Striding Through

Because a life well lived always finds the right pace

We’ve Got Your Back 5k, Reston VA

Coming off a nice 3rd place finish in my neighborhood’s tiny 5k race earlier this month, I took a stab at a faster race course, and faster competitive field this past weekend in Reston. This race had actually been a 4-miler in past years, and I might have been better off it the longer distance had remained.

I think maybe the one-hour race I ran previously in the week took something out of me because I never really was able to get it going on this day. For whatever reason my energy level just felt low right from the start, and that’s not good in a 5k race where you really need to fire off the line. This was an out & back course and the first mile was downhill. Yet even then I just didn’t feel right. Indeed it was almost comical to look down at my watch at the posted one-mile mark and see a 5:17 on my watch…that marker was definitely short!

In Mile 2 we progressed towards the turnaround point, which was at the top of a short but steep hill. I was hoping that after the turnaround the quick roll back down that hill might give me some energy that I could put towards a strong finish. I did manage to pick off a few runners in front of me but wasn’t getting anywhere near the front runners in my age group. Sure enough the second mile came up ridiculously long in 7:46, basically making up for the short first mile.

By this point I knew it simply wasn’t my day, so I just concentrated on keeping a steady pace and not wasting myself for future races. I’ve been here before and I know when it’s time to live for another day. So I kept my effort consistent and came home in 19:45, 38th overall. Actually given how little I had in the tank that’s a decent result. And since I helped out with the setup and take-down of the finish area afterwards, I got to run for free.

I’m not sure when the next race is, but it might very well be the sister race of this one, which takes place in Bucks County, PA on June 6. If not that one, there are some other options locally that look good that same weekend. I’ll decide later. In the meantime I’m looking forward to a short break from racing this Memorial Day weekend.

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