This morning: the Chris4Life Scope it Out 5K! The race is a fundraising event for the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation, and is one of the largest annual fundraising events for colon cancer awareness in the country.
This 5K has quickly become an annual tradition for me! I ran it in 2009 (with broken toes, no less), last year in 2011, and of course this year in 2012. My friend Katie is connected to the charity cause behind this race, so she always convinces me to sign up. And so far I have set a 5K PR every year that I have run it (until this year….maybe….see below).
My goal for this race was to finish under 24 minutes, and ideally to PR at under 23:52. A bit of explanation – my 5K PR of 23:52 was set on a course that I am not entirely sure was actually a full 5K. It was at the Cooper YMCA Turkey Trot last year in Lincoln, NE. I love that Turkey Trot (and the fact that it has become an annual tradition for me to run with my Mom and little Sis), but after 2 years in a row of PR-ing by a landslide, I’m not convinced that it’s a proper 5K course. So, my official PR goal was to beat the 24:47 from last year’s Scope it Out, but my real PR goal in my head was to sub-24:00.
Unbeknownst to me until AFTER the race, the celebrity guest for the charity cause was none other than Michelle from Brad Womack’s second season of The Bachelor!!! Had I known this, I obviously would have arrived earlier and in time to see her speak! Hubz sadly did not get a photo of her on stage for me. 😦 And despite my best efforts to locate her after the race, I could not track her down. 😦 😦
Despite missing my chance for a photo op with Michelle, I had a pretty good race. I maintained a pretty steady state throughout, and just about met my goal. This is a nice small race, usually about 2000 runners. I jogged/walk from home to the start line at Freedom Plaza, and arrived with about 15 minutes before the starting gun. Freedom Plaza also happens to be one of the two headquarters/locations for Occupy DC, which remained out in full force this morning. Here’s a shot of the Occupy camp running right up next to the race set-up and sponsors’ tents:
Once I arrived, I checked in with Hubz and Katie who were working the bag check table. After 5+ years in this volunteer position, they have pretty much become experts!
I took off in a pretty decent sub-8:00 clip, and tried to maintain it for the length of the course. The course is really great for this race, actually. It starts off at Freedom Plaza, runs right up in front of the capitol building, over through some federal office buildings, and then loops around to come back down Penn to end again at Freedom Plaza. Those of you who know DC know that this means it’s totally flat and wide wide open for the entirety of the course. Nice and fast. In other words, a perfectly appropriate race for me to try to PR each year. Which has apparently become my goal.
The weather was pretty perfect. It was cloudy and in the low 50s. Could have been a little cooler, and maybe not been quite so misty, but overall pretty great. And I felt pretty good for most of the race, until about the last half mile. Maybe due to my eating a giant breakfast less than an hour before the race, in the form of whole wheat tortilla filled with banana, honey, and plenty of crunchy peanut butter. Oops. In any case, Kanye propelled me to the finish in ALMOST my goal time….I ended up coming in at 24:00 exactly. 1 second off from a sub-24:00 goal time, but who wants to be that picky?! (*ahem* ME).
Final time – 24:00 exactly. 7:44/mile. Pretty happy with that, as I think it’s a PR on a *proper* course. Still feel like I could have pushed it a little harder to come in UNDER 24:00, but I won’t be too picky, since I didn’t take it too seriously until about 1 mile before the finish line. Maybe one of these days I will properly train for a 5K???
Cheers to fighting colon cancer!!!