Race for the Cure 2011 5K: Race Report

Race for the Cure 2011 5K: Race Report

Where to begin… I have decided that I have a love/ hate relationship with 5K’s.  Two weeks ago I loved them.  This weekend….not so much.  Initially, I was very optimistic about this race.  To be fair, it went well but I learned A LOT for the future.  Fortunately, I will have plenty of time to let this one marinade since I will not be racing in any 5K’s until the spring!


Me with my Grandma Arnold- Breast Cancer SURVIVOR!

  • This was my 8th year to run in Arkansas Race for the Cure.  I love supporting/ honoring/ remembering those who have been fighting or who have recently lost the fight against breast cancer.  My Grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer around the time I started running in this race.  She has now been cancer-free for about 5 years.  
  • This was my first time to run this race wearing a chip and starting at the front of the line! (Well, starting at the front made me a little too speedy initially but I’ll get into that later!)
  • My sister Tara and I run this race every year together
  • Another tradition I have with this race is to do it with my sister Tara.  We don’t race next to each other but we meet up before and afterwards.  She lives right by the race course so she knows the best parking, etc.  She doesn’t train regularly but she is a natural runner. She can pull a 24-27 minute 5K out at just about anytime!
  • Overall, it was my best finish time over the past 8 years.  My unofficial time was a 20:30.  I finished 6th overall.  This is also my lowest place finish.
  • Race day conditions were great.  The weather was perfect!


    • I started WAY too fast! I wanted to hit a 6:15-6:20 for my first mile.  Instead, I ran a 6:06.  Ouch. The first half of the 2nd mile is ALL UPHILL.  Another ouch.  Every time I looked down it was saying upper 6’s and I knew I was going to have to make up for it whenever we started going downhill.
    • Mentally, I got discouraged and frustrated about half way through and never recovered. I know this was a product of starting too fast.
    • At one point I was in 4th place and then 5th.  Then someone passed me within the last 10 seconds to put me in 6th place.  I had zero kick left in me.

    I learned a lot from this race.  Most important lesson learned: pacing! It IS possible to go out too fast in a 5K and not be able to recover.  Especially if you have not been training at 5K paces.  I got discouraged halfway through and just couldn’t get my pace right. 

    Mile 1- 6:06
    Mile 2- 6:42
    Mile 3- 6:52
    Mile 3.1- 1:30

    TOTAL TIME- 20:30 (6:36 avg.) for 3.1

    Getting less than 5 hours of sleep the night before was also not good.  I was cleaning and trying to get things done around the house and Ashton woke me up at 3:20.  I could not fall back asleep for the life of me because I knew my alarm was going off at 5.  I finally dozed off around 4:30 only to wake up 30 minutes later.  Not good.  I never have that problem but I did have a little diet coke around dinner.  Big mistake.  Anyway, I am not going to dwell on it anymore.

    Here are a few pictures from the race.  I will point out that this was the first year John has come to Race for the Cure and it was one of the only reasons I kept running when I felt like giving up.  I knew he was waiting for me at the finish and I knew he would be proud of me.  For some reason this 5K felt longer than some of the half marathons I’ve run!  John makes it possible for me to train and race.  Without his help and encouragement I would not be able to pursue any of my running goals.

    My biggest fan!

    20:30, 6th place overall

    My big race is this coming weekend so I am planning on getting it right this time! First of all, I am going to get plenty of rest this week.  I am going to get to bed early.  I’m going to make sure I drink enough water in the days prior to the race.  Most importantly, I’m going to get the pacing right! I plan to start on the slow side and pick up the pace.  It worked with my 8 mile tempo so hopefully it will work in 13.1!  We’ll find out in a few days…

    3 thoughts on “Race for the Cure 2011 5K: Race Report

    1. Awesome job. Wow! 6:06 for your first mile! You’re speedy! I always took off to fast in my 5ks in college. Sometimes 5:45s…no wonder I always died…too bad my coach never helped me figure this out. So glad your husband was able to be there…he is so tall! Hope you get plenty of sleep this week! I’m excited to see how you do.

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