For a review of today’s Silver Spring Earth Day 5K, I’m going to refer everyone to my DC Running Examiner page.
For those interested in knowing how their favorite middle-of-the-packer finished, read on …
Let me start by saying that 5Ks are in many ways my toughest races. Whenever I look up my times on race-pace equivalent charts, which tell you what you should run for a 5K based on, say, a half-marathon, I’m shocked to see how fast I’m expected to get through 3.1 miles. In other words, I’m scrappier than I am speedy.
Still, like any challenge, the fact that I’m not very good at 5Ks makes me even more determined to get better at them.
I wasn’t expecting much from myself on Sunday morning, as Steve and I spent a lovely weekend drinking delicious things in the sun at various parties, from the Tiki Bar opening in Solomons Island to our dear nephew’s first birthday party in Annapolis. I know runners who have placed in their age group in half marathons after being stumbling drunk the night before. I am not one of those runners. I have to treat my body pretty well if I want it to perform well, and a diet of Mai Tais, Pinot Grigio and birthday cake doesn’t qualify as treating one’s body well.
At least for the first two miles, this morning, I surprised myself byhow decent I felt. I let myself fall behind the last mile, as my dehydration suddenly became acute and a giant hill (one participant described it as “murderous”) mocked my efforts to rally. But I still ran 23:46 — an average of 7:38-minute miles, which is a good 5K time for me in general.
Still, after the race, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed by being unable to suck it up that last mile. What’s seven minutes of pain compared to feeling great the rest of the day?
As I told one of my running buddies this morning, I’m mostly motivated by internal cues. Pass me, and I’m likely to smile and wave rather than try to catch you. But feeling disappointed in myself after what could have been a better race had I just been a little smarter … that’s motivational for me. Stay tuned for a faster 5K in the near future.