06 04 2015.

race report: back cove weekly 5k series (week 2)


A few weeks ago after our monthly coaching call, I told Kelsey that I felt like I could PR my 5k. It kind of came out of nowhere. I hadn’t been training for one. (Unless you count the 5k at the end of a spring tri.) With all of my speed work in preparation for and after the marathon, perhaps I was feeling confident that I could do it. So I mentioned it and Kelsey encouraged me to sign up for a 5k only days later.

The Back Cove Weekly 5k Series is a really neat event put on every Wednesday night at 6:00 by Fleet Feet Sports Maine Running. They offer same-day packet pickup which is handy, especially for a weekday race. I had never participated in this race before, but I have been caught in the middle of it while running around Back Bay on my own quite a few times.

I arrived early to get my bib and did a 15 minute warmup. I immediately noticed that a) my legs were a bit tired from my swim that morning – a swim that had a lot of leg drills, and b) despite it feeling cold and windy at first, I was happy that I chose to wear a t-shirt and shorts – after 15 minutes of a gradual warmup, I was warmed up.

Lining up at the start I noticed that the race was really casual. I liked that. I was feeling a bit nervous, knowing that I had to sustain a 7:00 pace for the whole thing in order to PR – so the laid-back style of the crew was welcomed. I recognized a few friendly faces from the Fleet Feet crew and talked with them for a bit. In not much time at all, it was time to go.


Stu blew the whistle and we all took off. I allowed my Garmin a minute to figure my pace out and then glanced down: 6:22. Yikes. I held off a bit, but ended up staying around 6:30 or so for a good half mile. I was surprised when I eventually heard my watch beep. One mile down. My legs (surprisingly) felt fresh – thanks to the warmup, so I kept aiming for a 6:45ish pace. I wanted to get some time down since I knew mile 2 brought the bridge. The bridge isn’t a very steep hill (it actually feels steeper running in the other direction) but it is pretty long and gradual.

Surprisingly, my pace stayed pretty much the same on the bridge. I had been running behind two women for a half mile or so, running just barely faster than them. (You know, where your speed isn’t fast enough to be able to pass them quickly, but just fast enough where you need to pass them.) I ended up doing so on the top of the bridge and I flew down the other side.

After going down hill, running on flat ground felt slightly more difficult. I began to feel fatigued and wished for the third mile. I had to remind myself that I had less than 5 minutes left in the race. I had less than a half mile left. This was basically just another Yasso 800 – and I had to do TEN of those once!

Finally I heard the beep. Mile 3. A little more to go. I could see a group of people up head and knew that it was the finishing mat. I glanced at my watch, knowing that I was going to PR, but surprised that I wasn’t crushing my time completely. I darted through the “finishing chute,” grabbed some water, and stuck around to cheer other runners across the finish line.

So I did it! I PRd my 5k! (On National Running Day, too!) I’d love to have another go at it eventually. I definitely thought that it was going to be easier than it was. I felt like I gave almost everything that I had and was pretty wiped at the end. I have so much respect for people who train for and run these shorter races because it’s hard to go all out for 3.1 miles!

Splits (in miles) – from Garmin
1 | 6:53
2 | 7:03
3 | 6:51
.1 | 1:04
OFFICIAL TIME | 21:50 (7:01 pace)


  1. Carmie

    Great recap and I was glad you stuck around cheer as it was nice to see you again! Congratulations on your PR and best wishes in your training!

    • Kelsey @ Spice & Dice

      I’m glad I stuck around to cheer too because your finish line victory dances are always worth seeing!

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