Tag Archives: 5K

Race Recap: Firefly 5K

7 Aug

On Saturday, I ran in my first ever twilight race – the Firefly5 5K! Mark and I met up with a bunch of our friends, who also participated in either the walking or running division. Since there were several of us there, I was able to recover a few photos!


Firefly with friends!

The event began with the Firefly5 Festival, an all day carnival with family friendly vendors, food, and entertainment. Some of the fun included BBQ, beer, cupcakes, crafts, pet adoption, bands, bouncy houses, laser tag, games, massages, and s’mores. There were actually far fewer vendors there than expected, but it was still a neat little festival. We all met up, walked around, and had something to eat a few hours before the race. I even got a mini-massage that felt ahhhhmazing.

Prior to the walk/run, there was a Zumba warmup. A couple of the girls and I joined in to get our hearts pumping and wake our muscles up. I had fun trying to awkwardly match the footwork. (It’s been over a year since my last round of Zumba!) I thought this was a fun way to get everyone moving and pass the time before the main event.

Zumba time

Zumba time

This was actually Mark’s first officially timed 5K! He had originally made a goal for himself when he was running with me a little while back, but had to adjust that due to switching his focus to the Insanity program. Since I have had so many opportunities (with more to come) to go for my own 5K goal, I offered to stay with him and pace him. Despite having to take a short break about halfway through due to stomach issues (read: beer and pulled pork are not great pre-race fuel), he did awesome! We came in together at 28:54. I’m so proud of him!

By the time we all finished, it was finally dark enough to glow!

We glow in the dark

We glow in the dark

One of the coolest parts of this event was the laser light show at the end! It was way more rad than any fireworks I’ve seen and I feel like I could’ve watched for hours.

Lasers in the sky!

Lasers in the sky!

Overall, this was a fun and worthwhile event that I’d consider doing again. More vendors and games might improve the carnival experience, though.

As far as night time racing, the jury is still out for me. It was definitely a little challenging to wait around until 8:00 PM to race! We were on the go all day and ate less than favorable pre-race food (birthday cake, BBQ, beer, etc), which interfered with performance. In a more serious race, I’d be making different choices throughout the day in preparation. I’d have to try another night time race at a different distance before deciding if it’s for me or not!

What do you think about night time races?


NYC Round 3: Color Me Rad 5K Recap

23 Jul

This past weekend, Mark (the husband) and I took our third trip to NYC this Summer to take part in the NYC/NJ Color Me Rad 5K. We originally chose this location so that Mark’s brother, Bill could run with us. We all did the event together in Albany last year and had a total blast!

Albany CMR 5K September 2012

Albany CMR 5K September 2012

Unfortunately, Bill was not able to get away from work to join us this year. We still got to spend some quality time together exploring the city, so we are really glad we still made the trip!

Mark and I ended up heading to Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Sunday to run anyway. If you’ve never been to Met Life Stadium (or even if you have), let me just tell you it is really confusing to navigate around. And there were no signs directing people where to go for the event AT ALL. Luckily, we found it and paid $10 to park on top of the registration fee we had already paid a few months ago (Strike #2?).

Upon entering the event area, we were met with the RAD atmosphere – tons of people in white t-shirts waiting to be color bombed, upbeat music, free samples of energy products, general fun and antics. We were ready for another fun time!



After getting our bibs and awesome swag (sunglasses, temporary tattoos, blue Color Me Rad t-shirt), we got in line to make our way to the start. They keep things moving quickly by sending waves of people off about every 5 minutes or so.

The course was set up in a zig-zag pattern with cones around the stadium parking lot. This meant that we could see the whole course at once, which I feel took some of the excitement out of it. There were several color stations on the course, including a couple where volunteers threw the color powder and a couple where they sprayed you with wet color. These stations are supposed to be high energy and you’re supposed to get blasted with color. A few of the stations were a bit…flat. At least one of the stations felt very much like “self-service.”

We still ended up pretty colorful!



Mapmyrun clocked the distance at 2.8 miles. Hmm, not a full 5K. Fellow runners will understand my annoyance with this point, even in a fun run.

After we finished, we grabbed a color bomb and headed over to the party at the stage to toss more color in celebration. It’s always a fun time to throw color at each other and dance to fun music!


Color bombs!

Since we’ve done this event before, I felt myself comparing the two experiences. Overall, I felt last year’s event in Albany was more rad than this year’s NYC version. Despite the mixed review here, we did have a lot of fun running it again and we are likely to be repeat offenders for this or similar events!



Any fellow Color Me Radders? Where did you run and what did you think?


Hitting the track

27 Jun

For several weeks now, I’ve been contemplating how to go about increasing my speed to meet my goal of kicking my 14-year-old self’s butt with a sub-22:00 5K as well as improving my overall speed for longer distance races. I’ve done a few hill repeats, but mostly I’ve been trying to overcome my phobia of track workouts. That phobia is mainly based on memories of torturous 400m dashes and 800m runs during high school track and field. The rest of the problem was not knowing what kind of workout to do. I Googled different workouts, looked at a few apps, considered hiring an e-coach, thought about leaving work early to make it to a track workout hosted by a local running group. Ultimately, I decided to just find something and give it a try.


Luckily, I came across this simple workout, which is designed to improve speed for all distances. Perfect! I went with the “beginner” version.

600 meter breakdownsI ran to the nearby high school track as the warmup and did some stretching to loosen up my legs. After a little pep talk, I got started!

As I did each interval, the high school track days became clear in my mind. My mom watching from the bleachers, my coach with his loud high pitched mouth whistle, spending an entire day by the track waiting for your one event, time trials, relays, conversations on the bus, pushing beyond physical limits, celebrating victories and mourning defeats. A mix of nostalgia, pride, and anguish. Oh, track…it’s been so long. I’ve missed you. (I think…)


My splits:

600m / 2:20 time / 5:53 pace

400m / 1:32 time / 5:38 pace

300m / 1:11 time / 5:59 pace

200m / 0:44 time / 5:43 pace

For the cooldown, I ran nice and slow back home and stretched for a while. I actually really liked this workout and could see myself doing it regularly. Now that I have an idea of about how fast I can run these short intervals, I think I might tailor it to hit certain target times for each.

If you’re trying to gain some speed, give this workout a try!

A little added inspiration:

If you’ve got a favorite track workout, feel free to share!