Monday, February 10, 2014
Rust busted: Love the Run You're With 5k 2014
I had decided on a very limited race schedule this spring - just 3 races before the race to the altar!
But still, even though I'm not really aiming for or expecting any PRs, it is my goal to be consistent in my training and get close to PR fitness so that those times can go crashing down in the fall. So, I still had my spring rust-buster race set up: Love the Run You're With 5k. It's at Pentagon Row, which means you're near the Pentagon, and during part of the race, you're high up enough to see the Capitol and Washington Monument (a nice view for the final half mile of a hard 5k). I've done it two times before, in 2012 (ran 20:41 a week before meeting my fiance - my last single race) and in 2013 (20:20). Last year, I was having some knee problems leading up to the race, and thereafter too. But I ended up having a great season. This year, I have been really healthy (knock on wood), but I have missed the occasional run, including a few road workouts. But this time, it hasn't been injury related - I've just been really busy. There's been a lot of visitors/traveling going on, and yes, I could also get up at the crack of dawn to make it all fit in, but nope. Having a good enough training season instead.
With this attitude in mind, I still wanted to do well - if I'm plopping down money, may as well make it count. I had a good fartlek workout of 8 x 90 seconds on Tuesday as part of a 8.5 mile run, and it did kind of light a fire to run fast and think about the race. So, I did keep all of my usual pre-race traditions going, and was happy that it was 30 degrees out with little wind when I got there this morning. With it being an out and back course, I was able to cover most of the course in my 2.5 mile warm up. I bumped into a few friends who I've met through DC races and we were just chatting away really until 30 seconds before the start. It was nice to relax and be distracted right until the gun went off. I know I get too uptight sometimes, so this was a good reminder that chilling out can be a good thing!
Boom, gun is off. While I have been doing some speedwork, this was a big welcome back to going fast. And going uphill! The first half mile is uphill, and while I'm good at hills, this is a hard way to start a race! But, I hit mile 1 in 6:26, which is right at pace for 20 minutes. (Cue Matthew McConaughey) Alright, alright, alright, this is pretty good! And honestly, in this course, the first mile is the hardest, and I felt like I could pick things up a bit. I hit the turnaround and started moving, really running faster and starting to pick off girls. I have a friend who is really good (like sub 19 5k good), and I could see her, and I just wanted to get as close to catching her as I could. My hands were cold (foolish for not wearing gloves...my one mistake), but the brisk air was refreshing. I wasn't dying, but I definitely was in the speed zone, and hit mile 2 at 12:40 (6:20 pace) and was pumped. Woo! This is great! I passed a trio of girls, and had my friend almost in reach. Boom - the other girls used the downhill to their advantage and flew by me, but I couldn't fight back any more, but...as I could see the clock, and this was a lot better than expected:
6th in Age Group
Wahoo! Sub 20 and less than 30 seconds away from my PR
This is the earliest in the racing season I've cracked 20 minutes, so even if this is just a good enough training season, it is off to a good start! After my cooldown, bringing the day's total to 9 miles, I cashed in (there's a ticket on our bibs) for my free mimosa - yum! Free drinks and well earned drinks are the best kind! It was a great morning - fun with some friends, a good race, and great way to kick off the spring.