Southern Saratoga YMCA 5k Race Recap!

Hi guys!  Thanks so much for your well wishes yesterday- it worked!  When I took up running last year, my ultimate goal was to run a 5k in under thirty minutes.  Why, I don’t know.  Just an arbitrary number that sounded legit to me.  I ran my first race (the Crossings Challenge) on September 27th and crossed the finished line at 31:50.  I was incredibly pleased, as I was aiming for a sub-33 for my first time (again, just a random number I selected based on my couch to 5k training).  Crossing the finish line got me hooked on running races.  It is true what they say- a 5k is truly a gateway race, as I later went on to run a 14k and 15k and am training for my first half.  I went on to run a few more 5ks, setting a PR this past New Year’s day of 30:37.  So close yet so far from sub-30. 

Last night, I shattered my goal and ran the 5k in 28:13.  YES!  I was SO excited to cross the finish line and see 28 on the board.  I feel like I have come so far in the past year.  Less than a year ago, I was nervous about my ability to even run a 5k.  Now, I KNOW that I can run this upcoming half and run it well, so long as I put in the requisite training.  It feels really go to have shaved over three and a half minutes off of my first 5k time. 

Okay, let’s get to the race recap, shall we?  The race began at 6:30 P.M., which I was a huge fan of.  I definitely think my body clock has me functioning better in the early evening than it does in the early morning.  No sleep running during this race!  I arrived around an hour early and hung around with my friend Melissa, stretching and talking.  I was immediately impressed with the race- the entry fee was only $20 and I received a glass similar to the ones we received at the boilermaker PLUS a pretty cute tech shirt.  Sa-weet. 

I looked over at the finish line and noticed that there weren’t any timing mats.  Then I realized that we weren’t handed chips.  Apparently this race was all on one timer, which is kind of a bummer if you don’t start up at the front.  I was surprised by the number of runners.  I was expecting it to be a lot smaller for some reason!  I think there were probably around 300 or so runners but I’m not sure. 

We started to line up and I felt ridiculously nervous.  Get it together Katie, I thought to myself.  This isn’t your first race, ya dumb!  I just couldn’t shake the nervousness.  Melissa and I lined up towards the front of the start line.  I programmed my garmin to start beeping if I dropped below a 9:15/mile, much to the chagrin of those around me later in the race probably :p

After a little speech by the organizer, we were off!  There was a bullhorn, but it didn’t work right away.  No matter.  Um, now I realize why I usually don’t start in the front.  Holy speed demons!  I looked down at my garmin and was running somewhere in the six and change minute mile range.  Uh yeah, WAAY too fast.  Just run your own race, I told myself.  I dropped back and let my heart rate get back to a decent clip.  My heart was still beating fast.  I told myself to get in the zone.  Whenever I think of getting in the zone, I think of that ridiculous youtube video, “my new haircut.”  Some Jersey shore wannabe parodies the typical stereotype and the dude in the video says “Not now chief, I’m in the $$#@%$ zone.”   Yeah.  I’m a flipping weirdo. 

The first mile went by in a blur.  I looked down at my garmin- first mile in 8:49!  Woohoo, probably the fastest mile I ever ran.  The course was out and back, and the first mile incorporated a “trail”- really, just a short run up a little wooded path. There was a water station at the end of the first and second mile, which I didn’t utilize because I had my trusty handheld water bottle.

Mile two was okay.  My pace dropped here and there and my garmin yelled at me to remind me to speed up.  I felt bad for  being that girl with the garmin going off but I was looking to PR!  At some point during the second mile I heard someone coming up behind very heavily.  What on earth?  Yes, I was about to get smoked by an eighty year old.  No lie.  It was so awesome to see someone still running well at that age. 

The race took us through a residential neighborhood, and some folks were out clapping and supporting.  I tried to smile and wave at everyone, because I really appreciate the support.  After I passed mile marker two I was having a tough time maintaining a 9:15/mile pace.  I probably ticked off a lot of people with my garmin.  Sorry!  I was ticking myself off.  Ha.  Anyway, with a half a mile to go I kicked it up and tried to finish strong.  I hovered around 8:40/mile until the last .1 of the race- I could feel myself starting to drop heavily.  I pushed through and crossed the finish line at 28:13.  Goal: achieved 😀

Immediately I looked for somewhere to sit down.  However, Melissa and I caught up with Suzy, who I was so excited to finally meet in person!  We hung around and chatted for a bit and then had a delicious dinner at Moe’s.  Suzy was able to snag some pictures of me finishing:

Approaching the finish line

Almost there.  And I think I have a mid foot strike- YES!


Overall, it was a great race.  I would definitely run it again!


  • Awesome tech t-shirt and souveneir glass
  • Lots of gatorade at the end
  • Flat course
  • Decent crowd support, especially given the size of the race
  • Well-organized


  • Not chip timed

My split times were as follows:

  • Mile 1- 8:49 (fastest pace 6:13 eep)
  • Mile 2-9:05 (fastest pace 7:41)
  • Mile 3- 9:12 (fastest pace 7:58)
  • Mile 3-3.12- 1:04 (8:38 pace)

Not exactly negative splits, haha.  I’ll take it though!

Lastly, some pictures of the swag:

 I spy a cute puppy in the left of the picture.  Holding up the shirt with the glass.  And my celebratory honeymoon beer.  Not really working so I put the shirt on:

Good stuff.  Thank you for reading!  Make sure to check back later in the week- I have a post regarding all of your amazing comments on my Eat Pray Love post– some of your “words” were really inspiring!  Have a great day friends 🙂



Filed under I'm random, Race Recap, Running, Uncategorized

33 responses to “Southern Saratoga YMCA 5k Race Recap!

  1. nice job!! sounds like you had a fun race…getting excited for the half! we should run together soon! 🙂

  2. Excellent job…congrats on the great race! It’s always funny when I get passed by an old guy…I always think, where did he come from but I’m always very impressed!

  3. Pam

    My husband gets a great thrill out of pointing out the fact that so many “grandmas” beat me in the races. Easy for him to say when he’s standing on the sidelines!

    Congrats on the PR!

  4. whoohoooooo GREAT job!

  5. Great race! What a great feeling crossing that finish line and getting a PR! Wahoo! Way to go!

  6. That’s awesome!!! I don’t know if I’ll ever run a 28-minute 5K!!! Way to shatter the goal, I love it.

    P.S. That is some serious swag for a $20 entry fee. Nice!

  7. Congrats on your new PR! That is so awesome girl! I know how good it feels to get in under 30 minutes for the 5k I have only done it once but it was the best feeling ever! I’m so proud of you!! 🙂

  8. J

    Katie you did awesome in the 5k!! I am so happy for you that you PR’d!! Great race report! I really enjoyed reading about your race!

  9. sounds like an amazing race!! way to get your PR~you totally rocked it!

  10. Congrats on your great time and well-run race! I’ve been smoked by senior citizens all the time — they can be reeeaaally fast. 🙂

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  12. Nicole

    Great Job! I knew you could do it – you’ve come so far, and I’m really proud of you 🙂 Especially because I know first-hand how far you really have come… way to be 🙂

  13. Erin

    Just read your blog- it was really fun reading it, as I just ran in the same race. You sound like you got the “bug” big time; running is such an addictive sport, isn’t it? When I first started running a few years ago most of my 5ks were in the 30 minute range and now I’ve dropped into 20 minutes and it feels so good that all the hard work is paying off. Do the Watervliet 5k next month- you’d love it!

    • Hi Erin! I definitely have the bug- it is truly addictive! 😀 That is awesome that you have shaved so much time off of your 5ks!

      My friend Melissa is doing the whole YMCA series- I’ll likely do Watervliet with her too! Maybe I’ll see you there 🙂

  14. Nicole

    Great run Katie!! You work so hard and it shows. Keep it up. You inspire me to keep running. 🙂

  15. Congratulations!! That is soo awesome. Way to go. You are crushing those goals and I love it!

  16. Congrats again on your speedy 5K!! You did awesome and I’m glad I remembered to bring my camera.

  17. Aha! I was there! My boyfriend ran in this race!! 🙂

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