Last week, I was finally healed enough to participate in one of the Friday Crystal City 5ks that went on for the month of April. I picked a good one–it was a little hot weather-wise, but the weather for hanging out was perfect.
One of my training partners came and ran the race, and our other regular partner and her boyfriend came out to have dinner with us afterward. Even Wes rode his bike to Crystal City for the fun.
So my plan was to “participate,” not race, and I did a decent job of it. My first mile was 8:51, which is probably a little fast for participation. At that point my lungs were burning, and I began cursing myself for thinking I could even run 3 miles (the longest I’d been going was the 16-minute runs I’ve written about).
I was also extremely unhappy about the fact that I’d decided to try hot sauce on my burrito at lunch that day. I was working a wicked case of heartburn the entire day, and running wasn’t exactly helping.
I came through the second mile in 8:51, and finally started to feel into it. I was still struggling, but at this point, I was confident I could finish. I’d also hit a water stop, which did wonders for me. It cooled the heartburn a little bit, and helped me focus. (I was probably a little too thirsty to be running.)
I saw Wes just before mile 3. “How do you feel?” he called out. “Awful!” I yelled back. 8:21 at the mile.
But as I came down the finishing stretch, I caught up to a girl. She saw me coming and took off. But I caught her again as we passed mile 3, and as we came around the final turn, I passed her on the inside. So she proceeded to take off. I went with her–I thought we were racing.
So, yes, I ended my first RUN (not race) back in a dead sprint. I thought I had her, but she just kept coming. We crossed the line at the exact same time, but she had the faster chip time. When I turned to congratulate her on her finish (after first doubling over with my hands on my knees to make sure that my hot burrito stayed in my stomach), the girl actively turned her back on me and stormed away.
So, yes, I am a jerk who raced someone to a 26:45 finish. That’s 4:01 slower than my last 5k (which was a minute PR in fairness). I thought I was helping her! The good news is that my kick remains wholly intact–it took me :42 to do the .1 mile at the end. What’s that? I should have run faster, given the fact that my miles were 1:40 off pace? Shut up. I don’t think that’s how it works.