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Brian Kondas portrait with medals 5K PB Publix Copperhead

Running a 5K Personal Best (PB)

When was the last time you ran a 5K personal best (PB)? For me, it was six months ago at the Publix PB&J 5K in St Petersburg, FL, with a time of 23:57.

On the morning of March 12, 2023, I would break my personal record by over a minute!

Race Day Packet Pickup

I arrive at the Innsbrook Golf Course 45 minutes early for my race day packet pickup.

Driving North on Belcher Road, I turn left and followed a line of cars down a dusty dirt road. At the end of the Green Parking Lot, we park on the grass. Then I walk for several minutes to the Publix Copperhead 5K registration. I give my last name, and a lady places my bid and a large t-shirt into a white bag.

I take the bag back to my car. Sitting inside my car, I attach my bid with safety pins to the front of my shirt.

Pre-Race Warmup

With 30 minutes until the race starts, I jog the course for ten minutes to warm up. Then I stretch my legs for five minutes, take a Spring Energy hill aid gel, and urinate in a porta-potty. I feel good and ready to race.

Publix Cooperhead 5K Race

I enter the right side of the starting coral, and up towards the front. A heavyset lady standing in front of me starts coughing. So, I push my way up to the second row from the front.

At 8 AM, I press start on my Garmin Forerunner 55 watch as I cross the startline. My RacePro Pacing Strategy is to run 7:40 miles and finish the 5K at 23:50. However, I run a much faster race.

First Mile

In the first 30 second, I hit my max pace at 5:42. My first mile averages 7:12, and it’s my fastest split of the race. My maximum heart rate is 160, and my average is 150.

The first mile has a net elevation loss of 151 feet. Checking my Garmin watch, I realize my pace is much faster than planned. So, I slow down in mile two.

Second Mile

In the second mile, I adjust and run my planned pace of 7:40. Mile two has rolling hills with 102 feet of elevation gain and 124 feet of elevation loss. My max heart rate stays the same at 160, but my average rises to 157.

Since the beginning of the race, a young boy wearing blue shorts runs ahead of me. I’m surprised how fast this twelve year old runs. He continues to run faster than me.

I hear a male runner behind me. Sometimes he gets close, but I’m running faster than him.

The Final 1.1 Miles

As we climb the final hill, my pace slows. The the male runner from behind finally reaches me. He says, “I’ve been chasing you all race and couldn’t catch you.”

The guy looks like he could be in my age group 45 – 49. I’m breathing very heavy and pushing as hard as possible. Despite increasing my pace to 7:34, the guy passes me.

My heart rate climbs to its peak at 168 bpm. In the final tenth of a mile, the course is all downhill. Hundreds of feet ahead of me I see two guys race to the finish.

I approach the finish alone and the announce says, “Brian Kondas from Palm Harbor.” I look up and the clock reads 22 minutes and fifty-somthing seconds. Quickly, I surge forward in the last fifty feet and finish at 22:55.

Sub 23 Minute 5K PB

My new 5K personal best (PB) is more than a minute faster! Going from a 23:57 to a 22:55 is a 62 seconds improvement. I didn’t know I could run a sub-23-minute 5K at age 49.

Publix Cooperhead 5K fishing time and pace

My 5K PB Race Results

The following are my 5K race results for bid number 364:

  • Overall 25th out of 525 (I ran faster than 500 runners)
  • Age Division 5th for age group 45-49
  • Gender Division 22 out of 231 (top 10% of all male runners)
Brian Kondas Publix Copperhead 5K race results

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