Ravenswood Run 5K Race Report [Fitness Friday]


In another interesting display of what happens when I stop focusing on running and start focusing on strength training, I managed to finally beat my 5K personal record at the Ravenswood Run 5K last Sunday.

Of course, I also hadn’t raced a stand-alone 5K in over two years, so there’s that.

Anyway, I got a last minute free entry to this race from a guy in my running club who had won it in a raffle but was unable to use it. There was another guy in a similar situation so I snagged that one as well and shared it with Emily who as gracious enough to drive us to the race and figure out the parking situation.

Neither of us had ever run this race before but I knew a lot of people running it and a friend of mine who I trained with for the Chicago Triathlon last year lives near the race and invited  us over for brunch. Never one to turn down a free race or free food, of course I said yes.

I was admittedly surprised at how large this race was considering it’s a “neighborhood” race. I suppose, though, that it’s a neighborhood in Chicago which has as many residents as some small towns.

By the way, I’m in a video of the start of the race. Just look for the girl in a bright neon green tank top and a black hat.

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Oh, there I am. In fact, other than a picture that I took with some friends post-race this is the only photo of me since my usual race photographer (aka my husband) didn’t join us.Ravenswood 5KI met all these people through blogging. Gotta love bloggers!

Anyway, after a warm-up jog with Emily and a few port-a-potty trips it was time to herd like cattle into the start corrals.

Considering I hadn’t raced a 5K other than as part of last year’s two sprint distance triathlons, I had no idea what I could or couldn’t do. I decided to go out hard and just see if I could hang on.

Well, I’ll tell you, while it netted me a PR, it also netted me some of the worst positive splits I’ve ever had. I think my first mile was just over 7 minutes while the other two were more like 7:45. Ouch. I finished in 23:24 which means I knocked a little more than a minute off my two-year-old 5K PR. I fully admit that’s crazy considering I have done zero 5K specific training.

However, my legs STILL feel shredded. Of course, it didn’t help that this week was my heaviest week in my current training cycle. I’m sure combined with that 5K my legs are going to be screaming for mercy for awhile.

The race overall was very well organized, if a little bit more crowded than I enjoy. And apparently I totally missed the cinnamon rolls at the finish line. Dear blogger friends, why didn’t you make sure I got one of those?? Oh well. Free brunch with my Live Grit friends will just have to do.

Now I admit that I’m intrigued about specifically training for a 5K. Do I dare try something like Hal Higdon’s Advanced 5K training program interspersed with my strength training? Or do I just leave well enough alone and keep doing what I’m doing?

13 replies on “Ravenswood Run 5K Race Report [Fitness Friday]

  1. Anne

    Congrats on your PR!!! The positive splits don’t surprise me… the end of that race always seemed to just go on forever.

    I think the cinnamon rolls are usually from Ann Sather, so you’ll just have to go there sometime (and invite me… I miss those cinnamon rolls!) 🙂

      1. Anne

        Eh, I’d believe it – I think they’re all on the north side. I used to go to the Andersonville one all the time until it closed a few years back.

          1. Anne

            Ha! Not unlike the one I had for staying on the north side. It’s good to live in an area that you don’t have to leave! 🙂

  2. Pete B

    Congrats on the PR. It’s amazing that you did it via a last minute free entry! I think it would be fun to train specifically for a 5k, Especially since I’ve been doing slow(er) marathon miles for so long. Next time I see free cinnamon rolls, I’ll make sure you are aware of them! 🙂

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      Thanks, Pete! I had a suspicion that I would be able to improve my 5K time just based on other race times I’ve run which is one of the reasons I jumped at the free entry last minute. But, yeah, dropping a minute off my time was crazy!

  3. valerie

    Way to go on that PR- speedy speedy!!! And cinnamon rolls?! That sounds SO good. Anything with baked goods at the finish is a win in my book. There is a 10 miler race over the border in Indiana that I’d love to do sometime– it’s in an apple orchard and they have apple cinnamon donuts at the finish. They are SO good.

  4. Jessica

    well done on the PR! I love that you improved your PR even without focusing on running. I have stopped focusing on running, too…but it seems that my increased focus on couch-sitting has not improved my running PR, LOL. I guess you are on to something with the strength training ;o)

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      I just read an article in Runner’s World online about Ryan Hall who, after he retired from running, took up strength training. And his mile times are still in the 5:00s! So, yeah, there is definitely something to strength training 🙂

  5. Emily @ Out and About

    I read your recap back when you first posted it, but am just now commenting. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!! You TOTALLY CRUSHED it out there!!! I missed the cinnamon rolls, too, sadly – but Gurneet’s brunch offered plenty of great eats/drinks for all of us. Thanks again for snagging the free entries for both of us!!! SO AWESOME!!! I think it would be fun to try training specifically for a 5K. I’m going to try my hand at more focused speedwork now that the Pittsburgh Half Marathon is over, too!

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