Labor Day 5K: Who Put Those Hills There?

Race number six was the Great American 5K – right outside the Potomac River Running location in Fairfax. Great weather and a perfectly executed event.

Pre-Race Goals:
1) Don’t get injured. ()
2) Break 22min. (X)
3) Break 7min/mile pace. (X)

Today was tough. I went out too fast. The first half-mile was largely downhill and I went out at about a 6:20 pace, only to ease up and settle into a 7min/mile pace through the first third of the race.

It felt much faster.

Conscious of my first 800m split on the downhill, I expected that even though I ran the first mile faster than intended, I would have come through in about 6:40, giving me ample breathing-room (pun intended) to ease up and still break 7min/mile by the end. When I saw the split for my first mile was already over 7min, I was in trouble.

The second and third miles had many loping, twisting hills and I didn’t slow up too much, and matched my 5K time from a few weeks ago at 22:09. It was painful, though, and my hamstrings started burning much earlier than I anticipated. The time was good for second in my age group (44/354 overall and 33/193 for men) which netted a sweet gift certificate to Potomac River Running, which I’ll use to stock up on my depleted stash of RunGum.

Savi provided the bright spot for today’s race, running his first race (of many) in the 30@30 campaign and finishing second in his age group (27/354 overall and 23/193 for men) with a solid time of 20:59, breaking the 21-min barrier as he set out to do before the race. Chasing middle schoolers around the soccer field for hours has its benefits.

Jess and Russell joined from the sidelines and Russ wanted to pose for a race picture with Savi and I in front of the Ambulance/Potbelly (chosen on purpose/not exactly sure of that purpose).

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The event also featured a “First 5K” section, encouraging first timers to get out there and run. It was awesome. So many folks pushed themselves through a tough 5K and it was so impressive to see so many taking up a race for the first time.

This week marks the start of a new high-volume/low-intensity training regimen that I’m beginning, so I’m not sure how much my times will improve in the next few weeks, but I’m eager to see what this training cycle is like. I’ve never enjoyed running long, slow distances so this should be an interesting challenge.

Next race is over Alumni Weekend at up camp – the Founders Day 5K in Lee on Saturday morning. Let me know if you’d like to join!

One thought on “Labor Day 5K: Who Put Those Hills There?

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