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    POOKASLUAGH   117,392
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Running a Full 5K

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Since August of 2010, I've been trying to work my way up to running a full 5K. I've never been a runner. Even back when I was thin, athletic, and swimming/cross-training for 12+ hours a week, I was never good at running. I'm not sure why I got it into my head in 2010 that I wanted to learn to run. Maybe it was hearing other bloggers talk about the C25K (Couch to 5K) program that got me interested, I'm not sure, but that's how I started.

In Aug 2010, I completely failed at the program, giving up right before the 20-minute run of Week 5. In Jan/Feb 2011, I completed the program, working until I could easily run 45 mins straight. Still, my pace was so slow that I could walk faster than I ran, and I was no where near an actual 5K. Plus, when I tried to run outside, I couldn't go for longer than 5 minutes at a time. I decided I needed to transition to outdoor training, and did so in April/May of 2011, but no matter how hard I worked, I could never run longer than a mile. Slowly, I realized that the reason I could go so much longer in my living room than outdoors was because I ran a lot faster outside. My pace was closer to 12 minutes/mile outdoors, and closer to 17-18 minutes/mile indoors. I had a hard time slowing down when I ran outside, but I couldn't maintain the faster time for longer than a mile or so.

I've had a goal to run a full 5K for a long time now, and I've been frustrated for the last year (or longer) that I still haven't reached it. So the day before my cruise, I decided to try an experiment. I would set the hotel gym treadmill to a 15-min mile pace (slightly increasing it as I jogged), and see if I could jog a whole 3.1 miles at the slower pace. And I did. It was real slow - 45:22 - but I had run a full 5K for the first time in my life. Which led me to this question: if I took it easy enough, could I do the same on my regular running trails?

Sunday night, I mapped out a 3.1-mile course. The area where I run is made up mostly of pugmill trails rather than asphalt or concrete (the picture above is one of the less-rocky trails). It's a hilly area, with an elevation of up to 1300 ft. The course I mapped out was about half uphill, half downhill. The first mile was along one specific trail, and the next 2.1 miles included three laps around a 0.7-mile loop trail.

I was nervous Monday morning, but I got out there and did it! I ran the full 5K! For me, this was a much bigger achievement than the treadmill 5K. Maybe this sounds stupid, but it felt sort of like cheating to complete my goal on a treadmill. I know that's silly, and that a 5K is a 5K no matter where you run it, but it felt a million times better to run the real distance, you know? I ran 3.1 miles, outdoors, on trails, on hills, PLUS I completed it a whole minute faster than on the treadmill. Here's how my laps came out:

- First mile: 14:35, or 4.1 mph
- Next 1.05 miles: 15:25, a 14:41-minute mile, or 4.1 mph
- Last 1.05 miles: 14:22, or a 13:41-minute mile, or 4.4 mph
- Total 3.1 miles in 44:22, a 14:19-minute mile pace, or 4.2 mph

My last 1.05-mile split was much faster only because I sped up a lot in the last 0.15 miles. Otherwise, my pace was fairly consistent all the way through at around 4.1 mph. I just sped up at the end because I knew I was near the finish line. :) Sadly, I don't have specific mile splits from when I was on the loop. There's a mid-point that's exactly .35 miles, so every 1.5 loops equalled 1.05 miles. I took my splits at that. I really need to figure out how to sync up the GPS tracker that came with my heart rate monitor! It's still sitting in the box!

Now you'd think that after I completely forgot to take a picture post-treadmill-5K, that I would remember this time, right? No. I even thought about it while I was running, but forgot by the time I was done. Next time, I suppose...there will DEFINITELY be a next time! I can't wait to run an official 5K. On flatter ground. I wonder what it would be like to train in a place where I wasn't going uphill half the time...

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
ELISOS 4/29/2012 9:14PM


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SAPHRAEL 4/29/2012 4:48PM

    This is awesome! Way to go!

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TRUE-NESS 4/28/2012 5:03PM

    Awesome Awesome Awesome!!! You KNOW I know exactly how you feel!!! :-) Congratulations, Amanda!!!

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YIWEN39 4/28/2012 8:52AM

    Amanda, that's awesome :-) Congrats! We want to hear about the next time... and see that victory pic ;-) emoticon emoticon

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CK-DUBYA 4/27/2012 4:22PM

    Way to go!

I have the opposite problem when running outside vs. on the treadmill. I slow down outside, so my 5K time is usually about 3-5 minutes slower than when I run on the treadmill. I have a running app on my phone with GPS and it tells me my pace every 2 minutes. Every time it does I realize that I need to speed up, so I do, but 2 minutes later I've slowed back down again. On the treadmill, I can set the speed to what I know I'm capable of, but I have a hard time judging my pace and maintaining speed outside. I'm running my first officially timed 5K tomorrow and I'm hoping that I can use others to help me keep my pace up.

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FITKITTYMAMA 4/27/2012 2:04AM

    Awesome Amanda!!! Way to go!!!

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    WAY TO GO SPARKLY! That is triumphant!!!

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MELITOD 4/26/2012 11:56PM


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MJ-SHE-BEAST 4/26/2012 10:36PM

  This is amazing to me. I'm very happy for you!

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SYZYGY922 4/26/2012 9:44PM

    Yay for you! Congrats!

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TXLADY110 4/26/2012 8:57PM


t time btw.

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MISTYBLUE716 4/26/2012 8:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I'm proud of you!

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LORILEEPAGE 4/26/2012 7:14PM

    That's great news Amanda! What an accomplishment! You need to celebrate somehow.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAVAGEAMY 4/26/2012 7:11PM

    Absolutely amazing! I have a goal to run a 5k too, and you are really inspirational! Thank you so much for posting this! emoticon

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RYDERB 4/26/2012 4:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRONXBABE 4/26/2012 4:37PM

    You are a big inspiration to me. I toy with the idea of running a 5K. I have walked many many of them. But to run one would be a dream come true. Thanks for giving me hope.


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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/26/2012 3:56PM

    That's awesome Amanda! I ran (whole thing) my first 5K on the treadmill on Sunday and did it in 46 minutes. I know a lot of people can walk it faster, but I'm super proud of myself and YOU SHOULD BE TOO! Next time take a pic, hehe! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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