30 Before 30 (A 5K Turkey Trot…or Run)

Guest Blogger: Brandon Boucher

Another cold morning, another 5K.  This race is named So Others May Eat (SOME); and it’s on Thanksgiving morning, benefiting a local shelter in Washington, D.C.  Before the race, Jessica and I met up with some friends and were enjoying some good conversation and our friends’ company.  We found a place on Freedom Plaza that was in the sun and we were all comfortable soaking in the warmth.  The race started at 9 am and 20 minutes before the race began, I did my warm up.  Starting on Pennsylvania Avenue, it was shockingly cold when you were in the shade between the buildings.  I run along the road for a bit and stop and stretch and make my way back to the starting line.  I line up in my appropriate time corral and wait for the start.  At 9 am, 13,000 runners, who raised $400,000 dollars for SOME, started running.

As always I want to best my personal best 5k time, which right now is 20:22 set earlier this year.  So I start out kind of fast.  The course profile is fairly flat with maybe a small hill.  From the starting area, we head east on Pennsylvania Avenue towards the U.S. Capitol Building.  The way the sun was in the sky, it appears as a distant silhouette.  As we head across the mall, I see the first mile marker; I look down at my watch and see that I ran the first mile in 6:18. “Not bad,” I think to myself.  I have to bob and weave a little bit around runners who were starting to slow down, but other than that, I start mile two.  Mile two goes into the Federal Southwest Center of D.C.  This is where I start doing some math in my head.  I am trying to figure out what my time will be if I hold a 6:20 average pace for the remaining two miles.  “So 6+6+6 is 18. 20 Seconds + 20 Seconds + 20 Seconds is another minute.  19.  19 minute 5K.  19 MINUTE 5K,” I think to myself.  But that’s only if I hold a 6:20 average.  I feel good, my legs feel good, I see no reason I could not make this happen.  Mile two comes up and my watch beeps.  6:21. One mile to go and I have a sub 20 minute 5K.  We head east again around the front of the Capitol Building and back on Pennsylvania Avenue.  “Down the street, it’s not far now,” I think.  My lungs are burning and I can feel the lactic acid in my legs start to burn.  Mile three passes and all I can see is the finish, a tenth of a mile ahead.  A quick look at my watch and I see 19:15. I have nothing left so I don’t sprint, but I keep my pace and cross the line.

I look at my watch as I’m exiting the finishers shoot. 20:17. “That can’t be right. I was set for under 20 minutes.  Where did I go wrong?”  Looking through the information on my watch shows the last mile was a little slow, 6:36. But as I add up the 3 mile splits, 6:18, 6:21, and 6:36, it was 19:15 5K.  20:17 is still a personal best.  I walk over to the bag check area and grab by backpack, which has a change of shoes, and some warm clothes.  I start to trot back up Pennsylvania Avenue to see if I can see Jessica, the whole time trying to figure out where the extra time came in on my finish.  I’m going over and over the math in my head.  I run out to the 3 mile mark and wait to see Jessica.  A short time later I get a call from Jessica.  She was at the finish line.  “Dang it, I must have missed her.”  We meet up and we start to walk to the car.  And then it dawned on me.  A 5 Kilometer race is 3.1 miles.  And the last tenth of a mile, I wasn’t accounting for.  Major Doh! My math was right for a 3 mile race, just not a 3.1 mile race.   Well there ya go.

Next up…Brandon takes on the Annapolis Half Marathon…this Saturday

About mileoneandcounting

I'm a young professional living in the Washington, DC area. Since moving here in 2007 I have honed a passion for running and fitness. Growing up I played soccer and softball (and tested track & field for one year). After college I ran a few 5K races, but running was really only a means to staying in shape for me. Never in my wildest imagination had I thought I'd ever run a marathon, let alone three. Nor did I think I'd get the running bug after doing so, but I'll admit I'm hooked! Over the years my blog has grown into so much more than a running blog though. Sometimes I have deep thoughts. Other times I'm simply sharing a training story or a review of a product. Here's the place where you'll learn about me through my many adventures--even I enjoy going back to re-read some posts from time to time. I've also been able to hone my love for health and wellness through my business called IDLife which stands for Individually Designed Life. I'd love to help inspire you to live your best life yet so please don't hesitate to reach out to me and may my words resonate with you. See you on the trails...
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