Joggin for Frogmen 5K Race Recap

A little over a week ago I raced the Joggin for Frogmen 5K in Norfolk, Virginia. This was at the end of an 88 mile training week but for some reason I had it in my stubborn mind that I was going to set a PR (sub 17:53). Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that did not happen…not even close.  However I did have an amazingly fun time at a great organized race that I will, for sure, run again.

Race morning, we lucked out with cooler temps but the humidity was still high (this is the beach after all).  I did a one mile warm up alone then striders and some drills with friends around the starting line. We all sang the Star Spangled Banner together, led by race director Cameron Cooper, such a cool touch but maybe the runners within ear shot of me didn’t appreciate it, ha.  Then we were off!


On the starting line. Already staring at my watch (my worst racing bad habit) Silly Kristen.

I found myself as 2nd place female a quarter to half mile in and the girl leading was pushing 5:15 pace, out….of….my…comfort….zone.  So I backed off and settled into the grind. I focused on staying relaxed but pushing hard and until the half way mark, was lucky enough to have a man at the same pace to work with, we had passed the first female somewhere close to mile 1.

At halfway our overall average was 5:37 pace, which I was happy about. I still felt like I had a ton in the tank, and that I could pull off a PR, but things change so quickly in a race.  Legs started to feel heavy, the man I was running with faded a bit, and the course that was previously super straight and fast, started to weave through narrow streets.  With almost a mile to go and us still running past the park, away from the starting line, I knew the course would be long. And that’s the thing with 5K’s.  I feel like, the second I start losing focus, I’m done.  I started worrying about the finish line, I started asking volunteers which way to go, I turned down the wrong way on a street and had to back track (not by too much).  These are all things that were 100% in my control, my fault, and I messed up.  The finish line was very cool (see picture below) and I was elated to finish as first female, but I was not thrilled with my time of 18:26.  It was a huge reminder to me that at Chicago I MUST focus. Stop getting sloppy when you are tired, stop staring at my watch every 10 seconds, remember to keep pushing.   

Besides not coming close to the time I had in mind, I loved this race.  Not only did our $40 race entry fee go to a good cause, Joggin for Frogmen beneficiaries, but we recieved soft shirts in sizes that fit all women (this is a race rarity and deserves bonus points!), a medal that doubles as a bottle opening key chain, gorgeous location, finish line food, and something especially cool…free race photos.  Also the awards for first male and female were fantastic.  Its hard to see the details in the photo but the handle is gorgeous.  It’s one of my favorite awards ever.


The next day after the race was an easy day then I was back at the training. With only 9 weeks to go until the Chicago Marathon, I can’t afford the time to taper for shorter races. I do feel that I have come a huge way since my injury in March but in the grand scheme of things, hearing there is less than 10 weeks until your goal race is a bit terrifying! My right calf has been a bit cranky here and there, and a little twinge like that can give a huge sense of paranoia. There are days that I feel completely overwhelmed and doubtful and there are other days that I feel confident and in control. I guess that all goes in as half the fun right?! My next race will be the Rock & Roll Virginia Beach Half in three weeks.  I have run this race for the last 3 years so even if the weather is bad, I can use it as a nice gauge of fitness.

Thanks for reading everyone!  Have a great week!


23 thoughts on “Joggin for Frogmen 5K Race Recap

  1. I think we all have those days where we have it in our mind a PR is possible when we have been nailing our workouts. Nice overall win and that is a really nice award. I hadn’t even heard of this race until you posted about it!


  2. Those are nice awards! And I suppose a PR was a tall order after high miles and in the middle of summer. Still, you weren’t too far off – 30 sec – about 15 of those seconds are probably just course guesswork, turns, and long course, so really you could just trim off 15 sec and PR!


  3. Congrats on your win and an awesome award. Don’t worry about not PRing- it is summer and you’re in the middle of training for a marathon and a high mileage week, but I understand that every time I start a race, I secretly kinda want to PR haha. This looks like a great race and it’s neat that they had nice shirts and a ladies cut, plus that finish arch makes for great pictures.


  4. I love your race reports–you always make me feel like I’m there with you! Sorry you didn’t meet your girl, but what an amazing feat–first female! Congrats!!

    Looking forward to hearing more about your training as you prepare for your big race. My next half (#4, first one after my first marathon in April) is in less than two weeks. I want a PR, but I’m just not sure I’m feeling it. It’s August (hot and humid) and I’ve gained about 10 pounds this year. 😦 How do you deal with the (inner) negativity when you’re shooting for a goal?


  5. Congrats on the first overall female and no worries on not clinching the 5k PR eh’ the just means you to have a doubly awesome half and even more awesome marathon 🙂


  6. Great recap! I agree, focus is one of those all-important things, especially in shorter races! I allow my mind to wander in longer events, then have to rein it in for the short ones. What a pain to have turned down the wrong street – that must have felt so frustrating! I know it’s our responsibility to know the route (although I never have to worry since I’m not in the lead) but I don’t understand why some marshalls along the route don’t know the way! Congrats on your win, even if it wasn’t a PR!


  7. Congrats on the win, cool award too! I really need to remind myself to focus and not get sloppy when tired as well, and the watch thing- I’d like to think I’m getting better about it….but well…every 10 seconds is probably pretty close to my watch checking intervals.


  8. You are so right about the short races being so unforgiving! You can’t slip for a second, at least in the long races you have enough time you can relax for a lot of the first half, look around and think, take it in a bit more… it’s hard to be on top of your game from 5k to marathon at the same time. Don’t doubt yourself, you have many weeks left and you are in a great spot


  9. I’ve told my husband before that i think I have racing ADD. One minute I’m focused, and the next minute I’m like, “Oh, a bird!” And then I find myself WAY off pace one way or another and have a little panic attack about it mid-race. It seems to be worse during 5Ks, maybe because that’s such a painful distance that my mind is trying to distract me from it? Who knows.

    Very cool awards and CONGRATS! It’s difficult to pull off fast racing times in the midst of heavy training. And with the course turns and mishaps, I wouldn’t read too much into it regarding Chicago. Your training is still going STRONG and you have plenty of time to fine tune things. Keep up the good work!


  10. Congrats on the win. I will be in Chicago as well, gunning for an OTQ time and I am also hitting the panic/less than confident period of my training. You are not alone! Good luck with it all and maybe we’ll run into each other in the development program tent before the start to say hello!


  11. I agree with Stef from above, you surely made me feel like I was there with you. And even though your pace is much faster than my 5k, you touched on things that we all go through when digging deep for a 5k. Such a different beast of a race distance! I have to tell myself similar things. You make me want to run this race too! The soft shirts and the awesome awards…an award that you can use!! My favorite swag from a race has been our bottle openers from Boston. This one looks like it will get used…AND tell a story when you’re using it. Oh, and you made me miss the east coast.
    Good luck with the rest of your Chicago training! Excited to watch the rest of your journey on here now that I’m hoping to start blogging more regularly again.


  12. Hey, great job on the win, but I totally understand leaving and not being totally pumped overall. But I will point out a few things: 1) you freaking didn’t know if you were on the right course…that right there makes u lose focus, so really you need to factor that into the finishing time. u would have run faster without the confusion. 2) You’re in marathon-mode, so u should be pleased with that time…if u were in balls-to-the wall PR for the 5k mode u’d be sharper. But I can also relate, us runners are stubborn and we LOVE those PRs, and if u hadn’t stepped to the starting line with thoughts of that, then it woulda been a mistake. You gotta always be in gamer mode. You got time, u learned from the race, everyone is in the constant, on-going quest/struggle to improve our mental spots like focusing and blocking out the pain, not getting sloppy…so long as you know what u’ve got to work on and are doing it, u’re making progress! plus, u kicked that chick’s butt who went out too fast! 😉 #winning PS- sorry for my epic comment, long winded way to say u’re awesome!!


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