Valentine’s Day Dash recap

The Valentine’s Day Dash 5K is in the books! Aaron and I both scored PRs:

Aaron — 21:26 (6:55 pace)
Me — 26:25 (8:32 pace)

I’m proud of my time — sub-27:00, which was my goal — but holy crap, Aaron runs fast. He killed this race.

We both felt nervous beforehand because we both wanted to improve our PRs. The course around Green Lake is almost entirely flat, so we knew we could do well if we ran smart. Luckily, my nervousness died as soon as we headed to Green Lake. The weather was great — cool, but not cold, and partly cloudy, but not raining — so I was psyched that we wouldn’t be running in the rain like I thought.

Once we got to the starting area, Aaron lined up with the super-fast people in the 6:00-7:00 pace group, and I hung out with my 8:00-9:00 homies. I usually start farther back, which is why I tend to have trouble passing slower people, but this time I actually started where I belonged and had a great beginning to the race.

I felt awesome for the first mile! I took it easy at about a 9:15 pace and just enjoyed running. I stayed to the inside of the course and didn’t weave around people. I kept looking for the one-mile marker but never saw it, then realized I must have missed it after seeing that more than 10 minutes had gone by on my watch. The two-mile marker came up before I knew it, and I looked down at my watch and realized I was on track to beat my goal!

My stomach started to hurt around this point since I was going a bit faster (trying to stay under 9:00 pace). I really didn’t want to take any walking breaks, but I did once I convinced myself that I could walk briefly and still beat my goal time. I walked two or three times to try to relieve my crampy stomach. Finally, I realized the end was so near and just poured on the gas.

I fully sprinted the last 0.1 mile and seemed to be the only person doing that, so I had to weave through other runners. I heard Aaron yell encouragement to me and I finished strong, then promptly found a curb to sit on. The curb of life! Aaron brought me a bottle of water and all was well. I never even had any ankle, shin or knee pain like I did during the last bit of training!

We then pillaged the food booths big time.

It’s now raining intensely in Seattle — thank goodness we had a great race before the downpour! Yay for Valentine’s Day PRs!

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