This Thanksgiving I ran my 2nd SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K in Washington, DC. This fast, flat course takes place at Freedom Plaza running along the National Mall with many out and backs. This year I’m super thankful for my many running accomplishments including my Chicago Marathon PR at 2:53, being accepted for the 2016 Boston Marathon, and continuing to stay injury free.
Prior to racing this morning, I ran a 20 minute shakeout run to help loosen-up the legs while incorporating 15 second strides throughout to help prepare me for the race. This shakeout run was a slow pace averaging 7:45 for the 2 miles that I ran. Leading up to the start of the race I continued to do some hip stretches, high knees, and butt kicks to keep my legs loosened while I waited for the start. Since this was my second SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K I was mentally prepared for the course and where I needed to be for the start.
Mile 1: 5:23
As I’ve always said, the first mile is always the hardest mile for me. Mentally it takes me a few minutes to get into my groove and settle down with my pace. Since I’m very familiar with this course I was able to line myself at the front of the pack so I didn’t have to run through slower runners while finding my pace. The first 1/2 mile was super fast, running around 4:43 while trying to get out of the pack and getting into my groove and finding the right group to follow. Once I was able to relax and settle down my legs started to feel great and my breathing was down.
Mile 2: 5:28
During the second mile I fell into my groove while mentally feeling relaxed and sticking to my pace. It was during this mile that there were 2 out and backs which slowed my pace down a little however, didn’t stress me out like previous races. I was able to stay focused and take these turns wider than most so that my pace wouldn’t slow down as bad. It was also during this mile that I was able to catch-up to some of the other runners who passed me at the beginning and start picking them off one-by-one. This really helped me mentally and kept me focused on keeping on pace and remembering my ultimate goal, a sub-17 minute 5K.
Mile 3: 5:20
The final mile was my strongest mile with a 5:20 pace. There was a slight downhill section that helped increase my pace and catch another pack of runners in front of me. It was during this mile that I felt my strongest with my legs feeling great while my breathing was on point and staying relaxed. I continued to stay focused on my pace and time while still being able to decrease my time and pass the final runners.
During the final push I really focused on the person in front of me and sticking with him. This individual had a really good pace going and was decreasing his time during his final push so I felt comfortable sticking with him and continuing to push myself. It was also at this point that the crowd support started to pick back up, which is always a huge support for me. I was able to complete this year’s SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K in 16:49 with a 7th overall place which is a Personal Record (PR) for me. I owe a lot of my success to my Run Coach, Personal Trainer, and Physical Therapist who continue to improve my running.
Overall, I am very pleased with today’s race outcome and look forward to many more
smaller races and my 2016 Boston Marathon in April. You can continue to follow me through my progress on Twitter at @iRunFitDC or my blog. If you ever have questions or want to run together in DC please don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a run.