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).
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.
- 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.