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The PR that took 13+ Years…The Portfest 5K Race Report

The PR that took 13+ Years…The Portfest 5K Race Report
The PR that took 13+ Years…The Portfest 5K Race Report

Wow.  Here is a race report I’ve been wanting to write for a LONG time!! A PR in a 5K?! Me??  That isn’t something I thought I would ever do again.  I’ve actually raced this distance more than any other race combined and for years I was content with that little 18:36 PR I set in college.  I assumed that the thin, college age, single, no kids version of myself would always be faster than the married, mother of four runner I am today.

5K in college @ age 21 (Fall, 2000)
5K @ age 34 (May, 2013)

My life has changed in so many ways since my college running days of 2000.   At the time I thought I was so busy with school, my friends and running.  Busy?!!  My definition of busy has also changed over the years.  Right now busy is trying to “squeeze in” tempos and long runs before carting kids to and from school, running errands, making meals, doing laundry, cleaning the house, all the while caring for small children.  But that’s my life and I wouldn’t change a thing.  (Except for maybe the endless laundry pile …)  I am very thankful for the people God has put in my life who have taught me so much about love.

So back to the 5K….  I tried to go through my blog/ race history and a conservative guesstimate of how many 5K’s I’ve run since college is around 35.  It has always been my go-to race.  Even during the years I was “on a break” from competitive running I would at least jog the Race for the Cure 5K in Little Rock every October.  I cannot say I have necessarily been trying to PR these past 13 years either.  For many of the years I was jogging them pregnant or a few months post baby.  In recent years I’ve run them during my marathon training.  It’s really only been in the last 9 months that I’ve even considered it possible to PR and I knew it would take a lot of work. 

The PortFest 5K has been on my radar all year.  I ran in it last year and though it was humid and hot I loved the flat fast course.  This year Abi wanted to run in it too so I registered us both. 

Pre Race:
Since we were leaving early Saturday morning I made sure all the kids were dressed in what they would be wearing Saturday when they went to bed Friday night.  This way we could just pick them up and load them in the van.  With four kids it’s just easier this way. I had all the shoes in a bag as well as breakfast and drinks ready to go.  It is about a 50 minute car ride to Newport and from where we live it is a very easy drive.

We got to the race around 7:20 and Abi and I picked up our bibs and chips and used the restrooms.  Then I warmed up (1.5 miles) while John got the kids situated.  Right before 8 it was time to line up.  I was very thankful it was not as humid as it was last year.  Temps on Saturday were in the low 60’s and it was only 85% humidity.  Very doable for a 5K!

The Race:
Immediately at the start I felt myself fall in right behind the lead pack of guys.  I tried to focus on hitting the pace I wanted- low 5:50’s. 

Mile 1- 5:51.  Right on pace.  I just needed to try to stay in the 5:50’s for mile 2.

Mile 2- 6:02.  A few seconds slower than I wanted.  Immediately I started doing the math in my head and I knew I had to stay focused if I was going to try to PR.  If I slowed down it was not going to happen.

Photos are courtesy of #11’s wife 🙂

Mile 3- 6:03.  This was a hard mile.  The guy I had just passed was right behind me and it was an all out sprint to the finish between us.  (His wife took the pictures of us above.)  We have run in races in the past and half the time he has finished ahead of me- you just never know!

Mile 3.04- 5:29 avg.  My Garmin only measured this course at 3.04.  Race officials said it was measured and certified so I’m not sure what was the deal there.  One runner said that there are areas that are easy to trim the mileage on corners of this course.  Even with an added .06 which might add another 20 seconds I would have still PR’d so I’m just going with it. My pace was actually very similar (or faster) for the 5K I did in February but in that case I couldn’t count it as a PR because the course was not certified and measured at 3.27- way long for a 5K!

Official finish time: 18:08/ 1st female. Results can be found here.

As soon as I got a drink of water I started to run back towards Abi.  I found her right after the two mile marker.  She had slowed down a little but I knew she could PR if she kept with it.  She worked hard and finished with a 15 second PR.

Abi’s kick at the end

Abi finished in 28:43 and was so happy.  I ran a little more to cool down with the overall winner and the 2nd place female.  Both are from Poland but currently living in the states.  They ran for Harding as well (a few years after me) and it is always fun to connect with HU Cross Country and Track alumni.

Now for a few other pics from the race (in no particular order)….

SO proud of my big girl. 

Kopec (male winner) and I with our plaques and $100 prize money

This one cracks me up! J took this one of Ashton while I was running.


LOVE this one of J and Anna!! Another pic he took while I was running.

All in all a great race morning.  It really was the perfect time and race to break my old college record and I’m especially happy that John and the kids could be there when I did.  I am thankful for the progress I’ve made in this distance.  I know I still have a long way to go- especially if I want to see a 17:something someday.  I’m just going to keep working hard and hopefully my next 5K PR will not be in another 13 years!

Did anyone else race this weekend?

Do you ever compare your current race times to high school or college ones?

20 Comments

  1. I love reading your race reports. They are always fun, full of good info, and inspiring! Congrats on all your hard work and amazing dedication being rewarded in a big way. That is a huge PR!!! Abi and Anna look so much alike. I thought it was a quickly cleaned up version of Abi with John. There is nothing better than having family at a race! Congrats again!

    1. Thanks Kortni! I appreciate your encouragement. I am definitely trying to EMBRACE 🙂 the mileage, speed change and the humidity this summer. It’s been an adjustment!

  2. Congratulations. It’s so exciting to see that someone can be better than their pre-child best with a lot of work and a lot of determination. I have no doubt that, given the right conditions, you can knock those last couple of seconds off and get into the 17s.

    Congrats to Abi too. 15 sec is a huge PB.

    1. Thanks Gracie- I reminded myself of your comment before my 5K. (When you wrote that you thought the 5K was my best race.) Whether it’s true or not I tell myself it is and that you know what you’re talking about so that I make myself push it! Thanks!!

  3. That’s cookin’ Tia. 🙂

    So very excited that you have been able to take down that 13 year old 5k PR. It must have felt fantastic! You were first female by quite a bit, too.

    I know you haven’t always been training for 5ks when you race them, but you have done a LOT of them. This was long in coming, and well earned. I am excited that you are devoting time into your 5k 10k training so we can see what you are able to do. I don’t think it will be another 13 years before the next 5k PR 🙂

    Congrats to your daughter on her fine race, and to Ashton on his 3:25 marathon 😉 That photo will be a keeper.

  4. You seriously never cease to amaze me! I love that you are faster now as a momma to 4 kids than you were 13 years ago as a single college girl. Amazing and so inspirational, too!

    Sub-18 next for sure!!

  5. Awesome stuff!! It is really reassuring to me to read about another woman chasing down her college times. I’m actually pretty sure I beat mine last year (I don’t know how I never got under 20mins in college, maybe because I hated cross country), and now I’m attempting to take it farther. I raced the running leg of Ski to Sea over the weekend, so while you were running 5:50 pace on a regular course I was running 5:56 down a mountain! Congrats on a great PR!

    1. Wow!! Ski to Sea sounds very cool! I don’t know about you but I definitely prefer roads over cross country terrain. I know it is harder on the body but it is so much easier to run fast! I need to go check out your blog. Sounds like we are in similar boats!

  6. I’m so excited for you, Tia!! Congrats on finally beating that old 5k pr… what an inspiring story! And the picture of you and Abi running together is precious!! Congrats to both of you!

  7. Way to goo Tia!! Sooooo proud of you!!! You’re my “runspiration.” Your dedication, committment & passion to our sport is a great example to the running community. Even with your busy household you still manage to put the time in it takes to **not** just be good but, GREAT!!

    Love all the pics! Congrats to Abi as well!! Simply. awesome!!!

  8. I am SO sorry I am behind in reading all of your posts…it’s been a crazy few weeks here. HUGE congrats on your kick-butt new PR! Your time is incredible. Seriously mind-boggling to me how you can average a sub-6 pace for 3.1 miles.
    Sub-18 next? =)

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