First 5K of the Season is in the Books – I PR’d!

Running 20-miles last weekend had me feeling confident about my mental game. This weekend at the Optime 5K I scored myself a small PR of about 15 seconds (yay) but realized when it comes to running fast I am completely mentally weak.

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It seems to me that the mental fortitude necessary to pull off a long run at an easy pace vs. a short run at a fast pace is really different. At mile 16 when my legs are getting tired and sore I just tell myself to keep moving, that soreness is no big deal and that works.

At mile 2 of a 5K when my face feels like it’s two inches from the sun and my breathing feels really rapid… well that’s just totally different. I guess that’s why I’m not a big fan of speedwork days, but I need to start putting more effort into them.

I ran 12 miles on Saturday so my legs were a little bit tired, but after a small warmup mile (at 13:21 pace) around my neighborhood they were feeling fine. 

(Sidenote: Don’t ask me why I did my warmup mile at 5:30am, a full two hours+ before the race. My brain doesn’t function at full capacity before 10am!)


The 5K started (15 minutes late) when the sun was fully up, and I decided my goal for the day would be to get as close to 36 minutes as possible.

I hit the first mile marker at 12:05 and then continued to positive split the rest of the 5K (12:05, 12:33, 12:58). I really need to work on my race day mental game!

If you want to listen to me make an excuse it would be that I was dealing with 100% humidity which is never fun.

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I feel like if the weather had been nicer I would have been able to breathe easier. The humidity on top of allergies that have been out of control this past week had my gasping for breath.

Excuses are annoying though, so instead I will just say I am hoping for better conditions this fall/winter because I would really like to run sub-36 … even if it’s 35:59. Coach Lauren says I can make it happen no problem and so far trusting her has worked out really well for me!

The kind of really cool thing about this 5K is that I run/walked a different 5K on this same course about two years ago and it took me OVER 46 minutes on that day! That means I shaved about 8 minutes off my previous course time which feels like some kind of small victory.

The big victory looming ever closer is Portland! I am now less than two weeks away from my first marathon! Adam and I will be heading to Paris and London TOMORROW and then jetting over to the Pacific Northwest for the race. 

The next couple of weeks are going to be crazy!

The cat sitter arrives tonight which means this whole whirlwind trip that I’ve been planning for a YEAR is about to get started! 

Any recommendations for places we should eat in Paris / London? 

What is your favorite “I-refuse-to-slow-down” mantra for race day? 



  1. September 22, 2014 / 5:38 am

    Congrats on the PR, that is so awesome! And on the heels of a 12 miler?? You rock! I am so excited for you and your marathon coming up, you’ll do great! My mantra I tell myself every mile is “this will NOT be the mile I look back on and see I slowed down, push through one more mile!” (and then I tell myself that the next mile too =)

    • September 22, 2014 / 5:18 pm

      That’s a good idea!!! I really planned to use some mantras to get me through the final mile but my brain just kept saying “hey, use this as a benchmark for the season, you’ll get your goal in the next race. You ran 12 miles yesterday, slow down!” Hmph!

  2. September 22, 2014 / 6:51 am

    Ahhh have fun in Europe!!!! And congrats on a new PR. 5ks are a whole different ball game than distance running. I’m just getting warmed up when the race ends!

    • September 22, 2014 / 5:19 pm

      Exactly! During long runs I usually don’t feel properly warmed up until halfway through mile 4!! My heart is definitely in the long run… but it would be nice to have a decent 5K time to my name, too!

  3. September 22, 2014 / 7:50 am

    Congrats on your PR! Short races are a completely different challenge than a long run. I ran a 1 mile race this summer and thought I might die at about 3/4 of a mile. I could not believe how hard it was too keep moving and how completely shot I was at the end.

    • September 22, 2014 / 5:20 pm

      A one mile race?! That actually terrifies me! I can’t imagine just going all out for one mile! You are brave!

  4. September 22, 2014 / 8:49 am

    Congrats on your 5k PR! I think 5k’s are so difficult. THey feel like a sprint–no room for error. It normally takes me 2 miles to warm-up for a run–so a 5K seems especially cruel! 100% humidity is no joke–that isn’t an excuse!

    Have a WONDERFUL trip. Try not to worry about Cecil. Take lots of pictures! Enjoy! The next time you come home you will be a marathoner!!!!

    • September 22, 2014 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you!! How did you know I was already worrying about Cecil? He really likes his cat sitter though… well he really likes anyone that will give him treats 🙂

  5. September 22, 2014 / 9:30 am

    Huge congrats on the PR. Plus your last race on the same course that you beat is a HUGE confidence booster.

    I agree 100% that running fast is much different than long steady runs. I haven’t trained for a fast 5k in months and it feels like I just don’t have a kick lol.

    Btw ran 20 miles on Saturday :)…I’m super sore but man it feels good.

    • September 22, 2014 / 5:22 pm

      CONGRATS on the 20!!! That’s so awesome!!

      You are going to have run a full marathon during training before your marathon gets here!

  6. September 22, 2014 / 9:34 am

    Congrats on your PR!!! Running in humidity sucks, I totally get it. And yes, running a fast, short run is way worse than a long, slow run. OMG HAVE FUN IN EUROPE!!! Please take lots of pictures and tell us all about it. I have never been.

  7. September 22, 2014 / 2:26 pm

    Well, even if you didn’t get your target time you still PRed – great job!!!
    Have a super time in Paris and London – I hope you eventually share a lot of pictures. Will you be blogging while you are gone?!
    All the fun touristy stuff will help with your taper for the big race.

    • September 22, 2014 / 5:24 pm

      I will be blogging while I am gone! 🙂

      I have to tell you all about running through these new-to-me cities!!

  8. September 22, 2014 / 2:31 pm

    Congrats on the PR, that’s great Kristina!
    Yay so glad you’re coming to London! Make sure you get a run in at some of the wonderful parks here – Hampstead Heath and St James’ park are my faves. So many great places to eat, I love zizzi’s for affordable but good italian cuisine. The thing with London is that there are so many great restaurants, just go for what looks appealing!
    In Paris, Balthazar is a must 🙂

    • September 22, 2014 / 5:25 pm

      Thank you for the restaurant recommendations… and the running recommendations too!! Since I’m in the taper I won’t be running too much, but I do plan to run at least a couple miles each day!

  9. Irene
    September 22, 2014 / 4:01 pm

    I love how your mental attitude is so spot on. I need to get with your running coach…do they really help?

    Don’t know where to recommend in Paris because when I was there as a poor backpacker all I could afford was a daily baguette & tomato picnic on the Champ de Mars. But I know you’re going to love it!!

    • September 22, 2014 / 5:30 pm

      I really like Coach Lauren a lot – she has really helped me. When I started working with her I had never done any speedwork and didn’t really know what paces I should be aiming for or anything like that. She has really helped me there. She has also given me workouts that I never would have pushed myself to do – that have been confidence boosters. For example, I used to always do long runs at the same easy pace – but she pushed me to add “fast finishes” at the end. I had no idea I could push the pace at the end but her confidence in me gave me the confidence to do it.

      Just in general having a coach is nice if you have a busy schedule. I am sure I could Google all of my questions and figure out my own pacing and what not, but it’s nice to have a coach you can just shoot a quick email or text to … and it’s also a big time saver (in my opinion) to have someone else who will write and adjust your training plan.

      Mmmm I think your little picnic sounds really good!

  10. September 22, 2014 / 4:04 pm

    Yay Congrats on the new PR!!!!! You are so right: running fast/running long are two completely different ball games. I suck at the short fast races and almost always vomit at the end. :S I can’t believe you are going to Europe (so jealous) Have so much fun!!!

  11. September 22, 2014 / 5:48 pm

    The fact that you are leaving for your trip to Paris and London means that Portland is SO CLOSE!! Exciting. I hope you have a wonderful vacation and are able to get in a few runs in Europe. I hear some of the parks are beautiful there. I have been to Paris but it was a LONG time ago. Safe travels to Europe and the Pacific NW! Looking forward to having you in Portland.

    Great job on your PR. Running a 5K and shorter distances really fast is so different than long, steady runs. The speed work definitely helps with that. I have a hard time running 5Ks because there is no pacing – it’s pretty much all out as hard as you can go for 3 miles!

  12. September 22, 2014 / 6:18 pm

    Congrats on your PR and HAVE AN AWESOME trip! Instagram the entire thing, OK?

  13. September 22, 2014 / 9:42 pm

    Congrats on the PR! Marathon training is really making you stronger!

    And, anyone who uses humidity as an excuse will get no judgement from me. Because it really DOES slow you down! We had a few humid weekends in August and then in September the humidity disappeared and I was FLYING through long runs. It really does make a difference.

    Enjoy Europe! Man I am so jealous. And then you’re going right to Portland? Holy moly it is SO CLOSE. I got my marathon bib number emailed to me today and I was like…this is REALLY happening.

  14. Angie
    September 22, 2014 / 10:39 pm

    Just remember that no matter what you are setting you first marathon PR! You are going to crush it!

    Based on the followers of this blog and myself, I would say that you are an inspiration for some. One time, my daughter posted on Facebook that I was an inspiration for her to get healthy. That was huge to me and I use that nugget in my long runs and recently in my first half marathon. I just kept telling myself ” I am someone’s inspiration!” It’s amazing how motivating that is!

    Good job on your PR and your 20 miler. I’m looking forward to reading about your marathon.

  15. September 22, 2014 / 10:50 pm

    Congratulations on your PR and have an AMAZING time in Paris and London. Two of my absolute favorite cities!

  16. September 23, 2014 / 6:47 am

    Way to go on the PR!! Have a great time in Europe – can’t wait to see pictures… and then Portland!! Ahhh so excited for you.

  17. September 23, 2014 / 10:24 am

    Congrats on the PR! I think you did awesome. Humidity is no joke and 100% I would have been cursing the whole time. My run buddy and I talk about it all the time- even when the temp is decent when the humidity is high we both feel like sh*&* and have rough runs. 12 miles is an awful long run the day before a race! You really did amazing. Have a wonderful trip!

  18. September 23, 2014 / 7:18 pm

    Short races force you to max out on your discomfort. It only lasts a little bit of time, but it’s why more painful than a slow-and-steady long run. GREAT job on your PR!! I know you don’t love races; I’m glad you had a good one!

  19. September 24, 2014 / 2:32 am

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xxx