Commack Coalition of Caring 5K Race Recap


I ran the Commack Coalition of Caring 5K race on Saturday. This was my first 5K race in over three years and only my third (or maybe fourth) 5K race ever!

The 5K race distance was NEVER my thing. Lately however, I’ve had a change of heart. The idea of running shorter distance races suddenly sounds like a fun idea.

I searched the local race calendars and found a 5K race right over here in Commack.


That race excitement, which has been missing in my life for quite some time, has suddenly returned.

Laura even told me that my change in running focus (shorter distances with more effort lately over longer distances at slower paces) would help me to do really well in this race!

My 5K race plan:

Although I didn’t train specifically for this race, I did have a few thoughts and goals in mind.

I wanted to enjoy the race while pushing my pace just enough to see what I could do. I’m feeling super confident right now in my speed and ability so I was extra excited to run.

I was completely against running this race like a real 5K because to me that meant running really fast the entire time. Super fast 5K running and racing makes me nauseous mentally and physically!

The 5K stigma of needing to run so fast was something I was looking to end for myself. I didn’t want to associate disgust and disinterest with the 5K race distance any longer.

My goal was to finish under 24 minutes. Ideally, 7:45 for the first mile would be good and then I could take it from there.

Race Morning:

I had my usual pre-run breakfast, not really focusing much on it since this wasn’t a long distance race.

pre-race breakfast

The race started at 9:00 am. I arrived around 8:00 am to pick up my number and run a warm up. The race started and ended at Commack High School which is like 15 minutes or so from my house. I lived within the Commack school district before my divorce. Had I not moved from the Dix Hills side of Commack schools after my divorce, my son would now be going to Commack High School! 

The weather was nice with temperatures in the 40’s. After running a couple of miles around the neighborhood, I was warm enough to take off my sweatshirt to run the race comfortably in short sleeves.


The race had an informal race start right outside of Commack High School and was a pretty flat course.

start line

Mile 1:

I definitely started out too fast (7:15) but didn’t feel as though I did. I couldn’t really judge how fast I was going! Towards the end of the mile, I heard and felt my breathing. The air was cold and it sort of hurt in my lungs.

Mile 2:

I eased up because I started too fast and I didn’t want to feel dead before the last mile. From what I recall, this portion of the race ran through the Candy Section of Commack with street names like Marshmallow Lane. I always wanted to live on Marshmallow Lane!

Somewhere during this mile I questioned my half marathon ability. I swear, I really think I have taken for granted what an achievement it is to run 13.1 miles and how I even managed my current half PR.

Mile 3:

This race did not have time clocks/mile markers to let me know where exactly I was in the race. While I had Runkeeper on, I don’t always trust that it is accurate during a race and wondered how far I was from the mile 3 marker. I got lost in my head with this thought pattern which I then broke out of once we were approaching the high school again because I knew the finish line was approaching!

5k splits

I received a text with my results which included that I finished 2nd in my gender age group (30-39). For some reason, it didn’t click for me that I should probably stick around for the awards which means I didn’t receive my medal! Ugh. I wasn’t really thinking and needed to get home to take my son to hockey. Once I got home, I sent an email to find out how I can pick up my medal!

Overall Thoughts:

I started out way too fast but whatever! There’s really no reason to complain about this. I am not exactly used to running 5K races and overall I ran a strong race.

I’m super annoyed that this race didn’t provide an actual Chip time, only a Gun time. The gun time isn’t accurate since I didn’t start the race at the front line! Based on the gun time (24:06) which they count as my official time, my guess is that I definitely did finish in 23:XX so I reached my goal.

They listed my average pace as 7:45. I will accept that!

The ages were grouped by 30-39 rather than 35-39. I never saw that before but it was pretty cool since I was the oldest in the top few! Just wait until I hit the 40+ age group next year. 🙂

race results

My legs felt great the entire time. I never really felt terribly tired or 5K nauseous, just out of breath.

The weather was cooler than it has been in a while. It was nice to run a race during the fall season with actual fall temperatures. Crisp air beats hot, humid air any day! Although, my lungs definitely felt the after effects of breathing in the cold air for the first time this season.

I would totally run another local 5K race. It used to be that I didn’t want to give up my long run for a 5k but I am not like that anymore. I think on occasion it’s nice to run a local race even if the distance is less than what you would normally run.

I also don’t feel the need to run long every single week anymore. Long runs are certainly a part of my routine but it’s okay if it doesn’t happen, especially if the reason is for a race.

I only have one other 5K race recapped here on the blog! Here’s the link if you are interested in reading it!

Commack 5K Race Recap on the blog today! #running #race #racerecap #run #5K #fitfluential #Commack Click To Tweet

How do you feel about 5K races?

When was the last time you ran a 5K race? Do you plan to run one soon?

Which age group do you fall in right now? Have you ever seen races where they group the whole age decade?




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  1. says

    There was actually a local race this past weekend where I live that grouped the ages together by the decade like yours did! I was going to run it but chose to hold off because of an injury, maybe next year 🙂
    Samantha recently posted…Six Runner StrugglesMy Profile

  2. says

    I definitely used to really feel like 5ks had to be run as fast as possible, and like you I really didn’t enjoy that, but I love that you were running this to overcome that and just do your best without feeling stressed about running fast. It’s cool how God made our bodies to adapt to different distances, and this post actually makes me excited about possibly finding a 5k to sign up for; I haven’t done a race all year long, but this jump started my hunger for something short and fun.
    Emily recently posted…Comment on I Don’t Need to Fight My Body Anymore by Leah BrandstetterMy Profile

    • says

      Oh I am so glad that my race recap got you excited to try a short race again! There’s no reason to stress ourselves out about 5K’s – we can run them however we want, even if that means we hold back and don’t run all out in order to avoid that uncomfortable feeling.

  3. says

    Congrats on a great race! I definitely “race” a 5K by ending in pain. I was supposed to run the annual Halloween one in Bayside on Sunday but had no desire to run in rain. But I love local races for being smaller and able to place in AG – and definitely try to pay attention to whether there will be a chip time as there often is not. I would like to break 24 mins. I ran a couple 5K’s earlier this year and ran just over 24 in both and was very surprised as I don’t ever really run “fast” in training.
    Gianna recently posted…Life LatelyMy Profile

  4. says

    Yay! That sounds like a super successful race!

    5k’s always intimidate me for the exact same reason! I feel like I have to go hard the whole time and I never feel like I can find a comfortable pace. I ran a 22:11 5k during my last half marathon so I am curious to see what a real 5k time would look like 🙂

    I’m 35 and I came in 1st for my ag at my last 1/2 marathon. Although, I thought I was second because there was a 30-34 finisher before me and I forgot how old I was for a minute 🙂
    Marissa @ Run Riss Run recently posted…Race RecapMy Profile

    • says

      that’s exactly my feeling – i used to think I had to go hard the entire time and I hated that! Maybe over time I will get back to trying to run a K like that, for now, I liked this approach better.