Saturday, February 16, 2013

Watching it come full circle: Love the Run You're With 5k

Like last spring, I selected "Love the Run You're With" as my spring rust-buster race. However, unlike last spring, it wasn't 20 degrees with 20 mph winds. 30 with 2 mph winds was much nicer! Brisk is good, especially when it's sunny. As has been unfortunately precedent with the past few races, I had a difficult time falling asleep. It stinks, because I wasn't even that worked about this race. It was just all about getting out there and testing the wheels for the first time in a few months. Oh well. You have to run with the cards you're dealt with.
Last year, I ran this race in 20:40, and came in 5th place. I figured a slight improvement on my part, depending on the competition, could mean a top 3 finish. As I walked to the start, who did I see but Claire Hallisey, the British Olympic marathoner who lives in Arlington, VA. Nope! No chance at that with an Olympian in the same race! But still, it is a cool feeling to not just be in the same race as an Olympian (because if you do any major marathon, there is the possibility that Olympians are there), but somewhat close together at the starting line. The gun went off, and we were off. I had little to no expectations for this race. Somewhere around the 20 minute mark seemed like a fair guess for what I know about this course and the fact that it's early in the season. This race starts off with a pretty steep hill. Last year, it was a shocker, this time, I felt more ready for it. I hit the first mile in 6:37, and the pace felt a little fast. I knew I wasn't going to be pulling out a PR on this day, but I was just hoping to have a good race. After the second mile, I was able to start thinking about picking things up and starting to pick off people. This is my favorite part of racing: ramping up and shifting gears. Now, there were some back and froths with people, but I did pass more people than got passed. As I hit the 3 mile mark, I could see the clock ticking. I knew sub 20 was out of my grasp, but was determined to just get in a strong finish.
In the pink top on the right
20:20 (6:33 pace)
16th woman out of 1,084
60 overall out of 1,723
So funny - that time last year would've put me as fourth woman and age group winner. It all depends on the year you run!
Not too shabby for a rust buster. 20 seconds faster than last year, which is good progress. Last year, 20:20 was my PR, and now my PR is 19:21. So a minute faster than last year, a minute slower than my best. My fall rust-buster was a 5 miler at 6:30 pace - faster for longer. But..If 20:20 is what I can on a "B day," I think that's a good sign. I know sometimes my standards can be ridiculous: I need to chill out, relax, and just have fun. I got to run near an Olympian, who went on to run 17:55 for the 5k. That's not an every day occurrence. Last year, I was the fastest single girl at the race (with it being a Valentine's Day race, they have those categories). I was just a few days away from meeting my boyfriend, and we are approaching our first anniversary. This year, I was 7th in the taken category - and all the happier. I do Love the Run I'm with, and the guy too. 2013 - lookout!

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