Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Dash! PRs, bags and burgers

The Valentine's Day Dash 5K is in the books! Aaron and I both scored PRs:

Aaron — 21:26 (6:55 pace)
Me — 26:25 (8:32 pace)

I'm proud of my time — sub-27:00, baby! — but holy crap, Aaron runs fast. He killed this race!

We both felt nervous beforehand because we both wanted to improve our PRs. The course around Green Lake is almost entirely flat, so we knew we could do well if we ran smart. Luckily, my nervousness died as soon as we headed to Green Lake. The weather was great — cool, but not cold, and partly cloudy, but not raining — so I was psyched that we wouldn't be running in the rain like I thought.

I always make Aaron drive to races because his classic Mini can squeeze into parking spaces that most cars can't fit into. (I may look like I'm driving here, but the steering wheel is on the right side of his car.)

Once we got to the starting area, Aaron lined up with the super-fast people in the 6:00-7:00 pace group, and I hung out with my 8:00-9:00 homies. I usually start farther back, which is why I tend to have trouble passing slower people, but this time I actually started where I belonged and had a great beginning to the race.

I felt awesome for the first mile! I took it easy at about a 9:15 pace and just enjoyed running. I stayed to the inside of the course (which makes for a shorter run) and didn't weave around people (which wastes energy). I kept looking for the one-mile marker but never saw it, then realized I must have missed it after seeing that more than 10 minutes had gone by on my watch. The two-mile marker came up before I knew it, and I looked down at my watch and realized I was on track to beat my goal!

My stomach started to hurt around this point since I was going a bit faster (trying to stay under 9:00 pace). I really didn't want to take any walking breaks, but I did once I convinced myself that I could walk briefly and still beat my goal time. I walked two or three times to try to relieve my crampy stomach. Finally, I realized the end was so near and just poured on the gas.

I fully sprinted the last 0.1 mile and seemed to be the only person doing that, so I had to weave through other runners. I heard Aaron yell encouragement to me and saw a guy from my work watching for someone at the finish line (hi, Jason!). I finished strong, then promptly found a curb to sit on. The curb of life!

Aaron brought me a bottle of water and all was well. We then pillaged the food booths big time.

And then headed to South Lake Union to do some shopping at Aaron's favorite store ever.

(The parking lot across the street is surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. Creepy?)

We each bought this camera bag and perused all the super-nice, expensive lenses. Maybe someday I'll be back for an upgrade?

Next, it was time to satisfy The Hunger with the best burger in Seattle! Don't even talk to me about Red Mill, people — Lunchbox Laboratory is where it's at. They even have a swanky new location in South Lake Union, too!
New location, same great taste. We split a regular Kobe-beef cheeseburger and tots because neither of us was feeling all that ravenous after the race, and Lunchbox Lab does BIG burgers.

Delish! This bun is the greatest thing you've even tasted. Lunchbox Lab gets its buns fresh from a bakery every morning, and they're toasty and buttery and nom nom nom. Seriously.

The last of my favorite race-day moments is very quickly approaching: Giving in to The Tireds. After a very fun first half of the day, it's definitely time for an amazing nap!


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