Oak Forest Fleadh 5K Race Report

Saturday I ran in the Oak Forest Fleadh 5K, pretty much on a lark.  I haven’t been planning for any 5Ks, and have pretty much been taking my training one week at a time – keeping my mileage high (for me, not in marathon training), and also upping the intensity.  So when Mike suggested we run this race, I accepted mostly because I didn’t have a good reason not to.  In planning (on Friday night) my race strategy, I decided I’d try to go all out. I had barely run anything all week prior, and I expected to do another run later on Saturday to add on miles.

Oak Forest is a south suburb of Chicago, and we made our way out there on Saturday morning, in the chill.  The week had been nice earlier, and it warmed up after, but at 6 AM we were looking at sub 30 degrees.  It was a small race, and we did packet pickup that morning, perused the tables of free stuff, and dropped our gear back at the car before the race.  IMG_0520

I made an effort to warm up for this race – just under a mile, but an improvement as I rarely warm up for a race.  It was cold though, and I also thought it was worth trying in my efforts to be speedy. 

Race started, and I was able to start within seconds of the start! A big difference from even the Bucktown 5K where I started maybe 5 minutes after the beginning. Almost the entire first mile was a straight-away on Cicero Ave, and I was cruising along at a comfortably hard speed.  In longer races I try to find a “rabbit” to follow at a decent pace, and I had trouble finding someone. This made me feel a bit uncomfortable, but I pressed on.

Mile 2 wound within the neighborhood, and right after starting mile 3, we headed back onto Cicero for the straightaway back to the finish.  The ease with which I started out however turned out to be a headwind on the way back in.  It was fierce, and I tried to find someone to draft off of, and then pull ahead.  Didn’t quite happen. 

I made my way into the finish, made a quick shout out to Mike (who hadn’t been expecting me that quickly), and tried to get my leg turnover up as fast as possible. I don’t think it was quite as good of a finish as I’d have hoped, but I was certainly impressed with my finish time:


My official time was 27:29 – almost 2 full minutes off of my previous 5K PR!  I was pretty impressed with this result, although a bit surprised as I don’t quite think I’ve been putting in that much of a hard effort on training.  A few things that I think may have contributed to this big improvement:

  1. I’ve lost some weight.  Not a ton, but fewer lbs helps.
  2. I am wearing new shoes. I ❤ my Brooks Pure Cadence, which are a lot lighter than my previous trainers. After some breaking in, they feel great and I feel so speedy in them.
  3. I’ve worked on increasing my “short run” distance. When I go out for a run, just to get some miles in, I go for 4 miles now instead of 3-ish. 
  4. I’ve added some tempo running into my running habits.  Maybe once a week (?) that I’ll run 2 fast miles (~9:30 pace) in between an easy mile warmup & cooldown. 

Happy St. Patricks Day everyone! 


10 thoughts on “Oak Forest Fleadh 5K Race Report

  1. Aneta

    congrats on the speedy race! yay!

    thnx for signing up for the Shake your Shamrock virtual run. Ill send you the race bib today! have fun

    1. Lauren Post author

      Thanks! I’m hoping so! I looked my time up on the McMillian race calculator and am scared of what my potential marathon time could be!

  2. tootallfritz

    Such a fun race! I live in the south suburbs so this was kinda like a hometown race for me. But that wind was nasty, there were several times that it was stinging my eyes so badly that I was tearing up! I couldn’t see! LOL!

    1. Lauren Post author

      I love hometown races! I wasn’t very familiar with the area, but Oak Forest seems very nice! My trick for the wind is to wear sunglasses. One day I’ll get clear ones for the night time/low light!

  3. Pingback: My Season Review – Part 2 | Lauren Runs

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