Chik Fil A 5k Recap

Hi guys, it has been quite a while since I’ve updated you all on my journey to run a marathon. Of course, there have been valid reasons like pregnancy, giving birth and recovery. I stopped running at 5 months pregnant so that goal was put on hold. But, I’m back and running again. I will be journaling and sharing my runs, advice, and race recaps until I run a marathon. Let’s start recapping with the Chik Fil A 5k. The Chik Fil A 5k is by far my favorite race. And, honestly, it’s the after party that gets me with those juicy free chicken sandwiches. It has been a couple of years since I last ran the Chik Fil A 5k, well any race now that I think of it. So, in this recap, let me first talk about preparation and training leading up to the race.


If you follow me on Instagram, you see that I have been sharing my runs in my stories. I started back running 5 weeks postpartum. Yes, I know you are not supposed to do any exercise until after your 6 week check up. Well, I listened to my body, felt that I was healed, and ready to get back out there. I started slow. Initially, I did walk/run intervals until I could pick up the pace and the mileage. I pulled out my running schedule and got serious. For this race, I trained with timed runs. Basically, the first week I ran 30 minute runs with a longer run added on at the end of the week. The purpose of this type of schedule is to build endurance and increase mileage. Prior to the race, I was running 3.5 miles within 40-45 minutes.


The morning of the race I was off to a very slow start. I doubted if I would be able to commit to running the race. My mother would have to come keep the kids. I was feeling like a cold was trying to come on. As Sunday evening approached, I thought i should just sit this one out. No, I couldn’t do that. It would only decelerate my motivation.

I arrived downtown at Auto Zone Park around 7:30 not registered. I had to stand in a mile long line to register and pick up my bib. Apparently, this was the largest 5k for them in their 17 years of this race. Waiting really wasn’t a big issue because the pre game party is a vibe. At 7:56 a, all of the runners began lining up, the national anthem is song, and the race began.


The route during this race was different than previous ones. I was actually intimidated. We would begin our race running some tough inclines. I was nervous that my pace and breathing would be way off. I also did something I normally don’t do—line up in the front. Starting in the front always affects my pace. Either the runners are fast and it forces me to run extremely too fast or they run slow and you are literally stumbling over people.

Thankfully, I was able to quiet the noise and sit into a comfortable pace. Majority of my training runs have been shared with Jasiel in the stroller. Pushing a 15 pound baby, my pace was about 11’45-12 minute per mile. I glanced down at my Nike Run app maybe at half a mile and noticed I was going pretty fast. I was running a 10’27 pace. My breathing was a tad bit off being under the weather. Speaking of the weather, it was perfect. Sunny in the lower 80s. During the race, I was constantly talking and reassuring myself that progress is better than perfection. I was getting so tired but knew there was no option in stopping. There were a few moments I wanted to take a “quick breather”. I just couldn’t. I literally told myself, “Think about how you are you going to feel knowing that you finished your first postpartum race without quitting!”


And, I DID IT! I finished the Chik Fil A 5k. I ran 3.21 miles in 33:02 with a 10’17 per mile pace. When I crossed that line, I became so emotional. I was so proud of myself. I set this goal to run a marathon prior to having the baby. Training for a marathon isn’t an easy task. It takes discipline to run 4-5 times a week. Do you know how hard it is to schedule and actually run with a new baby? I made no excuses though. There were many mornings I didn’t have a sitter and I had to take him along. In the middle of Memphis summers, I had portable fans strapped to the stroller, bug spray, and a baby in just a pamper. I didn’t give up despite all of the obstacles.


Wanna know why I pushed through and ran this race? FOR ME! Running is just like my personal development quest. It’s all about being better than I was yesterday. My strong desire to evolve and be a better woman led me to settign a goal to run a marathon before 40. With each daily run, I realize that my tenacity to be the best Andrea will get me one step closer.

Have you ran the Chik Fil A race before? What is your favorite part of the race?