Tag Archives: Red White and Blue Shoes 5k

Red, White, and Blue Shoes 5k 2016 – Race Recap

Race #110
5k #43
Red, White, and Blue Shoes 5k #6

I came away from this race disappointed with my performance. After taking some time to revaluate, I can look at my performance and see where I still need to improve. I’m also beginning to think that my PR performance from 2014 is a bit of a fluke. I haven’t broken 22 minutes since then. I think I want to try; I’ll just have to start trying to fit in some track work and other short speedwork before I try again. I also might want to pick a race that’s not in the middle of summer.

Heading into this race I decided to focus once more just on form and not look at my watch at all. I also knew that I wanted to run fast, whatever that meant.

We arrived with just enough time before the start.

Red, White and Blue Shoes 5k 2016

Red, White and Blue Shoes 5k 2016

Red, White and Blue Shoes 5k 2016

I managed to squeeze in fairly close to the front and didn’t have any trampling issues this year, thankfully. It still is crazy crowded though. I’m not a fan but since I’ve decided to try for the Peachtree Road Race next year, I should probably get used to it. 🙂

The weather was not my friend today. I think it was only marginally better than Atlanta where they ended up putting the weather alert up to red.

I had no idea how fast I was running but only a short ways into the race I could already feel the sweat pouring off me. It made me wonder if I would be able to keep it up for the rest of the day.

Fitness-wise I felt great but the heat definitely started to get to me mentally.

Mile 1: 7:04.5
(I don’t normally break it down to the tenths but that comes into play a little later.)

The next mile brought on the suffering. I felt drained and had no idea how I would possibly be able to make it through all three miles. I started to bribe myself with a short walk at mile 3. After all, this wasn’t an A race or anything.

Mental fitness is definitely something that I need to work on. It’s been a while since I’ve really pushed myself in a workout or race and I miss it. Like all parts of fitness, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Mile 2: 7:04.6
Those splits. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever had splits that nearly identical before. If I had kept that up for the last mile, I just might have gotten a PR and I definitely would have broken 22 minutes.

After I walked at the 2 mile mark, it was definitely easy to give in again. I started running about 30 seconds later and then had the hill behind McCalister and started thinking about walking again at the half mile mark. I should have pushed through. I really should have. It’s a 5k. There’s going to be pain. I definitely do not remember much about that mile except for the fact that I hated it.

Mile 3: 8:00

I made the turn to head downhill before the final turn into the stadium and tried to pour on a sprint. I got a little bit of it (average 6:30 for the last .1)

Final time: 22:49

I have to admit that I was disappointed with the time, mainly because I gave in and let myself walk. I can do better than that. I was also disappointed because instead of getting pictures, Ellis accidentally got Siri. (We’ve all done it.) I was upset then but some time away has helped me put it in perspective. I ran my fastest 5k time this year on a ridiculously hot and humid day with very little specific short speedwork.

Race Review

Registration and packet/bib pick up:
Registration through go-green was painless and easy as always. Mom and Ellis picked up the bibs and shirts so it’s hard for me to review that.

Race shirt:
I do not like these shirts at all. The one positive is that they seem to have gotten away from the Leslie Jordan tech ts. I have never liked those. The main problem that I have with these shirts is that they are white and almost completely see through. That may work for guys but about half of the people who ran the race were women, some of whom may not want their sports bras to be seen when they run.

Pre-Race/Race Morning amenities:
One really nice thing about the Furman staging of the race is the availability of indoor bathrooms. That is always appreciated.

This is a PR-able Furman course. If only they would use it in weather than doesn’t practically sweat you to death. It is fairly flat. There were plenty of course monitors. Furman University is beautiful setting for a race.

Course support:
I did not grab water at the one water stop positioned halfway through the race. Plenty of other people did, a lot of them throwing the water over their head in an effort to cool themselves off. For a 5k, one water stop is plenty.

Finish line and post-race amenities:
I love the finish on the football field. It’s a great spectator area with plenty of room for post-race festivities like a pie eating contest and foam pit and other things that I did not participate in. This race offers a lot.

Race photography:
I am sure that there were pictures taken at this event. At the time of initial publishing of this post, they had not been posted yet. However, I try to get my posts written as soon as possible after I run so that I forget as little as possible.:) I will update this section as soon as the pictures are posted. (Yes, this is exactly what I wrote for Sunrise. Still applies.)

Social media:
The GTC had several posts leading up to the race and a few on race day but as of 2:30pm on race day only three posts were on the page for the race: one about race day being here and two videos of the pie-eating contest. This is definitely a step up from the past but there’s still room for improvement.

A running friend of mind suggested this after reading my Sunrise 8k review. I think it’s a great idea and plan to incorporate it in subsequent reviews.
I love when a race director uses racemine because the results are available almost instantly. As soon as I climbed the stairs out of the stadium I looked up the results and could see that I had finished 5th in my age group and Mom had snagged 3rd Grand Masters. This is much appreciated.

I really love running this race on my birthday but will probably take a break from it next year to head down to Atlanta for the Peachtree Road Race 10k.


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Summer 2015 Week 12 Training Recap

Well, the summer of speed has come to an end. I have to admit that it did not turn out how I had hoped. That happens sometimes when you set big goals. In this case, I think that I set the goals but took my eye off the ball and that came back to bite me on race day. (How’s that for mixed metaphors?)

I still have the Julie Valentine Run 2 Overcome 10k in a month but I won’t be racing it with the same mindset that I first set out when I set the goals for the summer. I’m ready to get mentally tough and put diligent effort into Chicago training which starts this week!

Monday easy run
Despite some issues with my car not starting, this run was fabulous. My pace was slower when it was darker out once the sun came up I felt great and was able to maintain a really good pace. The short hard intervals at the end were awesome. I loved this run.

Tuesday race pace intervals
These race paced intervals were tough but not so tough that I could not complete them, just below that though. I thought I might just be able to use for the race on Saturday.

Wednesday recovery run
My legs definitely felt in need of an easy/recovery run which this was. They didn’t feel too bad and warmed up quite nicely through the run. Based solely on effort I had perfect negative splits.

Thursday stationary bike
This ride was nice and easy, nothing extraordinarily good or bad.

Friday rest
I chose to sleep in and relax instead of running the optional 25 minute run I had on my training plan. It had been a long week.

Saturday Red, White, and Blue Shoes 5k
Even though I’m pretty sure that a PR was just out of reach Saturday (and sub 21 was definitely way out of reach) I know that I could have snagged another sub 22 if I had been mentally stronger through the race. That’s going to be an area of focus for Chicago training.

Sunday rest
Rest days are wonderful.

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Red, White, and Blue Shoes 5k 2015 – Race Recap

Race #95
5k #40
Red, White, and Blue Shoes 5k #5

Spoiler alert: today was not my day unlike last year but definitely much like Sunrise last month. I have yet to figure out why I’m stuck on this plateau.

Back to the race…

Like last year, I woke up to brand new running gear, this time it was a Garmin vivoactive! Yes, I used new gear on race day but since Mom has had hers for a couple months, I’m fairly familiar with how it works. (Still very excited to try everything out though!)

We did not time our arrival at the race start very well and also had to pick up our bibs because I just didn’t feel like stopping by Timmons Arena yesterday after work. Thus, I did not have enough time for a full warm up. (I ended up with about 10 minutes instead of 20.) I also was not able to get as far towards the start as I would have liked.

A few minutes after 8 we were off. This year the cannon worked.

The start is crazy crowded, way too crowded. I stand by my belief that it is possible to carefully navigate those early few meters until things start to sort out without stepping on someone else. That is not what happened to me. About a hundred meters from the start someone bumped into me in such a way that they pushed my left foot (my right foot was the one striking the pavement at the time) into the back of my right calf. I seriously almost went down and was extremely ticked.

Thankfully that was the worst of it.

People quickly spread out and I was soon up to pace. I felt pretty good but could already tell that it was likely to be a battle. Even though the rain held off I wish it had let it all out and gotten all the water out of the air. The humidity was ridiculous. I felt mentally strong through this mile and kept pushing. I entertained thoughts of trying to negative split this race and made 7:00 flat my goal for the first mile. Soon into the mile I made my goal holding 7:00 flat for the entire thing.

Mile 1: 7:00 (right on the money)

The first part of the second mile still went according to plan. That mile felt interminably long though. As each tenth of a mile passed, the pace I was trying to hold grew harder. For some reason I didn’t even try to come up with a mantra to hang onto and keep pushing. Looking back I wonder why I gave up, mentally, so easily. I think this may be part of why I’ve been stuck in a plateau this summer, the so called Summer of Speed.

Mile 2: 7:15 (still salvageable)

Then came the hill behind McAlister Auditorium. I had nothing left and I didn’t even try to force myself to come up with a mantra. My legs felt like they had nothing to give. As I look back I realize that I didn’t even try to push up that hill. It’s almost as if my competitive drive had switched off for some reason.

I didn’t want to see what my pace was. Since I haven’t figured out how to turn the vivoactive screen to just a clock (it’s probably fairly simple) I avoided looking at it all together. I tried to keep pushing though.

I really hate the final hill before we make the second to last left turn. I really wish we would enter the stadium from the other side instead of having to go up this hill.

I got to the top of that hill and tried to increase my pace. There was another woman near me that I thought may or may not be in my age group. The initial debate in my head ended with being okay with not chasing and beating her.

Mile 3: 7:47 (positive splitting like a champ!)

Then my competitive nature kicked in and right as we made the final turn into the stadium I poured on the full sprint. (Turns out she was in my old age group.) By the way I still had plenty left in the tank for that print I know that a big part of my trouble with racing this summer is mental. I went into this race defeated. I know I could have given more in this race but I’m not beating myself up about it.

.10: 5:07 (hah! that felt good)

22:23 officially

Then came time for results. I love the racemine site that go-green timing uses.

All the speedy people must have stayed away (or gone down to Atlanta for Peachtree) because even with the lackluster race I snagged 3rd in my new age group and 24th woman overall.

Mom had a little more difficulty today but that’s what she gets for going to California on vacation and not taking me. 😉

Even with not running for a week she still did really well: 25:18 officially.

Red, White and Blue Shoes 5k 2015

We were both really confused though because the results said that she came in 16th in her age group but then I couldn’t find her in the Female 55-59 division. I checked it again and kept scrolling over on the results. Whoops. When I registered, I registered her as male. I still laugh at that.

That gave me a chance to test the results corrections link on the racemine site. Amazing. I submitted the necessary information and by the time we got home it was fixed!

I really love this new tradition of starting my birthday with a race.

Red, White and Blue Shoes 5k 2015

It’s almost time to start marathon training!

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2014 The PR Year

2014 may be over now but the first day of the next year is as good as any to post my year-in-review.

It’s been a good year in running not just for me but for the entire Enjaian family.

The raw stats:
1738.27 miles run
16 races run
5 PRs snagged (5k, 8k, 10k, half marathon, marathon)
2 new marathoners added to the family (Michael and Mom)

That’s right. The number of marathoners in the Enjaian family tripled this year.

With as much as I’ve achieved this year, I consider 2014 a building year. I learned a lot, both about myself as a runner and about running in general. I enlisted the help of a coach and successfully avoided potential injury. My average pace increased even though I didn’t quite make my half and full marathon time goals.

It’s been a great year with plenty to look forward to in the coming year.

So, goals for 2015? Just 1.

BQ. It’s my year.

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Red, White, and Blue Shoes 5k

Somebody pinch me. I think I’m still dreaming.

I started getting pre-race nerves yesterday at the end of the work day. I was going for a big goal and unlike in May I didn’t have a back up race in case I didn’t succeed.

Race morning came and with it a brand new Oiselle running top. (That’s a definite perk to running a race on your birthday. Thanks Mom!) I put it on and started getting nervous again, of course.

We got to Furman with plenty of time for me to get in my 20 minute warm up. The nerves were in full force then. I stuck close by and ended up doing most of the warm up on the track.

As usual, I had a few extra minutes to wait since the start was delayed 10 minutes, not due to weather thankfully. The weather was amazing! Plenty of time for a pre-race pic
Red, White, and Blue Shoes 5k

Then it was time to head over to the start line. Thanks to my new Garmin 220, I actually knew what time it was. (You’ll probably hear me rave about that watch a few more times in the future.)

I got as close to the start as I thought I could but really didn’t like how far back I was so with just two minutes to go, I edged over to the side and tried to get a little closer. Since I didn’t have to do too much weaving once the race started, I think that was a good decision.

Before I could think too much about it, we were off.

The only thought in my head in my head was 7:00. That was my goal. Keep the pace at 7 and throw on a sprint at the end if possible.

I loved the first downhill. That definitely helped. There were a lot of people around but it never got crowded. I did get whacked on the arm by some guy going past but that wasn’t for lack of space. I think he just had some alignment issues. 😉

As we headed down the mall I started seeing 7:20ish numbers on my Garmin. At first I thought that might be because all the trees and buildings were interfering with the satellite connection (and part of it may be) but I know I started to unconsciously slow down just a tad. I can’t tell you how many times I looked down at my Garmin throughout this whole race.

When I passed the first mile marker I noticed that my Garmin was off, distance-wise, starting from the first mile. (It ended up measuring 3.05.) That didn’t bother me though. If there’s a discrepancy, I’d rather have that kind. (as opposed to a 26.70 marathon) Just a little later I got my first split, 7:06. I told myself that I needed to pick up the pace and quickly.

I don’t remember much about the second mile except wondering how I was going to maintain this pace for another 2ish miles. I kept telling myself that I had just a mile and a half or just a mile and a quarter to go.

Mile 2 ended up being my best mile. I clocked 6:59. (My Garmin stayed consistently .05 behind the mile markers.)

Then came mile 3 and the only hills on the course.

When we turned onto the street with the bridge (I’m bad with street names) I remembered the first time I ran this race with my mom two years ago. I had just gotten through a weird back thing and was taking it easy and running with her. That hill nearly did her in.

With those “positive” thoughts in my head I knew that this hill would make or break my race. (Little did I know that there was another hill just before the finish waiting for me. I’ll get to that soon.) I put my head down, shortened my stride and started pumping my arms. I hadn’t come this far to fall apart in the last mile.

After cresting the hill I didn’t feel great but I knew that I was on the home stretch. My pace was much slower than I wanted to be and I felt like I was almost to that run-so-hard-you-puke point but not quite.

As we ran down the mall I tried desperately to pick up the pace. I think I managed a little improvement. When we got to the circle in front of the PAC circle I was so ready to turn and head towards the stadium. Whoops. We weren’t going in the gate I thought we were. Nope. We had a nice little incline before turning and running towards the other gate.

If I’d had any extra breath I might have said something like “you’ve got to be kidding me!” Instead I dug as deep as I could to get up that hill because I knew it was all downhill from there. Plus, I let myself look at the total time and knew that somehow, even with the first hill in mile three, I still had a chance at a sub 22. Mile three came in at 7:06 again. (Don’t know how that happened.)

Finally I rounded the curve and was in the stadium. I don’t know how football players run so fast on the turf. It’s definitely a different sensation.

I saw the 21 on the finish clock and took off. Somehow, I had done it. I had come in under 22 minutes. Then I crossed that line and stopped my Garmin. I didn’t even care that my finish line pick will be of me stopping my Garmin. I was not about to forget this time. 🙂

Final verdict?
PR baby! #happybirthdaytome

That’s right, almost 1 whole minute off my former 5k PR. Officially I clocked a 21:34, good enough for 5th place in my age group and 159th overall. There were some speedy 25-29 year old this year. Last year that would have been good enough for 3rd in the 25-29 age group.

I’m still in shock.

In fact, I didn’t even make it back to the finish after getting my finger pricked (post coming on the study next week, I promise!) to see Mom finish.

She smashed her PR…24:39! Absolutely amazing and good enough for 2nd in her age group!

One final thought on my new PR. When I mentioned the one minute PR to my cousin and how I got it, he hit the nail on the head. He said that that kind of PR shows that I didn’t know how to train before. I wholeheartedly agree. I am so thankful for my coach and can’t wait to see what lies ahead!

Next race? San Francisco Second Half Marathon!!


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Recovery Week 2 Training Recap

I’m already feeling a bit antsy to get started again with “serious” training but I committed to seeing this recovery cycle all the way through and I’m certain it’s the right thing to do. I haven’t had as many weeks below 30 miles (right now it’s just three) for quite some time.

I need to take this time to recover since I’ve got an ambitious marathon schedule on the docket. (More on that after the recap)

Monday 6 miles
I felt stronger (and faster) on this run than my pace reflected. You know it’s that time of year again when you start dripping with sweat before the sun comes up.

Tuesday 6 miles
It felt really hard through the first half of the run (thank you hills) and my pace reflected that. I decided that I wouldn’t let the humidity get to me and finished strong. My pace reflected that too. I clocked a 9:02 final mile.

Wednesday stationary bike + NTC
stationary bike: Just like last time, this was an emotional ride thanks to the Boston Runner’s World issue. I finished the ride (which acts like a warm up for my strength training) determined once again to get to Boston as soon as possible. (Hopefully 2015!)
NTC: My back felt a little off today, not off as in injured but off as in vulnerable. I know that I need to work on strengthening my core (that’s what the offness felt like to me) so throughout this workout I concentrated on keeping my abs in and my back flat. (Since I wrote about that workout on Wednesday I’ve had no trouble.)

Thursday Red, White and Blue Shoes 5k
This was a great race despite the rain. The course was fantastic (best Furman 5k course I’ve run) and the weather (temperature mainly) was much better than last year. This was also good practice in negative splitting thanks to a poorly chosen race start position.

Friday NTC
The ride itself went pretty well. Originally I was supposed to do a strength training workout but I was still pretty sore. Hopefully I’ll be able to get two workouts in next week. Though the ride went well it was tainted with frustration with gympact and the internet.

Saturday 8 miles “long” run
This run felt hard (especially on the uphills) almost the entire time. (The only time it didn’t feel hard was when my new favorite song-“I Need Your Love”-came on.) At several points I felt pretty sluggish and drained thanks to the humidity. Despite all that, I loved the run. I guess that means I’m weird.

Sunday rest
Again, not much to say about rest days 🙂

About that marathon plan…
So, I’ve settled into a spring and fall marathon habit and really like it. This particular fall into spring though…things are about to get interesting.

It all started when I saw the phrase “Exciting race announcement coming soon” on the website for the Hilton Head Half Marathon. I knew instantly that the exciting announcement meant the addition of a marathon.

I was right. Then came the dilemma.

I’m tentatively planning to run Eugene as my spring marathon, as a BQ attempt. That’s April. HHI is February 8th. Should I run a marathon on October 27th, February 8th and April 2x?

Technically, I can do it. Approximately 15-16 weeks separate each of those marathons, enough for two-three weeks of recovery plus a 12 week plan. Should I do it? Well, a truthful answer to that question would probably lead to the question of why people run marathons at all. 😉

As much as I debated, I knew that I had to do it. How could I turn down what will likely be a nearly perfect marathon course?

So, That’s the plan. Over the next 16 months, I plan on running 4 marathons: MCM, HHI, Eugene and Philadelphia in the fall. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m addicted.

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Red, White and Blue Shoes 5k – A Family Tradition

After years of drought, all the rain we’ve been getting in South Carolina has gotten to the “little bit annoying” point. Obviously, rain was a factor today.

Even though I hoped for a break in the rain, at least for the race, I was ready to run in the rain.

Mom and I picked Timothy up at seven this morning and headed to the race start. Thankfully, packet pick up was inside a building the name of which I forget right now.

While I am a little disappointed that most of the shirts were not available (probably a delay in the shipment or something) I was totally impressed by the bibs. Hands down, these bibs are the best I have ever seen for a race.

After scouting out the race course we had to venture out in the rain to head to the race start. Michael and I arrived before the others.

Michael and I

We wondered how we would find “our relations” but then remembered that not only is Timothy really tall, he would also be the odd one carrying an umbrella.

#fmsphotoaday red, white or blue ... at the start of the rainy Red, White, and Blue Shoes 5k

Unfortunately that’s it on the pictures. We totally forgot to take a post race picture and official pics have not yet been posted.

Now to the race itself:

Michael and Timothy headed towards the front of the pack with fast times in mind. Michael planned to snag the family 5k record from Timothy. (I lost that record back in May to Timothy.) Mom and I should have moved forward, rookie mistake.

A few minutes later the race started. Mom and I spent the first half mile weaving in and around much slower runners, occasionally having to stutter step to avoid collisions. I thought I was okay with not positioning myself towards the front since I did not plan on chasing a PR. (Two biggest factors in that: recovery from SFM and yesterday’s strength training session.) However, one of the things I hate most in racing is crowded conditions, especially on a holiday race like this that brings out all the running novices.

After the first half mile, the runners spread out far enough for Mom and I to settle into a pretty decent pace. We held that pace, and even managed nearly negative splits: 8:39, 8:39, 8:10, 7:52 (.1 nubbin).

Throughout the race we had to deal with two “water hazards” and one “hill.” Other than that the course was almost absolutely perfect. Out of all the 5k courses I have run on the Furman campus, this was by far the best. Kudos to the course designer. Do NOT change this course in any way!

Less than a tenth before the finish Mom told me to go on ahead so I sprinted to the finish with a time of 26:46, a pretty decent time for an average run. Mom finished just a few seconds behind me.

While I’m way too competitive for my own good, this race taught me that I’m a marathoner, not a 5ker. 🙂

While results are not official, Michael definitely succeeded in his attempt to snag the family record. He estimates that he got a 21:2x, a PR of approximately a minute and a half.

In other news, Michael has also declared that he wants to run the Hilton Head Island Marathon with me! Yes,I know that I haven’t mentioned that race yet. Stay tuned for my upcoming marathon plans. They’re pretty crazy. 😉

Once again, I loved being able to run a race with family on my birthday. Is there a better way to celebrate? I think not.


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