Race Recap: Crystal Run 5k Friday

I started my weekend off right this time with a 5k! There’s this really great race series in Crystal City, VA called Crystal Run 5k Fridays. It happens to be RIGHT outside my apartment, and there is a 5k every Friday night for the entire month of April that you can run for $20. It’s chip timing so you can an official time and be done with your race by 7pm, plus there’s an after party which includes a free drink.

Unfortunately the weather was TERRIBLE last night. It had been raining all day and was pretty chilly, so I was going back and forth about whether or not I even wanted to run the race. Fortunately I had a few friends signed up to run with me so that helped keep me motivated to run, plus I hate wasting money and had already paid the $20. I was actually pretty excited to run a 5k because the last time I ran one (before last night) was in July 2010, so almost a year! It’s a fun distance because 3.1 miles really is more like a regular workout for me, and doesn’t leave you needing time for recovery like a half marathon or longer race can.

I only got a few pictures because it was raining so bad, but here’s my coworker/friend Jackie, her husband Ryan, and me seeking shelter from the rain under a tent before the race started.


I was actually quite surprised at the turnout despite the gross weather and the fact that it was a Friday night. I think there was close to 750 runners, which is small but all things considered I was still impressed.

We stayed under the tent for pretty much as long as possible, but then it was time to go. I didn’t get a picture with my friend Jillian, but we ended up running together almost the whole time which was really nice. It was her first race since high school so it was fun to be a part of it with her!

Once the race started, it was SO crowded at the beginning and it was close to impossible to go that fast without weaving through the crowds and tripping over people. I had no idea how fast I was going at all, and had accidentally set my Garmin to bike instead of run (great job, Beth) so it was telling me my miles per hour instead of my pace. Once the race started it was too late to fix it because I really wanted to try to run as quickly as I could, so I just dealt with it and hoped for the best.

I was kind of shocked to hear the beep of the first mile because it felt like we had just started and went by so fast! The second mile was pretty uneventful, and then during the third mile it really started to rain so I tried to pick up the pace so I could finish the race and get inside! 3.1 miles feels like a breeze when you’ve just done two back to back 10 mile and 13.1 mile races! Here was the final breakdown according to my Garmin:

  • Mile 1: 8:42
  • Mile 2: 8:24
  • Mile 3: 8:45
  • Last .26: 2:00 (7:47!!!!)
  • Total: 3.26 miles – 27:51

My official race time was 27:48 which is an 8:57 pace and another PR!!

I don’t think I’ve ever averaged under a 9 minute pace before for any distance, race or not, and was shocked to see those mile paces as I was running. I was SO excited because that also meant it was my third PR in less than two weeks!!!

One thing that’s semi frustrating is that I ran an extra .16 miles. While that is not THAT much, when we’re talking about 3.1 miles it kind of is. I was frustrated to have run an extra .20 at my half marathon – which is 13.1 miles, so to have run almost that same amount extra in a course 10 miles shorter was disappointing. Luckily I’m running the same race again next Friday so I’m going to try to work the course better and hopefully run closer to 3.1 miles.

Besides that very minor disappointment, I finished the race feeling like a million bucks. I even walked back past the runners to find my friend Jackie and ran the last little stretch next to her, crossing the finish line for a second time.

Afterwards, we headed to this little Mexican joint to quickly undo all the hard work with Mexican food and margaritas.

It was so fun to eat, drink, and chat after running a 5k because it was totally (mostly) guilt free. Side note: This place is SO cheap and has happy hour until 8pm, 6 days a week! For the four of us with one drink each and three appetizers to split, our bill was only $23! Insane, right?

Yay for PRs!!

Have you ever run or worked out in the rain before? Do you like it or not so much?

24 Comments on Race Recap: Crystal Run 5k Friday

  1. happywhennothungry
    April 9, 2011 at 9:21 am (6 years ago)

    Congrats AGAIN Beth!!! You’re on a roll!!! Kudos to Jackie too!!!!

    Reply
  2. Ashleigh
    April 9, 2011 at 10:46 am (6 years ago)

    Damn girl you are on fire! congrats! Margaritas after a 5k sounds perfect

    Reply
  3. Monica
    April 9, 2011 at 11:27 am (6 years ago)

    What a fun idea for a Friday night! I feel like that would make it really easy to find new friends with similar interests. I love running and think it would be fun to do a race on Friday night as opposed to the usual Saturday or Sunday morning.

    Those discounts are crazy! And congrats on your crazy running speed! You are quick quick quick!

    I do love running in the rain, I find it so relaxing.

    Reply
  4. Jennifer
    April 9, 2011 at 11:37 am (6 years ago)

    You really are on fire, girl!! Congrats!

    Reply
  5. Kristin
    April 9, 2011 at 11:48 am (6 years ago)

    Congrats on the PR despite difficult conditions! I live in Washington state so I run in the rain a lot. It’s hard to go out there but it’s really not so bad once I start. Last year at the Portland Half, though, it POURED the whole time and that was not fun. My soaking wet clothes and shoes probably added a good five pounds which I am sure slowed me down! 🙂

    Reply
  6. Kathy @ newlywedindc
    April 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm (6 years ago)

    Congrats on the PR! I live in DC and thinking about doing one of those Friday 5Ks, but I’m not sure how early I could leave work. How early do people get there? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Beth
      April 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks Kathy! =) The race starts at 6:30p and you only have to get there a few minutes before the start – I think if you get there by 6:15 or 6:20 you should be fine. It’s super close to the Crystal City metro so its pretty easy to get to!

      Reply
      • Kathy @ newlywedindc
        April 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm (6 years ago)

        Ok, thanks for the info Beth! I guess I would change into race clothes at work, metro there, and do bag check for my clothes/work stuff…might be tight but I’ll see if there’s an upcoming Friday when I can make it happen!

        Reply
  7. Victoria (District Chocoholic)
    April 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm (6 years ago)

    Awesome on the PR – that is a nice swift pace!

    Being a swimmer, I worked out in the rain all the time. And the hail…and once the snow. Yep.

    Reply
  8. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas
    April 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm (6 years ago)

    Awesome PR Beth! The weather was really sucktastic last night!
    I am also having problems with running only 3.1 miles. Last week I ran 3.24, so I feel your pain. I got it down to 3.19 last night – but I blame part of that on dodging puddles on that stretch of road leading up to the first mile. And the people dodging. We should start closer to the front and let the crazy 5 minute milers run around us 😉

    Reply
  9. Rachel
    April 9, 2011 at 6:51 pm (6 years ago)

    Congrats on your PR!! It’s too funny that you went out for Mexican food last night – so did I! After your post the other day, I was dying for a margarita and fajitas! Haha…

    Reply
    • Beth
      April 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm (6 years ago)

      I could literally eat Mexican every day and die happy.. =)

      Reply
  10. kristisn
    April 10, 2011 at 2:15 am (6 years ago)

    That sounds like fun… a run and then a drink! That would definitely be motivations for me 🙂

    Reply
  11. Holly @ The Runny Egg
    April 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm (6 years ago)

    Great job Beth!!!! You are just getting faster and faster!

    Last year I ran a 1/2 marathon in the pouring rain and it was awful — my shoes felt so heavy! Thankfully at the end of the race they had things like hot broth along with the regular post-race food, so that helped to warm me up afterward.

    Reply
  12. Kalli
    April 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm (6 years ago)

    holy moly you are doing so well. that is a stellar race time 🙂 good for you. yes i like to run in the rain.

    Reply
  13. Amy
    April 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm (6 years ago)

    You, quite plainly, rock. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Amanda
    April 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m thinking about doing my first 5k at the Crystal City 5k Fridays at the end of April- I’m a beginner runner and have a long ways to go, but this is great motivation to push myself to improve my endurance!

    That mexican food sounds great- what is the name of that restaurant?

    Reply
  15. Cassie
    April 11, 2011 at 6:14 am (6 years ago)

    What place is that? I live not too far from Crystal City and lurve a margarita!

    Reply
    • Beth
      April 11, 2011 at 8:33 am (6 years ago)

      It’s called San Antonio Bar & Grill in the Crystal City Shops at 1750 – near the BBQ place. SO good!! Happy hour Monday – Friday 4pm – 8pm!

      Reply

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