Happy 4th of July, people. Someone told me a few years back that I should not be celebrating since Independence Day marks my country’s miserable defeat. So I ran a 5K instead. Not much to celebrate there, as I didn’t PR and I didn’t break 21 minutes, which is a silly goal for me to have right now because I haven’t exactly been short distance training.
Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. After all, I raced last weekend, then had to take a few days off because I caught strep throat. I biked and swam a bit and ran one short tempo during the week. I decided to race today because I hadn’t exactly overexerted myself over the past week. I thought the sub-21 was possible because my training and racing buddy, Bill, with whom I’ve run my last two races, ran 20:36 on the same course last year. (Or maybe they lengthened it, since he was almost a minute slower this year?)
The race was the Firecracker 5K in Reston Town Center. Had a fabulous 9 hrs sleep pre-race, ate a nutella sandwich (new pre-race breakfast; seems to work well and more portable than oatmeal, my previous choice), drank some black coffee, and drove to Reston. Picked up packet and encountered a slight problem when I got the timing chip. Instead of the D-tag, which slides around shoelaces, this race used the Ipico chip, which requires you to put your laces through holes in the cardboard chip. That wouldn’t normally be a problem, but I was wearing locklaces (the bungee laces triathletes use to get their shoes on quickly) on my Brooks Racer ST 5s. After a bit of fiddling I managed to untie the ends of the bungee laces and slip the chip through those.
While I was warming up I ran into Tracy, who was dressed for the 4th in a bright Nuu-Muu dress and flag hat and glasses. Here’s a nice pic of Tracy (Miss America) and me, looking suitably unpatriotic, since I’m not celebrating.
Boring race details: fast course with a couple of short hills and a few turns. Garmin was measuring a little off, and I should have paid attention to this if I really wanted to break 21 minutes because, while it told me my overall pace was 6:37, it also measured the distance as 3.21 miles. So, averaged to 3.1 miles my pace was 6:50, for 21:12 overall. Still, I’m not sure I could have run faster. I paced it well, running the 2nd and 3rd miles faster than the 1st. Hearing Stuart yelling at me in the last 100 did help me pick it up for the final stretch.
I was 20th female overall and 1st in my age group, so did not go home empty-handed. And I remembered what I like about 5Ks: you don’t sit around forever waiting for awards, because it’s all over so fast.