Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rust Busted at Navy 5 Miler 2013

Early on in the race

Pre-Sunrise Washington Monument
Today was my rust-buster race for the fall season: the Navy 5 Miler. It is also held in conjunction with a half marathon, and so there were a few thousand people out on the National Mall this morning for the race. The hot weather dissipated for the day, and it was a lovely 57 degrees at the start. I didn't sleep well last night, but I didn't care, I was going to have a good race. run, run, run - other than trying to go forward, everything else was blocked out. I was happy when the 4 mile sign came up - I could hang on for one more mile. I had already realized that my A-goal of sub-32 was out the window, and I was just hoping to better my time from my last year. And then, the urge to look behind hit me and boom, this girl just sprinted by me. And that's not on me - she clearly had a few more gears than I did - I watched her sail away. But I was just doing my best to dig in and hang on through the finish.
Less than a mile to go
Last year, I ran 32:32 and came in third - it was my hope to better that this year. I did my warm up and was ready to go. And with the clang of the Navy bell, we were off! I went through the first mile in 6:14 - way too fast! I was in third briefly, but then one of the girls from one of the local racing teams blew by me. So quickly she was over 50 yards ahead, so I worked to just protect fourth. It felt fast, and I held that up until mile 2. At that point, I could feel a bit of a side stitch coming on, and rather than fight it, I eased up a little. It didn't feel comfortable, for sure. Some races everything just flows...this wasn't one of them. But the weather was perfect, and the flat course made it easy to just motor through. There was a Navy guy running about 2 steps in front of me, so I just tried to lock in behind him and go. There weren't a lot of people around (it was so quiet - no spectators on Haines point, and with not a ton of runners, you didn't even hear footsteps). All of my thoughts were gone (nothing about the dissertation even) - it was just
32:14 (6:27 pace)
5th woman
33/1358 overall
1st in age group! So check out the bling! This was the medal for the age group win, and the finisher coin went to everyone (that is a tradition in the military to give out coins for special achievements).
Finisher coin
 It wasn't the race I had hoped for - the A goal wasn't there. But I did better than last year - I knocked 18 seconds off from last year. I may have "lost" 2 places, but the women who beat me are also on racing teams. So, I'm taking this as a victory. We don't always get A+ races, and this was still very good. I am excited that the racing season is off and running and looking forward to working towards that A+!

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