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Corporate IOA 5K


Corporate 5k presented by IOA is a unique 3.1-mile run/walk evening event where Florida’s corporate and non-profit communities form teams and participate every year to promote camaraderie, friendly competition and celebrate with co-workers and friends. 

Beneficiaries for the Corporate 5K include the following organizations:   

  • The Track Shack Foundation – a 501©(3) organization established to promote health and fitness with an emphasis on youth athletics.
  • Parramore Kidz Zone – a local, dynamic program that will change a distressed Orlando neighborhood into a healthy place for children.
  • Orlando’s Christian Service Center – a food drive is held for this organization in association with the Corporate 5k. Individuals are asked to bring a can of food to the race.
  • Orlando Runner’s Club – this group sponsors the Charles M. Rowson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship and gives back to the community and helps foster interest in the sport of running.


For the past few years I have participated in this 5K, in fact it was the 1st ever 5K I ever participated in, though I only walked at that time with my fellow co-worker & friends, however last year I finally felt ready to run it and I did just that.  Check out my stats below:   

Corporate IOA 5K (April 2009)   

  • 36 Minutes

This year I planned to totally ABOLISH last years time and hoped to come in at 30 minutes or so, which I had been training for these past few months with my Build Speed With Ease training plan!   

And, guess what!?!?!   

I DID IT!!!  =)   

Check out my “official” stats below:   

  • Finish Time
    • 30:33
  • Minutes Per Mile
    • 9:51
  • Miles Per Hour
    • 6.08

I still can’t believe I did it that fast and honestly it really didn’t feel like I was going that fast as I was really surprised to see the clock say 29:11 at the Mile 3 marker, which meant I was actually running faster than a 10 minute mile pace…..WOO HOO!!!  =)   

So let me take you through the race from the beginning to end:   

  • At 5pm all the girls (Catrina, Sandy & Mary) met in my office and we headed to Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando where the race was taken place to meet up with the rest of our companies team, along with 12,000+ other people I might add!
  • We hung out around the tent area for an hour chatting and taking pictures before we finally headed for the start line, again along with the other 12,000+ people in the area, so as you can imagine it was very congested!

The C5K running crew before the race!

Jenny, Sandy & Myself @ C5K

  • Just after 7pm we finally got to the Start Line, however we had to literally push our way in as it was PACKED full of people.  We ended up getting pretty close to the start line about 200 feet maybe, which was pretty close as the line went back several hundred feet.
  • At 7:15pm on the dot the horn went off and the race had officially started!  It took us 2:10 minutes to pass the start line due to the congestion of runners.
  • Once we were off and running we stayed at a pretty steady pace as it was very difficult to increase speed in the swarm of runners all around, however at about the quarter-mile mark we started to increase our speed so we could settle in at a 10 minute mile pace.
  • Both a fellow co-worker/friend of mine named Catrina and myself planned to run together as we both her aiming for the same 30 minute finish time PR.

Silly Catrina!

  • The first portion of the race went very smoothly, aside from all the weaving & dodging and all the “I’m sorry’s” and such while running it!  Both of us ran at what felt like a really good and easy pace that was confirmed to be a 10 minute mile pace at the Mile 1 marker when we saw that the clocked was just over 10 minutes (if you subtract the 2+ minutes it took us to get to the Start Line).
  • The second portion of the race went pretty much the same, however the crowd of people started to dissipate as many runners dropped off to the side to walk.  This of course made it much easier to run and keep a good pace.  We also hit our 1st water stop and I grabbed a cup on the run and managed to get a few sips of it before tossing it.
  • Just before the Mile 2 marker Catrina dropped off to the side!  =(  I knew she would only need a 30 second walking breather or so but I kept going because I really wanted to PR. 
    • I have to say that Catrina has come a VERY LONG WAY over the past year as she just started running last summer and really didn’t do much of any other form of cardio prior to that as well so for her to be running as well as she is now is very good and she is a huge motivator for me!  You go, Catrina!!!
  • The clock read just over 20 minutes (if you subtract the 2+ minutes it took us to get to the Start Line) at the Mile 2 marker so I knew I was still on track and decided to hit the final water station that was immediately after the marker, however not much water actually made it in my mouth……..as it found its way all over my left shoulder instead while I was trying to run and pour it in my mouth!  =O
  • As I ventured into the final portion (3rd mile) of the race I started to hit a slight wall but I kept my pace luckily and just focused on running ahead and using the known landmarks to gauge how much farther I had to go, which helped a lot.
  • After rounding the 2nd to final turn I knew I was only a few minutes away from the finish line and I tried to keep my current pace the best I could, plus I didn’t want to speed up and then gas out like I did in my last race right at the very end.  This helped a lot as did all the cheering people on the sides of the road.
  • Then I saw it!  The Mile 3 marker and clock, which made me super happy to read 29:11 (if you subtract the 2+ minutes it took us to get to the Start Line).  That meant I was running faster than a 10 minute mile pace………=)
  • Right after that the final turn of the race hit and I saw the FINISH LINE just a few short feet away!!!  NOW, I started to increase my speed but then it hit me……..=(………the overwhelming feeling that I had to “throw up” and in order to make it go away I had to unfortunately slow down!  Luckily, though I managed to make it to the finish line without getting sick in front of “thousands” of people.
  • I finished in 30:33 (if you subtract the 2+ minutes it took us to get to the Start Line)………..which made me SUPER HAPPY, but I couldn’t celebrate until a few minutes after as I was still fighting the urge to not “throw up” and I even dry heaved a few times. 
  • I finally recovered though and grabbed a bottle of water plus a banana and headed back to our tent area to EAT one of the Subway subs, chips & cookies!  While waiting for everyone else on our team to return I ate and we then took more pictures before departing.

All "sweaty" after the C5K Run!

So to end, the RACE was a blast and I am so happy that I set a New PR!!!  =) 



Let’s rewind to the beginning of my day so we can review my EATS prior to the big race!  Overall I did pretty good I think. 


Morning Snack


Afternoon Snack

Then of course I had a Subway sub, baked bbq chips and 2 cookies after the race……oh and a banana too, which made up my dinner for the night! 

I didn’t get home from the race until 10pm (YIKES!!!) and I was in great need of a hot shower and then my bed as I was exhausted so it was a no TV night for me. 



Today’s tip is for all you newbie “runners”, ENJOY! 


For one brief moment, probably while endorphins were still pumping through your body after a good run, you flirted with the idea of doing a marathon. Then the endorphins disappeared and the reality of training for four months and trying to squeeze in a handful of three- to four-hour long runs set in. Fair enough. How about a 5-K instead?

It’s the perfect distance: 3.1 miles require relatively little buildup, the training doesn’t take over your life, and the race is over fairly quickly. By logging only three or four runs per week, you can be ready to toe the line of a 5-K in just five weeks. And having that race date on your calendar gives your training purpose, says Jane Serues, of Springtown, Pennsylvania, founder of Making Strides and First Strides training workshops for women. “The runners I coach are much more motivated knowing the 5-K is approaching than they would be if they simply promised themselves they’d run.”

Chris Carmichael, founder of Carmichael Training Systems, also encourages runners–whether they’re competitive or not–to try a 5-K. “People run for a variety of reasons, but I’ve found that they get more out of it when they are working toward something specific,” he says. “And a 5-K race is an attainable goal for any runner.” Plus, there’s the “fun factor,” says RW columnist Jeff Galloway, coach and author of Running: Getting Started. “My favorite thing about 5-K races is the atmosphere. Almost everyone there is in a good mood. How many other events in your life are like that?”

The Plan: Five Weeks

In the five weeks leading up to your first 5-K, most coaches agree that you need to run three or four days a week. During one of those weekly runs, you should focus on increasing the amount you can run at one time until you build to at least the race distance, or the equivalent amount of time spent running. “I encourage runners, particularly beginners, to focus on minutes, not mileage,” says Serues. “Thinking in minutes is more gradual and self-paced.” Completing the equivalent of the 5-K distance in training gives you the strength and confidence you need to finish the race. And if you increase your long run up to six miles (or roughly twice the amount of time it should take you to cover the race distance), you’ll run with even greater strength (or speed, if that’s your thing).

Most of your running during the week should be at a comfortable pace. This is especially true for runners who simply want to finish the race. But since adding some faster training to your schedule is the best way to improve your speed and endurance, even novices should consider doing some quicker running. “Intervals are not reserved for elites,” says Carmichael. “Running three one-mile intervals with recovery between will do more to increase your sustainable running pace than running three miles at once.”

First-time racers can do some faster running one or two days a week, but these sessions don’t have to be regimented. Alternating between faster and slower running works just as well. Serues, for example, often has her group do about 20 minutes of speedwork, made up of four minutes at an easy pace, followed by one minute at a hard pace. Always be sure to bookend workouts with an easy five- to 10-minute warmup and cooldown.

The greatest challenge of running a 5-K is finding the right pace, says Serues. Start out too fast and you’ll likely struggle to finish the race. That’s why Galloway recommends all first-time racers (including veteran runners) get in the back of the pack at the starting line. This prevents an overzealous start and allows you to gradually build up speed, ideally running the final mile the fastest.

But how fast should you expect to run come race day? While Carmichael says the number one goal should be to have fun, he tells experienced runners who are new to racing that they can expect to race about 30 seconds per mile faster than normal training pace. Specifically, runners training at a nine-minute-per-mile pace should finish around 26:33; those training at a 10-minute-per-mile pace should finish between 28:54 and 29:41; and those training at an 11-minute-per-mile pace should finish around 34:23.

Galloway has a different way of predicting race times. Every two weeks, he has his clients run a mile at a hard pace. Then he uses a pace calculator, like the ones on runnersworld.com or jeffgalloway.com, to predict the times they could run for longer distances. In general, though, he finds that most runners slow down about 33 seconds per mile when they go from a fast one-mile run to a one-mile average pace in a 5-K race.

Most experts discourage first-timers from shooting for strict time goals. “Make it a race against yourself,” says Carmichael, “because it’s your progress that’s most valuable to you.” Galloway seconds that thought. “Just get to the finish line,” he says. “If you have a great experience, you’ll do it again.” And chances are you’ll have an even better time.

  1. Katherine: What About Summer?
    April 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Great job! I’m dying to living in Orlando for a while to run!

  2. Jenny
    April 17, 2010 at 12:35 am

    BIG CONGRATS!! That is so awesome to work so hard and see the results!! You did amazing!! Despite the weight plateau you talked about the other day, you should be so proud of how far you have come and what your body can now accomplish!! You go girl!!

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