Speed Season? or “That time I ran two 5K’s in 24 hours…”

Today’s Workout- 10 Miles total with last minute of each mile “hard” pace.

I promised a peek into what my post marathon recovery phase is like and can honestly say the first week post Boston was blissfully lazy. I did not run a step for four days and the first day back I ran 2 miles. I repeated that another day or so then took two more days off. Then I ran 3.5 miles for a few days, took some days off, then ran 4 miles. I loved it! Never will I understand those people who post marathon say they hate recovery and want to get back to work immediately. Bring on the sweatpants and extra sleep for me. Also the Doritos….lots of Doritos.

The end of last week I did sign up for my neighborhood 5K. I can walk to the start and the course runs right by my house. My neighborhood is fantastic so I love to support the kids school. The problem is the day prior (after I had already paid for the neighborhood 5K) the Mr. says “Hey, there is a 5K at my work today. It’s free and there will be free food.” I heard “free” twice, therefore I hopped in his truck and went with him. I had every intention of running the work 5K at an easy pace, put myself on the starting line at the appropriate place, and never wore my watch. However at the first mile I looked around and noticed only 3-4 men in front of me and well, it’s fun to beat the boys so I sped up a bit. I found myself in second place overall by the halfway point and the placings never shifted from then on. I was surprised to finish in 18:38. Afterwards there were awards, free sushi, coconut water, and veggie/turkey wraps. The food was amazing! Usually post race festivities are beer (not my favorite after racing) and bananas (fair enough but nothing spectacular).

That 5K left me a bit concerned for the next day but if I’ve payed for a race, I’m running. The Independence Middle School 5K was a morning race and the work 5K was a nooner so two 5K’s in less that 24 hours is NOT what I would recommend for the post marathon recovery period. It’s pretty dumb actually. My warm up consisted of walking 800 meters to the school and picking up my race packet. I ran from the race packet pickup to the starting line, around 400 meters, then did some strides and warm up drills. Normally I am an obsessive stickler and like to run 2-3 miles before every race except the marathon. This was very low key. Again I did not wear a watch. I wanted to run for pure fun and knew I’d be staring at my splits worried the whole time if I wore a watch. I took the first mile very relaxed and it felt like a fun run because I passed my house, my kids friends houses, etc. Being in my neighborhood made the whole thing have a different feel. Once we hit mile 2 a volunteer told me our time was 11:40 and I thought “Her watch is off.” When I came around the 3 mile bend and saw the first two numbers on the clock were 17 I was shocked. I finished in 18:08 as first female and 3rd overall. Maybe there is truth to the whole “Running relaxed is running fast” thing that I have such a hard time buying into.

Why Thank you General!

It is rare for me to run 5Ks. I am a marathoner so while short distances are helpful I will always lean towards the longer races. The fastest 5K I ran in 2012 was an 18:22 and I remember working HARD for it, as in “That hurt so bad I never want to do it again HARD”. Last Saturday’s 5K showed some promise that I can get speedier. While it is a bit unfair to say I haven’t run a sub 17:30 5K since high school considering I have never trained or tried to reach that goal, it is the truth. Now I have a little fire growing under me to work towards it. If I choose a late Fall marathon as opposed to my typical October time frame then that leaves me with plenty of time to get some speed training in. I am leaning towards the Philly Marathon in late November so if you have run this one, send me advice PLEASE.

Tomorrow the family and I leave for Disney World. Any running advice? We are staying in the park and I have no clue what to expect. I’m hoping I can sneak off and run early in the morning. Our kids do not know we are going yet. Relatives of ours did the same thing (not tell the kids until the morning of) and I never actually thought I could pull it off.

So I’m thinking Summer of Speed?? What about you? What is everyone training for? Any Summer Goals? Disney Advice? Take care everyone!


20 thoughts on “Speed Season? or “That time I ran two 5K’s in 24 hours…”

  1. Oh my goodness! Keeping Disney a secret?! That’s awesome and something I don’t think I could pull off! We just stayed at the Contemporary Resort in January and it wasn’t great for running. We ran the 1/2 mile loop around the hotel a few times every day and to the park and back and called it a day. Running to the park adds another half mile or so but there are lots of people walking around there so it’s a little congested. Someone told me a place called Wilderness something (sorry I don’t remember) was a good place to run… wish I could be more helpful. We weren’t so lucky with running there!

    While 2 5ks in 24 hours might not the best decision, I would have done the same thing. I can’t resist “free” or neighborhood runs either. You approached them in a smart way and ran well so sounds like a success to me!

    I’m all about you going for fast 5ks this summer! It’s a nice change of pace for me and gets me hungry for marathon training later. Good luck!


  2. I’ve heard only good things about the Philly Marathon. Those are some speedy 5Ks! I set my 5K PR a week and a half after running my first marathon. Somewhat convinced post-marathon racing equals speed even if it’s a dumb decision in terms of recovery


  3. So many awesome things about this post! 1) Great run, speedy! I, too, am always hesitant about running 5Ks because I am never warmed up until at least 3 miles into a race. 2) The middle school I went to (in PA growing up) was called Independence Middle School. And 3) it must be a trend for parents to hide Disney trips from their kids? I know several friends who have done this and waited until the day of and videotaped their reaction to post on facebook. Anyway, have a great time. I have not been there since high school (years ago!) for a band trip.


  4. i like your recovery plan. mine usually has bbq kettle chips and milkshakes in the place of doritos. i stopped racing with a watch last fall, and i have to tell you that i don’t think i’ll ever go back unless i’m running a full. just actually ran an 8k pr last month without it with very consistent splits. makes you have to feel a bit more i suppose, which could definitely back fire i suppose.

    congrats on 2 stellar 5k’s! a girl after my own heart, just out to chick the dudes!


  5. Have fun at Disney! That is awesome and I know for a fact that I couldn’t keep anything a secret. HA.

    That is great about the 5k’s though and the base 5ks are seriously so nice. I am hoping to work my way down to some fast 5k’s this summer. I’m done with halves (well focusing on them) and want to spend the summer/fall in VA Beach signing up for as many 5ks as possible. Which isn’t really that hard because there is one every weekend. (I hope to see you at a few).


  6. What a great surprise for your kids! Way to nail to 5k’s in a day! I have been struggling to get my 5k into the 19’s and hope I can make that happen this summer. Although living in FL, this is THE worst time to train, but it’ll only make me better in the long run I guess. I’ll have to try your watchless technique! Like you, if it’s free its for me! Especially when races are getting so expensive! Have fun at Disney! The weather has been very rainy and overcast, so bring your raincoats and umbrellas just in case!


  7. Haha, you’re crazy and I love it. My recovery sounds just like yours —lots and lots of food and sleep and couch time. Plus, say “free food” and I’m come runnin’! I’m looking forward to doing some faster, short distance races this summer, too.


  8. I’ll admit that last cycle I was that crazy girl that was like GIMME ALL THE RUNNING, FOOLS! MUAHAHA! RECOVERY IS FOR THE DOGS. I had a hard time reining in the endorphins. This time around, I’d like to say I’ll be better about lounging… but that probably all depends on how the race goes!

    The great thing about fast races is that you can eat brunch sooner.

    Can’t wait to hear about the Disney trip!!


  9. Yay, run Philly! We live a couple blocks from the start/finish. I’ll definitely be out there cheering, and feel free to stop by before or after the race! I’ve always run well on that course. It’s mainly flat, with only one real hill in it.


  10. Congrats on two great 5ks!!!! And glad you have recovered so quickly/easily. Must be the Doritos. 🙂 I have Cox Providence Marathon in 11 days so will be in recovery mode soon enough. Just starting to get that “taper bounce in my step”. Have SO much fun at Disney – my husband and I have had as much fun as the kids the times we have gone. You can definitely get running in, especially if you get up and get out early. Have a blast!


  11. Sushi and veggie wraps after a race? That’s so cool!! Great job on 2 5ks in a day–amazing!!!

    I actually can offer some advice on the Disney running front. I’m proud to say that this girl who one year ago swore she would never be a runner actually ran TEN miles while at Disney this past December, including a five-mile run on my second-to-last day!

    You mention that you’re staying in the park but not which park you’re going to be close to. If you’re staying at an Epcot resort, there is a path that runs from Epcot to Hollywood Studios that is about 1 mile, maybe 1.25. You can do an out and back and go around the Lagoon there at Epcot and it can be a nice run. I did that with maybe two loops around the lagoon and got to 5 miles. There were plenty of runners out there at 6am with me each day that I ran!

    Most importantly have a GREAT time in Disney–you’ve earned it! Can’t wait to hear about it!


  12. Two 5k’s in less than 24 hours sounds painful…even one 5k sounds painful! Funny that I have run 7 marathons and many half-marathons but not one single 5k ever. I should just go out and run one since it would be a guaranteed PR. Ha!

    Congrats on running both of them so well, though, and beating those boys!! I wonder if not wearing a watch is part of why you were so relaxed. I have been wearing my Garmin under long-sleeve shirts lately and have noticed I always run faster when I’m not paying attention to my pace.

    Hope you have a great time in Disney! So, so, so much fun to surprise your kids, too! 🙂


  13. Disney? Nice… I am officially jealous. I definitely think you can get some runs in, Fla. is a nice place and I would just ask at the hotel, surely they know of places where the locals run or walk. If all else fails I’m sure the hotel has a gym with a treadmill even though we know that both sucks crazy!

    I find it really promising that you were able to do so well in 5Ks so quickly after the full. I’ve heard a lot of people say they lost their speed when they did a full but this is making me think maybe they did not recover well or they just hit a rut and don’t want to admit it. You did a great job with both races, congrats on them and I don’t blame you, I would do them back to back if one was free too!

    Some people’s favorite race is the marathon, 5k, 10k, well my favorite race is the FREE one LOL :).


  14. That’s AWESOME! I did 2 5ks in a day once- one in the morning, one that night. One was a costume run; so that was pretty fun. I’m really amazed at how fast you ran both. Have a great time in Disney.


  15. Maybe too late, but I’ve had some great runs at Disney. I typically stay at the Old Key West resort where there is a “pedestrian path” by their golf course that you can run over to Downtown Disney. Makes a nice 5+ mile loop depending on how far around Downtown Disney. Although I’ve gotten feedback from the golfers that I shouldn’t be on it, but the signs clearly show pedestrians.

    Also, most recently I’ve run over at Port Orleans, which is a great place to run. There is a river through the middle with walking paths on both sides and NewOrleans themed buildings. I had a nice 8 miler there, although honestly I managed to get myself stuck in the same loop several times (the garmin data is quite funny) so it might be a little shorter if you don’t make multiple missed turns.

    Typically the resorts require you to be a Disney Vacation Club member or at least be staying there to enter the resorts, but if you tell them you just want to look around, they’ll let you through the gates


  16. I like this idea a lot! (The “Summer of Speed” one.) Post memorial day weekend marathon, I haven’t scheduled much because I’ll be traveling in the fall. No time to train for anything big before then, & not much time between after & the end of the year. So maybe a summer of short, speedy races instead. 🙂


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