Who Let The Dogs Out?

One of the best ways to measure improvement in speed is to run the same race again and again and again and again.  The Pacer’s Lost Dog 5K Series helped me do exactly just that this August.  race bib Lost DogI blogged about this race last year and was very excited that I would be able to make all four races this year–every Friday at 6:30 pm in Arlington, VA. Run Washington Truck

Here are the highlights:

Week One:  Our group that ran last year was reunited!  lost dog 5K group shot 2014My friends Nicole and Omar, Nancy and Eric, and Nicole all were there and were pumped to have some good and funLost Dog 5K race 1 2014 races, play with cute puppies, and complete the evening with dinner and drinks at the Stray Cats Café. This week I decided to enjoy the race and not go for speed.

FINISH TIME: 25:48 (8:18 pace, 6th place out of 61 runners in age group, 53rd place out of 228 runners)

Lost Dog 5K 3Week Two: My parents were in town this weekend and came out to cheer us on!  It was fun to have them meet some of my run buds (and they took some great pictures).  Lost Dog 5K 19Well the stars must have been aligned that night and I ran my fastest 5K time ever (topping my best 5K from last year’s Sallyann with puppy Lost Dog 5Kseries).  Sallyann Lost Dog 5K crossing finish lineI felt strong on the run and for the first time ever in a race I won a prize!  I received the Top Finisher award for my age group (30-39 year old women).  Lost Dog 5K 24Luckily the overall female finisher (each week she won no less) was in my age group, but since prizes went one deep I got to claim the Top Finisher award. Sallyann Lost Dog 5K win It was pretty funny when my name was called because my friends and family let out a huge cheer. I felt like quite the celebrity!  Sallyann post-Lost Dog

FINISH TIME: 22:14 (7:19 pace, 2nd place out of 52 runners in age group, 16th place out of 180 runners overall)

Week Three:  Thoughts were going through my head before this race–Do I try to reclaim victory or just run?Lost Dog 5K Race 3 2014  I knew that my triathlon was on Sunday (more to come soon on that race) so part of me felt like I should reserve some speed for that morning.  But my competitive spirit got the better of me (and my friends literally pushed me to the front of the start line).  So I guess I should try to best myself.  Soon enough we were off.  Lost Dog 34For most of the race I stayed close to one woman and before the halfway point I passed her on the trail.  As we made the loop back I saw my friends and they yelled to keep up the good work. I was in third place so far for the females.  I was going fast, probably too fast for my own good, and the woman I passed earlier caught me on the last quarter-mile.  The finish line was in sight, but I didn’t have the stamina to kick it into high gear so I had to settle for fourth overall woman.  As soon as I crossed the finish and grabbed a bottle of water I had to sit down for a minute or two.  Lost Dog 5K race 3 2014 NicoleWhew I don’t think I had ever run that fast in my life!  Finisher towlI went to check my finish time and I beat my time from the week before!  New PR and despite getting passed at the end I still won my age group!  Two in a row–I couldn’t believe it!

FINISH TIME: 22:18 (7:11 pace, 2nd place out of 58 runners in age group, 20th place out of 175 runners overall)

Week Four: Lost Dog 33 It’s the last race!  The hottest evening of all the races and I could tell that none of us were much in the mood for running!  I still managed to creep up to the front of the start line.  Someone was snapping pictures of all the “elites” in front of me.  Lost Dog 5K 17I quote elites because this race is really more like a community run and those who win, while incredibly fast, would most likely not win a race of much larger proportion.  Maybe I’m just speaking for myself–haha—I would NOT win a race of much larger proportion!  lost Dog 5K 32Smaller races give you a chance to shine and in my mind the overall top finishers were very much elite runners. So photos were being snapped and I felt a bit like an imposter standing there in their shadows.  Lost Dog 5K 33Nonetheless, it was time to run a race!  The horn was blown and we were off!  I started off strong and was very much toward the front of the pack, but at about the halfway point I knew I wasn’t going to get a prize this week (sad face).  Too many women were passing me and a lot of them looked like they were in my age group!  So I decided it was time to just finish the race strong and enjoy this last end of summer run, sweaty and happy!

FINISH TIME: 23:25 (7:32 pace, 4th place out of 35 runners in age group, 19th place out of 144 runners overall)

Lost Dog 5K 10Lost Dog 5K 9Like I said at the beginning the only way to truly know how your speed is improving is to measure yourself over the same distance, and a race like this is a great way to see how far you’ve come and to challenge yourself week after week!  Since I ran all four races here are my overall stats:

TOTAL FINISH TIME LOST DOG 2014: 1:34:13 (10th place out of 58 runners overall)

Lost Dog 28Winning races is fun and beating your personal record is always a pretty awesome feeling (especially as we get older!).  But I’ve also realized that those feelings are only fleeting and that keeping humble is important, otherwise we are never going to enjoy the journey it took to get there.  I’ll leave my readers with these words to live by:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

-Philippians 2:3 NIV

Lost Dog 5K 35

Photo credits for most photos on this post go to my stepdad, Frank Hoerst!

See ya’ll next year!  Maybe, just maybe, next year I’ll have a pup to pull me along!

Lost Dog 5K 20Lost dog 5K 1 Lost Dog 5K 16Lost Dog 32Lost Dog 30Lost Dog 5K 11Lost Dog 5K 27 Lost Dog 5K 28Lost Dog 5K 5

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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One Response to Who Let The Dogs Out?

  1. Pingback: Get Your Stache On | mileoneandcounting

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