Sunday marked my first race of 2013 and my first real race back from the injured list. I ran in Pacers Love the Run You’re With (LTRYW) 5k for the first time and loved it. I didn’t PR, but that wasn’t the goal for this race, and I was very pleased with my finish time of 22:56. I’m making great progress and am on my way to getting back to where I was at, and hopefully even better!
After hearing about the bone chilling temps from last year’s race I was sure glad how nice of a day it turned out to be. Temps were in the 30s and the sun was shining. I wore my Reebok long sleeve as a base layer topped by my Reebok 1/2 zip jacket and my Nike Pacers Ambassador t-shirt. I also had on an Under Armour hat, a neck gaiter, gloves, Nike pants and Zensah compression sleeves. I was WAY overdressed and started overheating about a half mile in. This does not happen to me often. I’m getting way too used to running in cold weather.
Ian got up early with me to drive me to the race, take pictures and cheer me on – more impressive than usual since we’d gone to a great Mardi Gras party the night before and had a few hurricanes! It’s always nice to have someone waiting for you at the finish line. Champps (that’s how they spell it) opened up for runners before the race so I was able to hang out in there and stay warm until about 15 minutes before start time.
The course was an out and back that started near the Pacers in Pentagon Row right next to the ice skating rink. We ran by the Pentagon Row shops before turning onto Army Navy Drive and going straight up a steep hill. It wasn’t as bad as I remembered from the days I used to run those roads when I worked in Crystal City, but I was certainly breathing heavy. At the top of the hill we were treated to a long, gradual descent (all I could think was oh man, I have to come back up this!), and then some flat and some rolling roads to the turnaround.
My first mile was a bit faster than the rest, but my splits were relatively close to even. I ran mile 1 in 7:13 followed by miles 2 and 3 in 7:22 and 7:26. I finished with a kick to the finish at a 6:23 pace. I was really thankful that I’ve been working on my form both going up and going down hills. I felt like I was flying coming back down the steep hill before turning onto Joyce St. for the final kick to the finish. I leaned forward and let gravity take over, but remembered to land as softly as possible so I wasn’t pounding my legs into the ground.
I crossed the line in 22:56 for an average pace of 7:23 per mile. (My watch was pretty close to that showing a 22:55 finish for 3.14 miles at a 7:18 pace.)That put me in 160th place out of 1,721 overall and 48th out of 1,083 females. I had a blast running this race and will definitely sign up for LTRYW again next year. There were some great costumes and themed running outfits, and free bloody mary’s at Champps after the race topped off a great morning!
Did you race last weekend? Let me know how it went!