Perfect weather (sunny, low 60s) for race number eight – the Dulles Day 5K/10K on the runway at Dulles Airport! Shoutout to Steven Couper, who crashed on my couch the night prior and woke up at 5:15 to join me. Also, shoutout to adult sleepovers, while we’re on the subject.
The perfectly flat (?) runway course meant it was a good day to race hard and try to finally break 7min/mile pace.
1) Don’t get injured. (✓/X)
2) Break 7min/mile pace. (✓)
3) Negative split each mile. (✓)
Overall, a big success!
Despite still feeling under the weather, I ran 21:40, averaging 6:59/mile, barely breaking the 7min barrier. This was good for 28th out of 1,413 runners (26/651 men)!
Racing on the runway was an awesome experience! The only downside was the grease?/tar?/burnt rubber? black tread-marks the airplanes leave behind were actually kinda sticky. I contend that I would have averaged about 4:15/mile if not for the stickiness. Also, it’s concrete, not asphalt, which was a bit tougher on the legs than a road race.
While I did negative split each mile, my splits had way too much variance. Not wanting to go out too fast, I was hoping to split just over 7-7:05/mile for each of the first two miles, and then try to pick up the pace at the end, dipping under a 7min average overall. Instead, my first mile was way too slow, and I had to up the pace earlier than anticipated.
My app was fast by a few seconds (my total, not-straight-line distance covered was just over 5K, at 3.18 miles), but the split differences are reliable metrics:
Love the last mile split! Can’t stand my inconsistent pacing.
One of the hangovers from competing as a sprinter is that I am terrified of being in a distance race and running out of gas too early. Starting out slower and attempting to negative split is a great hedge, but I still struggle to feel comfortable running on pace at the beginning. After going out in about 7:04 a few weeks ago and feeling tired, I am nervous about moving too quickly. I need to get better at trusting my fitness and that I can hold a 7min even pace for a 5K. Hopefully this race will be a confidence booster, but more long tempo runs are probably the best medicine.
Speaking of medicine… my hamstring felt pretty tight at the end. It was still sore from Wednesday’s hill sprint workout, but it feels tighter-than-normal-post-race-tight. So for the next 48 hours, it’s lots of ice + sneaking into the hot tub at the hotel across the street. I don’t think it’s anything more than a minor strain. I hope.
Fresh off a recent triathlon, Steven came along and ran/jogged the 10K event, rocking the black-on-black footwear like a Wizards bench player at a “funeral game”:
After the race, Steven and I got to check out part of the Dulles Air & Space museum, which is essentially a giant hanger packed with old planes, including an SR-71 Blackbird – the fastest plane ever built:
Also, special shoutout to PRR’s Keira D’Amato, who dominated the ladies 10K and won two round trip United Airlines tickets! (Keira, where are we going?!).
Next weekend is an easy, free 5K in DC that I may use as part of a longer training run. Join me if you’re in the area!