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My First 5K Race

On Thursday evening I was talking to a friend about a running club which meets every Tuesday. I signed online to their website to review the latest information. Surprise! I found out they had a 5K run this weekend with funds benefiting the Police Department and Boy Scouts of America. However, many would say the run is for the party at the end. :*)   The race was called the 32nd Annual St. Patrick's Day Run-A 5K Prediction Run held on 14 March 2009.

This was always something I wanted to do, so instead of talking about it I decided to do it! I went early Friday morning and signed up for my first 5K!!! (3.1 miles)

Now, I'm not a runner. I describe myself not gazelle like, but much more...Saint Bernard chasing a lint ball-ish at best. I trot, I have no beat, I pant, I gasp. But I have run enough over the past year to get the job done.

I had no clue where to stand, how to pace myself, how to stretch and look like I know what I'm doing, or even how to put my toe scanner on my clue.

I am use to running up and down the road for about an hour as the kids trot, bike, RipStik, or scooter along.

This was called a "Prediction Run" which means you average your last 5 runs, minus the slowest run, add 33 seconds for a 5K, and that's your goal.

Ya umm...

I never really timed myself, so I had other goals in mind.
1. Not to die.
2. Not to be carried off in an ambulance.
3. Not to be run over by the straggler bus.
4. And somewhere in there was to get the really cool shirt!

I put my time down, and lied by several minutes so I wouldn't look like a loser. Oops, who is going to know right?

There were 9,441 runners who showed up for the race.

At 9:00 AM the gun went off...I started with one foot in front of the other. At first I trailed and followed the pace of the firefighters...If anything else, it was a great view. Then I followed a few ladies who had about the same shape and pace as me. I then found myself getting tired at about 1.75 miles into the race. I was NOT going to stop running though. I searched, and breathed, until finally I saw a guy who had a great pace, not too fast, not too slow. He was taking short strides for such a tall guy, but it looked like something I could do. So I stuck behind him like glue. And the race continued...At about 2.75 miles I lost the guy I had been dragging off of for so long. I walked about 30 seconds and then I heard the noise of over 3000 military folks hooting and hollering and doing their chants closing in on me. Yes, I was passed me...but only by some of them...YEY ME!

I glanced over and saw a Marine doing a good pace and thought ya know, I'm NOT going to look like the fat dumpy girl who they beat. So I ran for the finish line!

I ended up placing:

24th out of 362 ladies in my age group
465th out of 9441 total runners
Beat my predicted time by 20.61 seconds

I'm not sure if I should thank the cute fireman, or the Marine. But I had a great time. Overall I flamed past what I had been running at home by almost 5 minutes! WOW!

Now, I am NOT fast at all, but I was happy to use such a scientific method to find my goal. :*)

So at the end of the race I figured I would go let the guy know I appreciated his skill and wow thank him for letting me draft off of him. He told me he had run 50 thousand of these things, and I mentioned it was my first one. He then told me a big congrats and was happy I was able to keep up...

Because he then told me he was a track coach!!!

UGGGG!!! Well, with that I thanked him for his pace and that I actually learned quite a bit. He laughed it off (thankfully). I am sure I broke some sort of runner's protocol. I didn't dare tell him I had learned about the run only two days prior!!!

Anyway...Moral of the story...I'd like to thank all my friends who helped push me along the way to do something for myself, to run, to get healthy, and to do something I hadn't done before. I'm sure this sounds a little odd, but....Thank You Friends!!!

What to Expect From Your First 5K


What to Expect From Your First 5K

Excerpts from What to Expect From Your First 5K by Nancy Toby, PhD    

The 5K is the most popular distance for road races in the USA, and there are good reasons for that. It’s long enough to be a challenge to nearly every accomplished runner, but it’s short enough to be accessible to people with moderate levels of fitness.  It’s a distance that’s accessible to most reasonably active people.

How long is a 5K?
Five kilometers is approximately 3.1 miles.  If you can walk a mile in 20 minutes, a 5K will probably take you between 58 and 68 minutes to complete. If you can jog a mile in 12 minutes, a 5K will take you between 35 and 45 minutes to complete. If you can run faster or longer than that, your first 5K will go by even more quickly, and you will blend in easily with the more experienced runners.

How do I pick out a 5K to enter?
For your first event, you may want to look for an event that is called a “run/walk” or a “fun run.” This indicates that it is basically noncompetitive and encourages participation by people of all ability levels.
Choosing an event that supports a worthy charitable cause will make you feel doubly satisfied upon completion, for reaching your personal goal and for contributing to an important effort to help other people and improve your community. Some charitable events are so popular that they draw thousands of participants resulting in such a crowd that nearly everyone walks the entire 5K.

How should I prepare for race day?
Simplify your goals: Establish your objectives for the day as 1) Finishing the 5K; and 2) Enjoying the experience. Avoid cluttering your thoughts with excessive concerns over time, performance, or personal appearance.
Eat something light and drink plenty of fluids the morning of the event, but finish at least sixty minutes prior to the start of the 5K. Emphasize drinking lots of water so that you are well-hydrated at the start, even if you make several nervous trips to the bathroom.
Do not plan to participate in the event with headphones, children in strollers or on foot, or pets. They are usually prohibited for sensible safety reasons and at the very least will create a distraction.

What can I expect at the race site before the race?
Most 5K events give out t-shirts to all participants. Don’t feel obligated to wear it -- most experienced runners save it for another day. One good strategy is to drape it over the steering wheel of your car so that when you return after the event it is a visible and immediate reminder of your accomplishment. Consider your new t-shirt as the reward that you will earn for completing your goal of finishing your first 5K.
You may feel as though you look conspicuously out-of-place, faintly ridiculous, or doubt that you are a “real runner” or somehow not “entitled” to full participation. This is normal but needless worry. You paid the same entry fee as every other participant. You have a right to be there.

What can I expect during the race?
Start at your own pace. It is very tempting to run faster than you can maintain at the start, simply to keep up with the other runners. Resist this temptation. Run your own race and maintain the pace at which you have trained.

If you are a slower walker or runner you may trail the other participants by a considerable distance. You may find that you are being trailed closely by the pickup vehicle that follows the race entrants. This may seem like an annoyance, but remember that they are there for your safety. Nearly everyone will be encouraging, but occasionally a race volunteer or spectator may make an insensitive remark about your slowness. Do the best you can to maintain a thick skin and ignore it. Remember that you are ahead of all the people out there who never had the courage you demonstrated in entering your first 5K event.
By this time there will probably be another few people who have completed most of the race close to your pace and whose faces have become familiar. Encourage them and commiserate with their difficulties, and your friendliness will be repaid.

What can I expect after the race?
You have won a victory, regardless or your time on the course or the order in which you finished. You should feel a righteous sense of accomplishment. You have completed your goal of finishing the 5K. You may feel a combination of exhaustion and exhilaration. Give yourself a pat on the back.
Give yourself a day or two of relaxation after your 5K to savor the experience. Then, if you start thinking about the next 5K you would like to enter, you have indeed had a great accomplishment in your journey along the road of lifelong fitness.

Predict Times For A Race


Jeff Galloway's Magic Mile Race Prediction Formulas

(for the 5K, 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon distances, based upon a one mile time trial)

Real Testimonial: "Thanks for a great book and a great program!! I have to tell you that you are amazingly within 2 minutes from my last actual half marathon time if I use your predictors from my current MM ability. Also, right on time for my current actual 5K ability. I am amazed at how your training is getting me right back to where I left off!"

Why the Magic Mile

Scroll down to input your Magic Mile Time!

After having worked with over 170,000 runners over 30 years, I've compiled hundreds of performances and have established a prediction formula based upon a one mile time trial. In other words, every 2 weeks or so, you can run a measured mile (at a good, hard pace for you) and use the time to predict what you could run at longer distances.

This assumes that:

* You do the training needed for the distance and time goal (See my books Running Year Round Plan and Galloway Training Programs both available here -
* The temperature on the race day of your race is 60F or cooler
* You pace yourself correctly and take the walk breaks necessary for your goal (see the same two books for details)

Take your one mile time and adjust as follows:

add 33 seconds for your pace for a 5K
multiply by 1.15 for 10K pace
multiply by 1.2 for half marathon pace
multiply by 1.3 for marathon pace

Here's how to do the one mile time trial:

1. warm up with a slow one mile run
2. do a few acceleration-gliders (See my books Running Year Round Plan and Galloway Training Programs both available here -
3. pace yourself as even as possible on each quarter mile
4. run about as hard as you could run for one mile--but no puking! (finish feeling that you couldn't have run more than a football field at the same pace)
5. keep walking after the time trial for 5 minutes, and jog a slow 1-6 miles, as needed for the mileage for that day

Predicting race performance:

Take your last 4 one mile time trials
Eliminate the slowest
Average the other three
Use the prediction formula for your race
Adjust for heat and humidity: slow down by 30 sec a mile for every 5 degree temperature increase above 60F

How to Train for a Marathon - from Tess

Pace Calculator

Kilometer Chart

Kilometer Chart

Kilos   Miles    Fast       Moderate     Easy

1         0.62     7 min.      10 min.       12.5 min.
2         1.24     14 min.    20 min.       25 min.
3         1.86     21 min.    30 min.       37.5 min.
4         2.48     28 min.    40 min.       50 min.
5         3.11     35 min.    50 min.       62.5 min.
6         3.73     42 min.    60 min.       75 min.
7         4.35     49 min.    70 min.       87.5 min.
8         4.97     56 min.    80 min.       100 min.
9         5.59     63 min.    90 min.       112.5 min.
10      6.21      70 min.    100 min.     125 min.
11      6.83      77 min.    110 min.     137.5 min.
12      7.45      84 min.    120 min.     150 min.
13      8.07      91 min.    130 min.     162.5 min.
14      8.69      98 min.    140 min.     175 min.
15      9.32    105 min.    150 min.     187.5 min.
16      9.94    112 min.    160 min.     200 min.
17    10.56    119 min.    170 min.     212.5 min.
18    11.18    126 min.    180 min.     225 min.
19    11.80    133 min.    190 min.     237.5 min.
20    12.42    140 min.    200 min.     250 min.


21     13.1      147 min.     210 min.      262.5 min. 
                        2.5 hours   3.2 hours     4.4 hours


42      26.2      294 min.     420 min.      525 min.
                        5 hours        7 hours       9 hours


Keeping on track...

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