This week, it was the Crystal City Friday 5k. Every Friday night in April, there is a 5k in Crystal City, which is a lot of fun. I have volunteered at this race about 10 times, but had never run it. So, I was looking forward to seeing what the race itself was actually like. But this race was a part of my larger 10k training, which I want to take a minute to talk about.
Anyways, I was pretty psyched how it went. And I had this 5k on tap for Friday, which came with the following instructions from Sarah (which made me laugh):
This race doesn’t matter. I repeat, this race doesn’t matter. You are doing it to get a simulated race/workout and to get another race in before the goal 10K. The course stinks, and there are lots of twists, turns, speed bumps and parking lots. Do not worry about your time. Whatever your time is on this course does not matter at all. Just worry about going out there and feeling aggressive. Did I mention the course stinks? 2.5 warm-up; race; 2.5 cool-down. Total=8 miles
So yes, while the race is fun, and a lot of people do it, it is a challenging course and not one that sets up well for a PR. So, that was the attitude I went in with - just go out and run - push hard, but don't expect anything.
So, I actually volunteered with registration before the race started and was having fun chatting it up with my fellow Ambassadors and meeting new people. But I realized about an hour before the race why I had felt a little sluggish for a couple of days - I was getting a cold, yuck. But, better then than before my goal 10k. I toed the starting line, ready to go, and just hoping to put a decent time out there. While I knew I couldn't run a PR (19:39), I was hoping to run a good time. The gun went off and off we went. And yes, Sarah was right, there were lots of hard to maneuver turns. I came through the first mile in 6:26, and felt like I was really working hard. Funny, how when I ran my big 5k PR at 6:20 pace, it felt much easier than what I was doing Friday night. It also seemed like a lot of people, including a decent number of women went out in front of me. Oh well, it doesn't really matter - not a lot is on the line with this race. I came through the second mile in 6:32 and felt tired, but at least locked into a good rhythm. That was about the same feeling at mile 3, and had 2 90 degree turns to make in the final .1 - a bit hard! I finished in 20:10 - my second fastest 5k, so pretty good!
10th woman out of 773
69 overall out of 1426
I staggered after for a moment, just feeling very spent. It was very hard to do an evening race for me. Just a weird thing to mentally prepare for. The morning races, you conserve energy overnight, but I had spent the whole day working, and then had to toe the line. Definitely a different kind of mentality. I then switched into my training shoes and ran my cooldown on the course, as it was still open.
|I love running in DC, and was pleased that the Capitol even made it into this shot!|