Saturday, June 15, 2013

Race report: Purple Stride 5K, June 15, 2013

I ran the Purple Stride 5K this morning, finishing in a time of 19:35.  However, I did set a 2 mile PR of 12:02.


And that's pretty much the story in a nutshell.  :)

I'm not usually a fan of summer races (ones longer than a mile) but the forecast was for somewhat cooler temps and lower humidity, so I thought I'd try a 5K, and see what all my mile training had earned me.  Plus, I'm feeling like I'm awfully close to breaking 19 for a 5K, so it'd be nice to see where I was.

Verdict: I was totally capable of breaking 19 today.  Just needed to pace it a bit better.

I had picked up my bib the night before, so I didn't have to show up at the race until 7:45 or so (it started at 8:30).  Jogged for 22 minutes or so, then did drills and strides, and lined up.  We started, and I made an effort to go out at what felt like a fairly slow pace.  In retrospect, I think my perception of what is a "fairly slow pace" is a bit off - I've been racing miles, and so anything slower than mile pace feels slow.  Even though it wasn't.

I noted several women ahead of me, and that gave me some (possibly false) reassurance that I was going out slow also.  I let them go ahead for the first half mile, and then slowly started reeling them in.  By about the 1.5 mile mark, I had the lead.  I was hurting, but not that much.  Not as much as I've hurt in the last bit of a mile race.

Of course, in retrospect, I still had 1.5 miles to go.

People were cheering for me on all sides as the first woman, and I tried to pull strength from that as I hurt more and more, and my legs grew heavier.  I kept it up through two miles, but the third mile was just a nightmare (and yes, I got passed.  Several times.  No win for me).

Splits were:

Mile 1: 6:01
Mile 2: 6:01
Last 1.11 7:33 (don't wanna do the math as to what type of pace this was).

Finally got myself over the finish line, and sat on the curb for a long time, catching my mental and physical breath.  Blowing up ain't fun, guys.

So yeah, this race was another wakeup call for me.  My last two workouts have involved me fading badly on the last rep or two - between that and this race, it's become clear that I'm falling into an old trap again of starting a bit faster than I should, and also of running my workouts a bit too hard. So I need to fix that.  That's next on the docket.

Other notes:
  • Found nice parking at 15th and F.  If you get to the race around 45-60 minutes before, parking ain't too hard.
  • Weather was temp of 70, DP 61.  Lotsa sunshine, plus a nice breeze.  Not optimal racing weather, but probably about as good as you're going to get for June in DC.


  1. I'm guilty of the fade, too, especially right now in the heat and in my low fitness level. Gotta get back!
    Good job on the 2mi PR - very nice.

  2. I wondered if you were racing because I didn't see you at the track yesterday. Kudos to you for getting out and doing it...lesson learned. :) I love your attitude.

  3. I was actually just talking to another athlete about the value of blowing up once in a while. If you ALWAYS negative split/maintain constant splits on the track/race perfectly, are you really testing your limits? Sometimes going harder than you think you can will show you that you can run faster than you believe.

  4. You're certainly learning a lot with these shorter races and refining the process! Congrats on the two-mile PR-- it shows that fitness-wise you are definitely seeing gains. Are you running a 5K on July 4?