I love the Crystal City 5k Fridays race series. It’s such a fun race; is a nice, relatively flat course; and Pacers does an awesome job with it. I was able to run 3 of the Friday 5ks last year, and set my PR for the distance with a 22:50 finish.
I know I’m a cold-weather wimp, but I don’t think I’d be the only one to say the weather for most of last year’s races was not too fun. Last Friday was perfect, however. Sunny and close to 60 – I was in my element. My boyfriend was in town for the weekend too, so I was very excited he was going to get to see my race, cheer me on and take some pictures!
Pacers is doing a cool thing at the series this year called Shoe Lab where Mizuno, Newton and Brooks have test shoes you can try out for the race. After turning over my Nike’s and my ID as collateral, I had a pair of Newton’s racing flats on my feet. I’ve never worn racing flats so I couldn’t believe how light they felt.
I’ve been running hard lately and running a lot, so I hoped to set a new PR at this race with a goal of breaking 22 minutes by the end of the series. Well, I was pleasantly surprised with my performance and now have to readjust my goals to make them a little tougher as I blew away my old PR by 1:10 finishing in 21:40! Maybe it was the shoes?!
For some reason the first mile of this course always seems to take forever in my mind so I thought I’d gone out slow, but saw my watch read 6:46 at the one-mile mark. I slowed down a bit for mile two passing the marker in 14 minutes even, and picked it back up to a 7 minute pace for the third mile. The 6:59 pace is my first-ever sub-7 minute race pace!
The 21:40 finish was good enough to put me in 137th overall out of 1,253 finishers, 19th out of 652 females, and 12th out of 268 in my age group!
I’ve wanted to try out some Newtons since I went to a seminar they put on at Pacers in Clarendon last October. While I loved the speedy Newton flats, I’m going to give their regular performance trainers a test run this week since those would probably be a more practical purchase for the distances I’ll be running in training for the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon.
I’m already looking forward to this Friday’s race – such an awesome way to kick off the weekend. I’ll be volunteering at packet pick-up before the race so stop by and say hi if you’re there!
(Lots of pictures: courtesy of Ian Gallagher – check out his food blog for an entry on our post-race dinner date!)