My Quest For A Sub-30 Minute 5K Race Number Two

On Saturday, I ran race two out of four in the Lakeland Runner’s Club Watermelon 5K. This series is the first in almost a year where I focused on the 5K and really improving my speed.

Lakeland Runner'ds Club Watermelon 5K Number 2

(Can you see me with my game face on?)

Saturday started out like many race mornings which is dark and much to early. This race being a part of a series I remembered how to get there which made the drive over uneventful. (I did forget which street I parked on and wondered around looking for my car for 15 minutes.) The lines for the number and timing chip pick-up were shorter than the first race. I met up with Faith, who has the same time goal and used to run this route when she lived in this area. I haven’t run with anyone since Miracle Miles last September, so having someone to talk to while waiting for the race to start was really great.

My training has gone really well and I have been pushing myself until I got sick. So sick, I had to take ten days off from exercising and was only able to run again a few days before the race. I do not think that gave me enough time to recover and be back in racing shape.

After the first mile, I knew there was no chance I could run a sub-30. I felt horrible and just could not push myself to go any faster. At the 1.5 mile mark, I told Faith that she should try to salvage her race and go ahead. I knew I would need more walk breaks and did not want to ruin anyone else’s race.

Even though this race was disappointing, there was a silver lining.

The Good:

Running with Faith

Seeing baby ducks (so cute!)

Pancakes afterwards

Lake Hollingsworth (so beautiful!)

Running after a time of forced rest always feels really great

The Bad:

Not making my goal

The weather (it has been raining non-stop because of the tropical storm in the Gulf.)


(Why so serious?)

Chip time 33.01

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Number 2

I knew this race was going to be difficult and that my chances of reaching my goal were slim. I am so close and have hope that race number three is the lucky one.

How do you come back from disappointment?

Race Nerves

Tomorrow is race two of the four in the Lakeland Runner’s Club Watermelon Series. This series is cost-effective, local, and the perfect time to try to run a sub-30 minute 5K. I am generally comfortable running races now but this one is making my stomach flip-flop.

This is my training from 6/11 to today.

Training Week 6-11 to 6-17

Training Week 6-18 to 6-24

I was much to sick last week to exercise at all and it took until Wednesday for me to feel well enough to run. It makes me nervous to have taken so much time off right before a race where I want to PR.

Getting back into the gym on Wednesday felt really great. I get so antsy when I have to be sedentary especially when I felt so terrible and completely unlike myself.

No Regrets


I hope I am able to reach my goal in tomorrow race but all I can do is try my best.

Do you get nervous before a race?

Aliens And Other Weekend Activities

There was no working out this weekend what-so-ever and very little movement.  I’m still sick but over the worst of it. Fingers crossed, I should be back to running on Monday or Tuesday.

So instead of lying around in my pajamas feeling sorry for myself, J begged me to see a movie and grab some food with him on Saturday.

He claims to have waited eight years to see Prometheus, so we headed into Orlando to see it on the IMAX at Pointe Orlando.

Prometheus Movie


I have not seen any of the Alien movies so I went into Prometheus with no real expectations. The 3-D was pretty cool and I enjoyed the story. It was somewhat predictable but it set up the next movie in a really interesting way. Definitely worth a watch if you like Sci-Fi movies.

The most exciting part of the movie was seeing a preview for The Hobbit. I am such a huge fan of this book and Peter Jackson’s movies that I wanted to clap after the preview. That movie is going to be amazing.

For dinner we went to the Brick House Tavern + Tap on International Drive. It is one of those places that we have driven by a few times and both commented that we should check it out but always forget to stop there. I am so glad that we did.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Place

The Brick House Tavern + Tap has a really cool look. Very masculine and industrial. I loved the sofa tables and was glad we were able to sit at one. Very comfortable and both sides had good views of multiple TV’s.

I had a Kona Koko Brown Nut Brown Ale and J some kind of cider (which he is really into lately.) I have yet to be disappointed by any Kona beer and this one was no different (even if I only sipped it because my whole face hurts from this stupid head cold.)

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Beer

The waitress pointed out the bottle cap teaches you a Hawaiian word.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Bottle Cap

Akamai which means smart or clever.

J had the Fried Stuffed Olives to start. They are stuffed with Italian pork sausage and brie before being deep fried. Not for me (because I don’t eat sausage) but J enjoyed them.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Stuffed Olives

A Philly Cheesesteak for J with tots. Not sure the last time I had any tater tots but they were as good as I remembered.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Philly Cheese Steak

I had a BLT with fries. It was served on Texas toast with a thick slice of tomato. I would order it again.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando BLT

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Menu

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Beer Menu


If you are in the International Drive area and looking for good beer, food, and a trendy atmosphere then the Brick House Tavern + Tap will fit the bill. J and I will definitely be back.

Now I will bring this post full circle and end where I began with aliens.

Falling Skies on TNT


J and I have been counting down the days for Falling Skies to come back. This is some much watch alien TV.

What are your must watch summer shows?

Sick, Cranky, and My Husband May Want To Kill Me

Just kidding, J is actually kind of awesome when I’m sick. (As long as the Eagles are not playing of course.)

J hoping the Eagles will win

I have been sick with a head cold all week. I started to get a twinge of sickness on Tuesday and thought about delaying my workout.

Feeling a little sick but really wanted to run today. When in doubt, do you like to play it safe and skip your workout? #runchat
@ Depends what kind of sick. I have to admit that I usually sit it out when I am not feeling well.
Ali Hatfield
@ really depends how I feel, sometimes running makes me feel better, otherwise my body may be telling be to rest #runchat
Angie Maske-Berka

The lovely people who responded to my tweet about running when sick were right and I decided to take it easy on Tuesday. I thought the extra rest would cure me but I was wrong. Tuesday I was just feeling a little sick but now it is a full-blown eyes watering sneezing constantly head cold. So I have not been to the gym or out for a run since Sunday and I am getting antsy to move.

Two good things have come out of my recent convalescence. I had time to finish the Maze Runner.

The Maze Runner By James Dashner


It was excellent and I recommend running (see what I did there?) out right now and buying this book. It’s a pretty quick read but really intriguing. I probably will pick-up book two this weekend because I need to know what happens next.

I had time to watch the pilot for the Dallas reboot on TNT.

Dallas on TNT


I liked it very much and will definitely continue watching.

Jesse Metcalf With No Shirt Dallas


Jesse Metcalf is pretty easy on the eyes plus he plays a character who is looking for alternative energy sources. A man after my own heart.

Do you get cranky when you’re sick?

Should Jesse Metcalf be allowed to put a shirt back on?

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Do you ever feel introspective? Start questioning where you are and where you want to be?

I spent a lot of my unemployed time doing just that. What do I want to be when I grow-up? (Please stay with me in a metaphorical sense, I know at 30 I am quite grown.)

I think I eventually want to be a Mom but not for another few years. I want to go back to school but that can’t happen until J is done with law school and working full-time again (fingers crossed.) I used to think I wanted to be a musician, which is what I went to college for.

A few times a month, I attend meetings that leave me so inspired, I am ready to declare myself. Last night was one such meeting.

I am a member of the Polk County Democratic Election Committee and at the monthly meeting, Democratic candidates from a County Commission seat to the US House were in attendance. Listening to their stories and what their catalyst was to pursue public office, is really powerful. I want that.

I want to serve my local community and be able to create real change. Even from the sidelines, I am working to organize young people in my county. The Polk County Young Democrats is such a great platform for service and a place where I can really make a difference. (Plus it’s fun to geek out about politics with other young people.)

My long-term plan is to go back to school, work on as many campaigns as I can, and get the Polk County Young Democrats to a place of real power. Then I might be ready.


My name is Dina and I approve this message.

Race Number One To A Sub-30 Minute 5K

Last Saturday, I braved the rain and fog for my first attempt at running a sub-30 5K. This is the first of four in the Lakeland Runner’s Club Watermelon Series.

The race is one loop around Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland.

Lake Hollingsworth Lakeland Florida


Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Garmin Map

It is a popular running and biking route surrounded by beautiful homes and the Florida Southern Campus.

The race start was a little stressful. There was not a packet pick-up other than race day, so I had to wait in line to get my bib and another line to get a timing chip. This left me with zero time to use the bathroom or warm-up before the gun went off. Lesson learned here, I will need to get to the other three races much earlier.

Even with the lack of warm-up and the full bladder, the first mile felt comfortable. I even held back a little to maintain a 9:30-9:40 pace.

Heading into mile two, I felt that I was on pace to make my goal. I walked through the first water stop. I am so uncoordinated that drinking and moving, don’t really work for me.

Lakeland Watermelon 5K 2.5 Finish Mark

(I am just ahead of the guy with the awesome mustache.)

Somewhere in the middle of mile two I got a cramp. Anytime I get a cramp, which only happens during a race, it is always in my diaphragm. Normally a little walking helps but I have never been able to get rid of this kind of cramp. I am also a big baby who at the first feeling of difficulty breathing, I start to panic. This led to a minute or two of walking and hoping that this cramp would go away.

No such luck. At the 27 minute mark, I needed to walk again. At this point I knew that the walking was going to cost me my goal.

I finally pulled myself together and ran as fast as I could for the last few minutes of the race.

Sadly, it was just over 30 minutes.

Lakeland Watermelon 5K Finish

(Not sure if you can tell, but I wanted to die by this point.)

Clock Time: 31:39

Chip Time: 31:21

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Garmin Splits

The good news is that it is a PR by 3 minutes and 28 seconds. That tells me that the hard work is paying off. That training with speed work and tempo runs weekly is helping me get faster. I know in one of the next three races I can drop my time by 1.35. I will just have to keep pushing (and pray for no cramps.)

All photos unless otherwise indicated are from the Lakeland Runners Club website.

Weeks Three, Four, And Five To A Sub-30 Minute 5K

This five-week plan feels like I just started it. One benefit in training for short races, is that five-weeks goes by so quickly when most of your past training plans are 16 plus weeks.

Week Three

Week Three To A Sub-30 5k

Speedwork: 4×800 Meters at 4:35 to 4:40 I walked instead of jogged in between the intervals

Easy Run: 5 to 6 Miles & 2 to 3 Miles I ran five on Thursday and skipped the 2 to 3 on Saturday.

Tempo: 2 x 1.5-mile tempo at 10 Jog 30 to 45 seconds between each. I walked in between instead of jogging.

Long Run: 8 Miles I ran 7 but meant to run 8. The treadmills at my gym automatically stop when you reach one hour. If you want to run longer than an hour you have to start a new run. Well I obviously have great math skills because I thought both of runs added up to 8 miles but realized when I actually added them together at home, they came to 7. Need to bring a calculator to the gym moving forward.

Cross Training: None I really need to work on this.

Weight Training: One

Week Four

Week Four To A Sub-30 5K

Speedwork: 5×800 Meters at 4:35 to 4:40

Easy Run: Both were for 3 Miles

Tempo: 3-Mile tempo at 10 I fell apart on the third mile of this run. There was some walking involved. I think it had to do with being tired but this workout felt really difficult.

Long Run: Five Miles

Cross Training: None

Weight Training: Two Getting better!

The terrible tempo on Thursday was not great for me mentally. It really made me wonder if there would be anyway I could run a 5K at 9:40 if three miles at 10 felt so difficult. I know some days are just bad and any run would feel difficult, but this one really messed with my head.

Week Five

Week Five To A Sub-30 Min 5K

Speedwork: 2×1-Mile Tempo at 9:40 I did actually jog between the two repeats.

Easy Run: 3/4 Miles & 2/3 Miles I skipped both of these workouts this week. My first race, out of a series of four, was on Saturday and I needed to appreciate the training for this week so I was rested for the race.

Tempo: 6×400 Meters at 2:25 (race pace.) Jog 1:30 between each. This workout really helped with my confidence going into the race on Saturday. After my terrible tempo the previous week, I needed this workout to go well.

Cross Training: Body Flow I always need a good stretch after a race and this felt really great.

Weight Training: Two

Race: 3.10 Miles I will get more into how this went in a post to follow

If you are looking for a great plan to reach a sub-30 Minute 5K, this five-week plan from the June 2012 issue of Runner’s World is a great plan. I have gotten faster in five weeks than I did in a year of half training. It really helped me to push myself. Most of my training has focused on base building for longer distances but spending the ridiculously hot summer months working on a racing shorter distances is ideal. This may be a way in which I focus my time between a spring and fall half moving forward.