I ran Dawg Dash yesterday, which is an annual 5k/10k run that starts and finishes at Husky Stadium. This race is a bit nostalgic for me because it was my very first organized race. I first ran the 5k in 2006 after not exercising all summer, indulging in lots of bad food and gaining 20 pounds. I was huffing and puffing and totally gassed within five minutes. I still distinctly remember that run; I was totally miserable. But I finished (which is all that mattered to me at the time) in 33 minutes, which is a 10:38 min/mile (slower than my marathon pace). It was a turning point, though. While I didn’t lose any weight senior year, I started running and exercising on a pretty regular basis. I also went on to run a few more 5ks and eventually a half marathon at the end of senior year.
This is the first time I’ve run Dawg Dash since that one epic run, and it was thankfully much better.
Similar to the run five years ago, I was huffing and puffing for most of the run. I’m not a fan of 5ks because the distance is so short that there’s no time to get in a groove. The whole race feels like the last few miles of a marathon – awkward and painful. Due to a crowded start, my first mile was slow (9:20 min/mile), but I was able to pick up the pace and finish in 26:41.
I haven’t run many 5ks since I started regularly running about a year ago, so this is actually a PR. I know I can do better though. My goal for this off season is to work on my speed, and this 5k has definitely motivated me to push myself on my speed workouts. We’re planning to run the Greenlake Gobble the weekend before Thanksgiving and the Seattle Half, and my goal is to finish under 25 minutes (8:03 min/miles).