Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.
I ran for five days after finishing the 2017 New York City Marathon so I could break my previous running streak. Then, I took a few days off before I started training for the 2018 San Diego 50 Miler this week. This run is a bit of a tradition for me. It would be my 12th consecutive running of the Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler.
- 5 Miler and Course PR: 33:47 (6:46 pace) at the 2015 Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler.
- Most Recent 5 Miler: 36:18 (7:16 pace) at the 2016 Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler.
Achievable: Sub-37:00 (7:24 pace). If I were racing it, I think I could run (7:20 pace).
Likely: Sub-40:00 (8:00 pace). I wasn’t racing it, so I thought 8:00 pace would be comfortable.
Strategy: Based on Tuesday’s workout, don’t pull a quadricep muscle.
The race is in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. It starts next to George Washington Middle School on Mount Vernon Avenue. It goes north for almost a mile and then heads south on Commonwealth Avenue. After a couple of loops through neighborhood streets, the course goes back up Commonwealth and down Mount Vernon. The course is completely flat with a water stop at mile 3. There are spots of fairly enthusiastic crowd support.
I woke up at 6am and embarked on a leisurely morning drinking coffee and then suddenly realized… It was 7:30! I got ready for the race in about 15 minutes and was out the door before 8am. I got to the race site – the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia – in about 20 minutes. I parked outside of the race zone and walked a quarter-mile to the middle school. Last year, race-day registration was slow so I pre-registered this year. I got my bib in 10 minutes and waited in the gym until it was 10 minutes to race start. I had my headphones on and was completely tuned out. If there were announcements or a playing of the National Anthem, I didn’t hear it. At 9am, the race was off!
Even thought the race start was late in the morning, it was a cold 35 degrees at 9am! The sun was shining, though, so it felt warmer than the conditions would suggest.
I thought I was running pretty fast up Mount Vernon Avenue but runners were streaming by me. I would have guessed high 6:00 pace but when I looked at my Garmin, it only showed 7:15! “This is not going to be fun,” I thought. The course made a left onto Uhle Street before taking another left onto Commonwealth Avenue.
I hit my stride running to the music and was actually enjoying the run. The field wasn’t very crowded, either. We took a right onto Chapman Street and passed the 2 mile marker.
On Russell road, I started feeling a little tired. After a block the course turned right on Linden Street and went slightly downhill. I ran next to a runner with a stroller and passed him. I sped up on the short left turn onto a block of Mount Vernon Avenue and the left onto Maple Street. I expected the next mile marker but didn’t see it.
The course turned right onto Commonwealth again. There was a water stop but I ran through it. Some boys ahead of me threw water on one another. I tucked behind a guy running shirtless. “There’s always one,” I thought. The crowds were thickest in this section. After passing the shops on Monroe Avenue, I started to slow down a little.
I felt like I was ready to find another gear after the course turned right onto Oxford Street. I hit 4 mile mark and was surprised to see I hadn’t slowed down. After a block, the course turned onto Mount Vernon Avenue. “The home stretch!”, I thought. I ran to the far left side of the road and just cruised.
Back at the school, the course turned left into a driveway to the finish. I kept a consistent pace all the way to the end.
Splits (by course): 7:27, 7:29, 14:56 (or 7:28 pace), 7:29.
I went inside the gym and grabbed a banana and granola bar even though I wasn’t very hungry. I walked to my car and finally stopped to appreciate what a beautiful day it was.
My time was 37:25 (7:29 pace). [Log Details]. I was 339th finisher overall, 79th woman, 14th female master, and 11th in my age group.
On the elite side, there were some crazy fast times. The winner ran a scorching 23:48 (4:46 pace)! The fastest woman turned in a 26:52 (5:23 pace)!
The race was a good tempo run. This weekend, I’ll do my first back-to-back “long” runs since I started training for the San Diego 50 Miler.
This was my 12th consecutive running of the Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler, having decided years ago that I didn’t want to travel for Thanksgiving. I finished in 37:25 (7:29 pace). It was my first week training for the San Diego 50 Miler, so I decided to treat the race as a workout. I ran a hard interval workout two days before and had a big weekend ahead. I ran pretty even splits even though I felt as though I was fading at the end.