favorite things about this sport is how it brings people together. People of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, together in one place working for the same goal.

No distance does that better than the 5k.

Even at a 5k as small at this one, college elites were lining up next to runners out to complete their first race and kids barely old enough to understand the distance. 5k races are a family affair, and it’s fun and exciting to be a part of them.

How true!

That is what I will try to do. Keep Calm


  • Stay healthy.
  • Have fun.
  • Run 5 more miles after the race.
  • Win an Age Group award.
  • Run a course PR
  • Keep all miles under 10 minute pace.


Keep Calm.

Since Thursdays are for thinking… so I am linking up with Running With Spoons

Happy Running! Do 5ks make you nervous?






10 thoughts on “5Ks are scary but wonderful

  1. I’m betting on you!

    And seriously considering signing up for a 5k before my half – one that requires travel, to boot!

    Of course chocolate will be involved. 🙂


  2. You’ve got this!

    I tend to get nervous for all races. I have very high expectations for myself and I need to get that in check.

    It’s a great distance, but it’s a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of distance to. You just have to throw it all out there and make it happen.


  3. I’ve got a 5k Saturday too. It is a tough, very hilly course but at least finishes downhill. My plan is to save it until mile 3 and then run my little heart out. Good luck with yours! I think you’ll do awesome.


  4. I am sure you will have a great race Darlene. 5k’s are not my thing, but since my running group fielded a team for the Wilma Dash, and all female event, I had to join in the fun. Next week I am running the BAA 5k, two days before Boston, but it will be a slow easy jog with no speed at all!


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