Anthony’s Run 5k Race Recap

Yesterday was my first 5k. Technically, it wasn’t my first – I ran one with the double stroller last summer and one two weekends ago with my niece. But it was the first I would be racing against myself.

I woke up at 630am on Sunday when my oldest woke up – had some coffee, stretched a bit (my legs felt tight from all the “beach” volleyball we had played the day prior at our Father’s Day party) and tried to keep my feet up until it was time to get ready. I was unsure about how to fuel for the race and decided to base it on how I felt race morning. I am never hungry first thing in the AM – and I never eat before my morning runs. But, we were starting at 10am and I would be up for over 3 hours – so I definitely needed some calories. At 9:15am, I had 1/2 banana and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter and felt good. I didn’t want to eat too much and have stomach pains or other issues during the race, so I figured lighter options were probably best.

The race start was just over a block away from where we live and so my two sisters who were running the race (YAY!) congregated at our house by 9:15am.

photo (56)

At 9:30, I left to do my two mile warmup and drills and stretches by the start area.

The course for the race is literally on the same route that I run on every single day – 1.5 miles out, 1.5 miles back (and then a 90 degree turn for the remaining .1). So while course familiarity was an advantage for me, it also was a disadvantage because I knew just how hilly it would be. We aren’t talking big hills here. BUT, any sort of climb in a 5k – when you are running as fast as you physically can – feels like a hill. A mountain even. The course had some nice flat stretches but there were a few rolling areas as well as a couple of gradual inclines (nothing major but even to feel it in your pace).

Goal pace (per my coach!) was 6:30-6:40 which kind of terrified me. The 5 x mile workout I did a few weeks ago felt tough and the splits were between 6:37-6:42 – with recovery periods in between. So I was questionning my ability to run 3 miles at those paces (if not faster).

The first .10-.15 was uphill. Good times.


View from my family’s cheering point – the hill continued for a bit past where they were standing.

Despite knowing not to start too fast, I looked down and saw a 5:30 pace. I pulled it in and tried to find a steady pace.


Smiling – so obviously at the start of the race. HA

The congestion thinned out early on and I found myself running side by side with a male runner. We ended up staying together until the last turn when he took off. It was the best thing that could have happened. Every time he would start to pull away, I’d force myself to stay with him.

After the first hill, it was a flat stretch for 1/2 mile before a gradual incline through the first mile. The first mile felt strong and controlled. Mile 1: 6:38 – a touch slower than I wanted but I was happy I didn’t go out too fast.

Mile two was continuing on same road – 1/2 mile out and then a 180 degree turn and the same 1/2 mile back. Almost the entire half a mile was a gradual downhill (and so it was the same uphill on the way back). I was happy to see that my pace had dropped and although I was tired, I was still moving. It was so fun to see both my sisters during this mile and they both happily told me I was the 2nd female! Mile 2: 6:29.

The only word to describe mile 3 is pain. Everything was hurting – lungs, quads, calves.  I stopped looking at pace, distance, time. My only focus was to stay with the guy next to me and just keep pushing forward. Every time I felt like I was slowing down, he would speed up and so I force myself to hang with him. Mile 3: 6:32.


The second time by my family was at mile 2.8. My face says it all.




The final .15 was straight uphill and into the wind. It felt like the longest stretch of running in my life. I was pushing with every ounce I had left but felt like I was barely moving. Last .13 (52 seconds) – 6:40 pace.


20:31 (official time)
6:37 pace (6:33 per garmin)
2nd place female
22nd overall


I have not stopped smiling since the race ended. I would have loved to have come closer to 20 minutes, but I think a combination of the course and my fitness level prevented that.  So overall, I am really happy with how the day went.

I haven’t raced anything less than a marathon in EIGHT months. Truth is, I’ve been scared. There’s something terrifying about knowing what kind of pain you are about to put your body through and it takes courage to walk up to the start line and give it your all from start to finish. To be honest, up until the race started I was trying to come up with excuses about why I shouldn’t race yesterday and instead pace one of my sisters. The 5k is WAY outside of my comfort zone. I have gotten used to the pain that is associated with marathons. And while both are painful in their own right, I am not used to the 5k pain. There’s no time to warmup, find a rhythm, enjoy yourself – it’s almost all out right from the start.

Races like this do so much for us as runners. Obviously it’s great to run the time you want or set a new PR. But more importantly, they teach us about pacing (which has always been a problem for me), they make us stronger – not just physically, but mentally and they give us confidence for the next race.

Racing frequently is a good thing (I’m not saying every week nor racing long distances) – sprinkling them in your marathon training plan is a GOOD thing – it forces you out of your comfort zone. And putting yourself out of your comfort zone occasionally (whether in workouts or races) is the only way you will improve.

The day could not have been more perfect. My sisters both ran great races and I was thrilled to be able to run the last 1/2 mile or so with each of them (separately). My sons, nephew, husband, mom and brother in law were along the course cheering (and taking all these pictures!)


My sons, nephew and brother in law in the background!

The race was really well run – especially for a smaller, local race. The course was easy to follow, the roads were closed off and there was a well-supplied water point (just past mile 1 and before mile 2). The after-party was family oriented – jumpy houses, face painting, characters with lots of food (hot dogs, hamburgers), snacks (popcorn, cotton candy) and cold beverages (water, soda and beer). There was also raffle baskets and a 50/50 (my mom won TWO of the raffle baskets!). So despite it not being a “PR-friendly” course, I have every intention of adding this race to my calendar every year.

Award ceremony with my boys!

Award ceremony with my boys!

And as always, just wanted to say a public “thank you” to be husband and mom – for always being so willing and happy to watch the boys so that I am able to run these races.

AND, a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there – hope you had a wonderful weekend celebrating you!

When was your last 5k? 

Who raced this weekend? 


I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    28 thoughts on “Anthony’s Run 5k Race Recap

    1. Pingback: 5k PR -> 1st Sub-20! |

    2. That was a great race recap! And that photo at mile 2.8 is awesome. Way to go!

    3. Pingback: 5 Inspiring Race Recaps | iRaced

    4. I have a love hate with the 5k! I love to see my finishing time but every single minute of the race is agony. I like a longer race where I get to slow down and actually enjoy it. That probably says a lot about me and how well I train/pace myself. Whoops. Haha.

      Also, where is your tank from?! I love the colors!
      Natalie @ Never Serious Blog recently posted..The Perfect Day – Wedding Recap Part 1My Profile

    5. YOU. ARE. SO. FAST.

      I have a love hate with the 5k! I love to see my finishing time but every single minute of the race is agony. I like a longer race where I get to slow down and actually enjoy it. That probably says a lot about me and how well I train/pace myself. Whoops. Haha.

      Also, where is your tank from?! I love the colors!

    6. Awesome job on your first 5K (race)! I think out & back races are so much harder mentally – repeat scenery just doesn’t distract the mind from pain as much. That, and I can’t enjoy downhills as much when I know I’ll be turning around to run right back up it, haha.
      I actually love 5Ks – maybe it’s my history in cross country? I ran one last month, and while they are a totally different kind of pain than longer races, it’s a pain I’m used to and that I love. :)
      Amber recently posted..Race Report – Take to the Trails 7KMy Profile

    7. Woohoo! Great job, Michele- awesome that you got 2nd place female! My last 5k was an entire year ago in Houston when I was so determined to break 20 minutes… someday I’ll get back to working on that goal. :) The 5k is brutal, I agree. Not a race I look forward to running! You nailed it!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Do new shoes motivate you to run?My Profile

    8. First of all CONGRATS on coming in second! 5k’s are pure hell. People think that if you usually race half marathons or marathons then the shorter distance is somehow easier, when the opposite is true!! You hung in there and toughed it out to the finish. I definitely know how that feels, and in the moment it’s horrible! Luckily, you have the win and the afterglow that will keep you going back!!
      Allie recently posted..VITA AdVentures Abroad: The SleepoverMy Profile

    9. My last 5K was this thing that my coach and I now call semi-affeciatonately “The PIG race” I won an entry and he scowled. So I did the race 1 day after doing 7 times 800 repeats, with a predicatable result. UGH. Nothing wrong with a 5K, but trying to run one even remotely close to potential is not achieved the day after speed work. My next 5 K I think will be in September, though I have to ask the coach man about it.
      Holly recently posted..Build day 2My Profile

    10. Wow, such an impressive time. Wish I could run that fast. I ran a 5k this weekend too. My time was 35:38. It was hilly. I was hoping for a better time, but I still did better than last year.
      Rachel Withers recently posted..FitTriangleMomMy Profile

    11. You did fabulous!! A million years ago I ran short distance for my high school track team, including hurdles. Love the short distances!

    12. Michele – Awesome job yesterday! I’m glad you and your family had a great time at Anthony’s Run. Thank you for all the great comments about our event. We look forward to seeing you participate in the years to come. We love your blog. Would you mind if we shared this on our website and facebook?
      Thank you! – Rob and Christina
      Robert Russo recently posted..The 5th Annual Anthony’s Run Video Promo Release!My Profile

      • Hey Rob! Thanks so much for such an amazing event! My family enjoyed the day and festivities so much and are already looking forward to next year’s event! I would love to help spread the word and get some more local runners aware of the race next year.
        And please, feel free to share it! Have a great night! Thanks, again!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Anthony’s Run 5k Race RecapMy Profile

      • Hey Sheena! Thanks so much!! My sister’s training is going well. Technically we aren’t officially marathon training yet since it’s still about 6 months away – so just focusing on consistency and beginning to do some speedwork (she’s never done any before). We will start doing some longer runs in August!! =)

        • That’s great! At least you guys are getting in some work to start out with before channeling marathon mode! Ease the body in a little at a time :) I was just at an event in California and their local Saucony rep was there and we were talking about what a great program this is!
          Sheena recently posted..See Jane Run 5k – I’m a winner!My Profile

    13. Congrats, Michele! You are an amazing runner and I admire your training and determination and spirit so much! Congrats on completing your race goal :)

      I ran a 5k this weekend too – a local hilly race in NJ! I was also nervous about the pacing because this spring, I mainly focused on my half marathon distance. And despite improving as a runner over the past few years, I haven’t been able to get a new PR for the 5k distance since 2011. I finally broke my record this weekend by a full minute and a half (it was about time!) to come in at 23:20. It’s the first time I’ve done a race and averaged a pace in the 7’s! I think it will be fun to add more 5k’s into my schedule every once in awhile :)

      • Charissa! HUGE congrats on your shiny new PR – that is a serious amount of time to knock off a 5k! And on a hilly course!! Looks like we both need to find a flat 5k to tackle next. Any thoughts? =) Hope you are recovering well!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Anthony’s Run 5k Race RecapMy Profile

    14. Wow awesome! I am actually toying with the idea of doing a 5k this weekend but am not sold yet. Mostly due to money, but we will see how I feel as the week progresses!
      Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..FearMy Profile

    15. You are so right, I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. It is so hard when you have gotten used to that burning pain, the slow, building grind that you have to keep pushing through, it is a world away from the burning in the lungs that a 5k brings, and I hated it last time I did it! I thought I would easily be able to run around 16:30, but that was not the case….my body struggled to be in that zone. I think you did marvelous, and it was good for your body, like you said :) Keep up the good work! It will help you in the long run!
      Tina Muir recently posted..Meatless Monday: Summertime SmoothiesMy Profile

    16. I love 5km! Congrats on oushing yourself with such a great result. It’s a totally different system than long course. I have come to love them more . The recovery is so much easier and the competition can be fierce! My last 5km was a PB where I broke 20 for the first time after trying for 3 yrs! And I did 19:34. I just wanted a 1 at the beginning., you will do it…… Keep up the speedwork and race them often and embrace that pain….. I always just go hard from the start and hang on as you never know when it may work !
      Congrats .