Save the Trail 5K Recap/Runner’s World Challenge

Earlier this week, I was scrolling through Active to check out what events were coming up (Joe should really find a way to block this site from the computer and my phone in the interest of our finances). And of course, I ended up signing on for another race:  the Save the Trail 5K. This race meant that I would run a 5K every weekend in May. I swear I didn’t set out to do that. Anyway, the race, put on by the DC Road Runners, was to raise awareness for Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail. When Joe and I lived in Silver Spring, we’d often run on the trail so it seemed like a good race to sign up for. Basically, if the Purple Line of the Metro is ever built, it would destroy part of the trail, which currently runs from Silver Spring to the Georgetown waterfront area.

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Normally I would not put such an atrocious picture of myself online. But hey, it made me laugh and it was the only photo I had from the race. Must remember to check Joe’s photography skills in the future.

The race started in Bethesda and mainly stuck to the trail, which was good and bad. It was nice to not run an entire race on the road but the trail was narrow and it was an out-and-back race. That meant that for part of the race, you were running against oncoming runners. The trail isn’t that wide to begin with so if you got stuck behind someone, it could be tricky to gauge when you’d have a chance to pass. The trail is nice and flat so that was a bonus. We had to run through one block of the neighborhood at the beginning and end which was a little hilly. Thankfully the folks who designed the race had us start on the uphill and end on the downhill. It was a good way to build momentum to carry you through the finish line.

Joe has been having tightness in his calf still and sometimes it actually feels better for him to run faster. We usually run together (his choice) but I told him to run ahead today if he needed to. We were running at a decent clip but he never really ran ahead, except near the end when I had to stop for the second time to tie my shoe (I know, I know, I really must learn to tie my shoes properly). I finished in 27:13 according to my watch so I was proud of my time but I was NOT proud of having a positive split (meaning I ran the first half faster than the second). I usually run a little faster with each mile but today I got a little carried away. The other morning, I ran a mile in 8:47 and then ran another half a mile at an 8:34 pace. Coming into the 5K, my goal was to run at least one mile in under 9 minutes and to try to keep all my miles under 9:30. Well, I accomplished those goals but not exactly in the way I would have liked. My splits were:

Mile 1: 9:01 (I was happy with that since part of it was uphill and it’s always a little slow coming out of the gate at a race.)

Mile 2: 8:41 (Woo! I was really happy with this. At one point, we were running a steady 8:10 pace which was super exciting for me.)

Mile 3: 9:20. (Womp, womp. Not the way to finish. I knew after two miles that I had probably gone out too fast and was going to burn out. I did, and, on top of that, I had to stop twice during this mile to tie my shoes.)

So, I was happy with my overall time (which I think was about the second fastest 5K I’ve ever run) but not happy with exactly how it happened. Next Saturday I’m running an 8K and I have to be really conscious of not going out too fast so that I don’t burn out when I still have three miles to go.

On to new goals. I remember reading on another blog about the Runner’s World Run Streak Summer Challenge. Basically, you run at least a mile every day between Memorial Day and Independence Day. So 39 straight days. I usually run every other day or so to give my body a rest but I think I could handle a mile on those “off” days. It’s just a matter of whether or not my body agrees. But I want to give it a shot. Anyone want to join me in this challenge? It’s always better when you have to make yourself accountable to someone else.

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Happy Memorial Day!

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