Firecracker Fast 5K – A New PR!

Tap tap. Tap tap.


Hey, y’all! Anybody out there?

Who’s ready for a race recap?

A big shout-out to my friend, homie and hairstylist, Kim, who snapped these pictures of my scary self during the Firecracker. Muah!

My oldest and I ran in a race together on the morning of the 4th of July. Well . . . . not together together. I didn’t see him until after the finish where he’d been cooling off for a good six minutes or so. ::snort::

It was a great course! A lot of downhill with some very slight rolling hills mixed in and one semi-nasty hill (depending on your perspective at the moment) close to the finish.

I was a ball of nerves at the start.

“Just run your own race, Ruthanne. Just run your own race.”

That was the broken record playing over and over again in my head.

I felt awesome starting out.

The race began on a gradual uphill and I held back not wanting to burn out. Once I passed that, I found my rhythm and just kept telling myself to “Hold this pace. Hold this right here. Stay strong.”

Everything was going smoothly.

Until . . . .

I forgot to lock the bezel on my Garmin and I was sweating SO bad that sweat was running and pooling onto the bezel causing it to freak out. In the middle of the second mile, it went to the screen showing me the time and date and I could never get it to go back to the screen showing my pace and how much distance I had left to cover. I was running “blind” . . . I had no idea what my pace was. I had no idea how much further I had to run. Oooooh! The torture!

I knew I was slowing down during the third mile. It literally felt like the death march. Part of it was uphill and I came so close to walking it.

When I crested the hill and started down, I could see the finish line and the big clock reading out the times.

My heart sank.

Secretly, I had wanted to do more than break sub-30 . . . . I had wanted to break my training run PR from the Friday before when I had finished in 28:23.

As I crossed the finish line, there was no joy on my face. I think I even shook my fist. I was so mad at myself. ::hangs head::

Immediately, I felt ashamed. I thought of some quotes from a book I read earlier this year, The Accidental Athlete by John Bingham.

My racing changed from an activity that nourished me and made me feel connected to those around me in the running community to a self-absorbed activity that nearly always left me discouraged because I hadn’t met my goal. I had become one of those runners who nearly always crossed the finish line angry.

Standing at the finish line of races today, I see people come across the line angry with themselves and disappointed with their times. They’re grumpy when they finish. There’s no joy in their faces.

I want to grab them and remind them that life doesn’t guarantee that they will see another start line, let alone another finish line. I want them to be grateful for what they have achieved, not discouraged by what they did not.

I finished in 29:37.


Mile 1 – 9:09
Mile 2 – 9:14
Mile 3 – 10:18
Mile 4 – 0:56 (Run at a 9:23 pace)

I have wanted to get a sub-30 5K and have been working toward that goal for months and months.

I did it.

And I’m happy.

Sometimes I just need a kick in the tail and an attitude adjustment.

P. S. If you’re a new runner, I highly recommend John Bingham’s book. I highlighted so many great quotes. I found him to be very encouraging and down to earth.


  1. What’s the Garmin you have? I want something that keeps my pace because i don’t have a smartphone so i can’t track myself when I run outside :(

  2. Yay! Loved your recap and quote. That’s so good to remind yourself. I love your joy!

  3. That’s fantastic, Ruthanne! Thanks for sharing the quote and the book. My attitude after finishing my three miles is always shock. Complete shock that I can actually run that far. Ha!

    • Ruthanne says:

      Excellent point! It wasn’t that long ago when I could barely run for a minute.

  4. So glad you’re back!!! Great quote, too.

  5. you really ARE a firecracker out there. so cute.
    your firecracker face is adorable! congrats on the new PR.
    get it girl!!!

  6. I’m proud of you, boo!

  7. Glad you are back! Missed the blog!!