Pacing a sub 20 min 5k and my next big race!

Pacing a sub 20 min 5k and my next big race!

Last weekend I was able to run with one of my favorite running partners ever- my sister!  We don’t see each other very often because she lives in Connecticut so when we do get together we work in time to run and try to find a local race.  Typically we race on our own but since she came less than two weeks after Hogeye and during my racing break it was the perfect time to try something new.  She asked me if I would be up for pacing her for her first official sub 20 min 5k.  Absolutely!

My dad and one of my other sister’s went with us.  My kids often run 5k’s with me but not this weekend. My son had a swim meet later that morning and my oldest just got back from a 3-day school/ camp trip.  She was exhausted and I knew she needed to sleep in.

Breaking 20 Minutes in a 5K

My goal for us was to run smart and negative split.  For whatever reason a 5k is probably the hardest distance for me to negative split.  I tend to take off way too fast and then crash somewhere in the middle of mile 2.  Pacing someone adds a lot of responsibility to a race.  I knew I couldn’t start too fast if she was going to make her goal.

The start

We were very conservative at the beginning and slowly worked our way from the 6:30’s to the 6:20’s.  I tried to break up each mile and offer some racing strategies and suggestions.  Around mile 1.5 we passed a guy who tried to stay with us for a while but I kept encouraging her to stay with it.  We worked on the inclines and took advantage of the downhill finish.  Splits: 6:27, 6:21, 6:19.  Then 5:30 avg for last .12.

Official Time- 19:45! She did it! We finished together first and second female.

I really think the conservative start really helped make the sub 20 happen. She was able to stay focused during the second mile and then kick it in on the last one. My dad and other sister did well too.  I am so glad we all did this together.  It was a great way to end her visit to Arkansas.

My Next Big Race

It’s now been a little over 3 weeks since Hogeye and I’ve really enjoyed being “off.” I have been running easy and my hip feels 100% back to normal.  My first speed workout will be tomorrow.  I have some shorter races coming up in a couple weeks (8k, 2 mile, and 1 mile race) but my big news is that I registered for another marathon.  I honestly had no intentions of running another full until December but last week my husband and I were talking about our upcoming 15 year anniversary.  He threw out the idea of going to California, one thing led to another, and once we found out the Giants were playing the same day as the San Francisco Marathon we were both sold!  I applied for elite entry and received an email a couple days later confirming my acceptance.  Since then I’ve booked our hotel and bought our plane tickets! We are going to California!  We were actually married just outside San Francisco and we took our wedding pictures in Golden Gate park overlooking the Golden Gate bridge.  I’m so excited to go back!


So this summer will be very different! I’ve never run a summer marathon and cannot wrap my head around getting in 20 milers in the heat of an Arkansas summer.  This past weekend was my first double digit run in 3 weeks.  I know I’ve got a ways to go to get back to where I was right before the Little Rock Marathon but I’m up for the challenge.

Stay tuned for lots of training as I prepare for the San Francisco Marathon. It’s 13 weeks from this coming Sunday! Has anyone else run this one? It’s been on my race bucket list for years so I’m excited!

23 thoughts on “Pacing a sub 20 min 5k and my next big race!

  1. Congrats to your sister on her sub-20 5K and way to go that you paced her! I think that’s a great way to give back and also enjoy the race and help your sister. Plus you came in 2nd which is really awesome too :). The San Francisco marathon sounds really exciting and hooray that you got an elite entry and you can make a race vacation out of it with your husband! Can’t wait to see how training goes for you even though it will be getting hot really soon!
    Amy Lauren recently posted…Weekly Rundown: April 25- May 1My Profile

  2. Congratulations to your sister! How fun to be able to hit that goal with you. I haven’t done a summer marathon, but I’ve done two early fall races (September) that meant my 20 milers were in the heat of summer. It was kind of terrible. I really struggled with electrolytes – I couldn’t keep up with what I lost sweating! But I’m doing it again, sort of – I have an October race. I’m sure your tough summer miles will just work to make you stronger for race day.
    Gracie recently posted…I’m going to develop a complexMy Profile

  3. How exciting! I live in Northern California and ran SF Marathon 2 years ago. It’s a great race, my only advice would be to work some hills into your long runs. My favorite part was running over the Golden Gate Bridge! Have a blast, can’t wait to see how it goes!

  4. This is so exciting, Tia!! My Oiselle teammate Paulette (she blogs at is running the SFM; she lives in the Bay area, so this is kind of home turf, for her. She’s primarily a trail runner, but she’s looking forward to it. I can’t wait to hear all about this adventure and I’ll look for you at the Rock Run!
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  5. Obey your sister was overjoyed! With all your experience, I’m sure you had it dialed in perfectly.
    That anniversary trip is going to be one to remember! Best wishes with your training! San Fran is such a beautiful city!
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