On Saturday night I ran the Crystal City Twilighter 5k in Arlington, VA. It was my first “real” 5k, meaning it was a timed event. It was also the first time I ran a race where there weren’t packets of color being thrown at me! 🙂
I left my apartment just before 7 to meet my friend Meggan and her boyfriend at her apartment. Meggan lives close enough to a metro station to walk and we knew that taking the metro to Crystal City would definitely be the most convenient and stress-free way of getting to the race! 🙂
After meeting up with Meggan and her boyfriend, and petting Meggan’s adorable dog, Carrie – we headed out to the metro. Around 5 o’clock that evening it had absolutely poured rain outside, so it was a nice cool temperature. I was thinking that it was perfect weather for running, as long as the predicted showers held off long enough for us to race. Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen.
It was nice to have the opportunity to walk to the metro to stretch out our legs, and it was a short ride to Crystal City. When we arrived, we had just enough time to hit the porta potties, and chat for a while in the starting corral before the race started. Earlier in the evening, I had sent out a tweet hoping that the rain would hold off long enough for us to run our race – but alas, it was not to be.
Hoping the rain holds off for another couple hours so @MeggBugg88 and I can run our 5k and have a celebratory beer! 🙂
— Jackie Fox (@Jiffy877) July 27, 2013
Just as the starting clock clicked over to 8:30 the first light drops began to fall. Within a few minutes of leaving the starting gate, those light drops had turned into a torrential downpour. As Meggan put it: “at least I feel more badass running it like this!” Fortunately, the weather was relatively warm so the rain wasn’t freezing – but it did soak me through and through within a few short minutes. At this point, I was just hoping my waterproof iPhone arm band was as waterproof as it claimed.
The rain stopped around 3/4s of a mile into the race but it had already done the damage of soaking my clothes. I’m so glad I have such short hair so at least that wasn’t a problem! Thanks to my friend Meggan, I kept up a pretty solid pace for the first mile and a quarter (ish) of the race but then a painful stitch in my side did me in and I had to walk for a bit. I rarely get stitches in my side when I run, so I was surprised when I got this one – and it persisted for the remainder of the race. I ended up running/walking in intervals for the last 2ish miles and finished with a time of 37:35 (15 seconds slower than my goal pace – sort of depressing). This further confirms my suspicion that in order to improve my runs I need to focus on increasing my cardio stamina. I’ve started to do this by incorporated more non-running cardio in my weekly workouts and I’m definitely going to continue focusing on that. Also, I’m still working on getting over my mysterious summer cold so I don’t think my lung capacity is quite back to normal. All things considered, I think I should be happy that I came very close to achieving my goal.
Since this was my first official race, I also have to say that I am so in love with the race atmosphere and culture. The feeling you get from people cheering you on from the sidelines is amazing. The atmosphere is so positive and supportive – you hear echoes of “you can do this” everywhere you go. There really is nothing like it. The positivity of the crowds at the finish line lifted me up and helped me to sprint the last .2 miles of the race with a big smile on my face. My first “real” race is officially in the books and it definitely won’t be my last.
I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start! I’m looking forward to cycling class tonight, and Body Pump tomorrow night with my favorite instructor who’s been on vacation for the past two weeks! Below are some health-related articles that I thought you all would find interesting.
Articles That May Interest You:
1. Do You Think You Run Slow? Why Being “Slow” Doesn’t Matter (Runners Connect)
2. Is Food Addiction Real? (Women’s Health Blog)
3. 25 Things That Are Keeping You From Losing Weight (Popsugar Fitness)
4. Surprising Reasons to Give Up Sugar (Rodale News)