Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End the Year with a Fast 5K!

Me and my No#1 Running Buddy, Keri!

Race Report: MADD Red Ribbon Run 5K
Fairfax, VA - December 31, 2008 @ 4PM

This year (2008), through December, among the Triathlons that I raced, I ran five (5) stand alone 5K events and there was one consistent factor to all these races. It seemed that sub 36:00 was out of my reach. UNTIL LAST NIGHT!!

GW Parkway Classic (May) - 36:17
Capitol Crescent 5K (June) - 38:26
Survivor Harbor Seven 5K (June) - 37:28
Rainforest 5K (June) - 37:02
Crystal City 5K (July) - 37:20

On the last day of December on the hilly George Mason University campus in Fairfax VA, in temps of 35F with wind gust of up to 40mph, I FINALLY broke through the 36:00 minute mark for 5K!

MADD Red Ribbon Run 5K: 35:42

I ran the race with my good friend Keri and while I was secretly hoping for a year end PR, I figured conditions were miserable for a hilly course so I might as well just enjoy and have fun and not worry about it. While I started my Garmin at the race start, I chose to ignore it completely. While it did a great job recording my stats and pace, I didn't let it effect my thoughts during the race. Keri and I ran and simply took it little hill by little hill.

Mile ONE Split: 11:16 - It felt like we had gone out fast and the mile race clock said 11:30 - so I asked Keri if she minded a quick 1 minute walk break. She agreed and we briskly walked for a minute to recover from the first mile - that was our only walk break of the race.

Mile TWO Split: 11:37 - "Oh my God, where do these hills keep coming from?" Keri and I just talked and grunted and giggled and got buffetted by the winds as we climbed up and down the hills. We took a brief water stop (maybe 10 seconds) and continue on...

Mile THREE Split: 11:28 - The best quote of the race came in this mile from Keri "That is NOT A HEADWIND, we are just running that much faster!!"

The last .10 of a mile to the finish line was a nice downhill to a gentle blip up to the finish line. As we ran down, I tried hard to "let off the breaks" and just let momentum take me even though I have a fear of falling on my face that usually prevents me from letting go on downhills. It wasn't until Keri saw the finish line clock and said "Holly the clock only says 35:15 - come on let's go!" that I realized how well we were doing and I took in a deep breath and pick up my big flat feet and gave it whatever I had left.

Mile 3.0 to 3.10: 1:21 - According to Garmin we ran that last 1/10 mile at a 8:39 minute mile pace - I didn't even know I could move that fast without a bike! LOL

Besides ending the calandar year with my fastest 5K for this year (2008), I would say the best part of this race was the fact that NOT ONCE did I bitch or moan or complain during the race. Not one negative thought entered my head at any point and other than the walk break at the end of the first mile, which I thought at the time was just smart recovery (and it turns out it was) I never had any desire to walk again. I knew that I could run those last 2.1 miles, regardless of the hills.

I could not have asked for a BETTER RACE to end 2008 nor a better friend to race is with!!

Life is Good! Happy New Year to you all!

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