On Saturday my friend Jayne and I ran the National Police Week 5k in D.C. along with another friend of hers. The Police Week 5k honors fallen law enforcement officers by raising awareness to the sacrifices officers make every day. Every runner’s bib has the name of an officer killed on it to remind us all what we were running for.
I had no expectations or time goal after two weeks of almost no running and just a handful of cross training days. While I was pretty far off my PR, I was pleasantly surprised by how the race went and by how strong I felt. I took advantage of an early packet pick-up option at Pacers on Friday, so I’d be ready to go on race morning. As usual I pinned my race bib on my shirt Friday night and laid my clothes out for the morning.
Despite staying in and being lazy on a Friday night, I still had trouble falling asleep and was so tempted to just turn the alarm off Saturday morning. The gloomy, gray day I saw when I looked out my window only made me want to get back in bed, but I knew I really needed to get out and run today.
I got to the start fairly early and had time to get warmed up and drop my bag off. I met up with Jayne and chatted for a bit before we split up and headed off to the start line. The rain started just before the race, but it was pretty light and actually felt kind of good. The course started off with several quick turns before heading down a slight hill that we’d have to come back up at the end. Then we hit a straightaway that took us down 3rd Street past the Capitol Building before the one-mile marker and then a turnaround.
The course turned back onto 3rd after a the turnaround took us around a block then jutted down Constitution Ave. for a down and back past the 2nd mile marker before heading back up 3rd Street. The second mile felt really long. I almost felt like the marker should have been on the other side of the street when we first passed it rather than when we came back by it after turning around at a cone. My Garmin beeped well before reaching it – not that that is always accurate though. I also proved once again how bad I am at running tangents as I ended up doing an extra tenth of a mile according to the Garmin.
My adrenaline was flowing and I felt great at the start. I felt like it was almost too easy and I must’ve been going slow, so I was shocked to see my watch at 6:42 when I hit the first mile marker. Knowing I wasn’t in any kind of shape to be running that pace I tried to pull in the reins for mile 2 running it in about 7:18. It didn’t help though and I slowed way down unable to keep the pace up for mile 3 slowing down to a 8:11 mile. I was able to kick it down the final stretch turning it up a few notches for a 6:25 pace. According to the official results I crossed the line in 23:25 for an average pace of 7:33 putting me in 151st out of more than 1,500!
Jayne also finished strong. She had a playlist and had a goal of finishing before a certain song came on and cruised in just as it was starting! Next up for her is the Marine Corps 10k.
I’ll be back racing again this Sunday back in my hometown for an 8k. Hope your weekend races and runs went well too! Let me know how you did in the comments.