This week, I decided that, in addition to a full-time job and a full-time training schedule, I wanted a social life. Of course, going out every night this week meant that I was completely drained by the weekend and fell asleep on both Friday and Saturday before 11 PM. A personal best. I think it's time to learn some balance.
The plus side of having two nights of being in bed so early is that I woke up for the Love the Run You're With 5K feeling refreshed and ready to race. After a quick breakfast, I met up with Stef to make our way to Pentagon City for the race. If you've been following my running (mis)adventures for a while, you'll recall that I ran this race last year and that I made it a point to blast "Single Ladies" while waiting in the starting corral to celebrate being single while standing among the very clearly coupled runners. Doing this race with such an awesome friend this year made the experience feel less lonesome.
When we went out toward the starting corrals, Stef and I wedged ourselves toward the front of the middle of the pack. There was no seeding this time around, so it was up to everyone to pick the starting position that most reflected the pace they would run during the race -- or at least one would think that would be the case. Maybe it's my runner snootiness coming out, but it's really frustrating when people running a pace slower than their seeding would suggest start toward the front and folks who want to move a little faster have to weave through to find good space. I did this for a while before I got to the first climb, which definitely helped bring some order to the pacing.
Once up the hill, the course is a flat out-and-back through residential Arlington. I finished the first mile in 8:20, which felt fantastic. I must of gotten excited after that mile because I ran the second way faster than I should have. I glanced down at my watch a couple of times and saw that I floated around a 7:45 for a big chunk of the split. Just before hitting the mile marker, I slowed down a little knowing that I needed something in the tank for the last mile.
Previous Record: 27:17, Race to Representation (November 2011)
Net Time: 25:42 (New PR)
Average Pace: 8:17
I'm very happy with the result. It's so nice to see that all of the speed work that I've been putting in has made a difference. Now, if I can keep this up and train hard for the next few weeks, I'll be in great shape to hit my time goal for March's half-marathon.