I still haven't managed to beat my best practice time from before the race last month - let alone my actual race time - but this is the first time I've ever run 5K without walking any of it. I've never really even come close to that before; I've never gotten beyond the halfway point without slowing to a walk, and on the very few occasions when I've run all the way to the halfway point, I always did a considerable amount of walking during the second half of the route. I'm not sure what was different today. I didn't actually feel very good at all when I first started out. I just kept going, and found that I'd gotten into a groove where my feet just kept moving forward and for some reason, I wasn't running out of oxygen or developing a terrible, burning exhaustion in my calf muscles, and somehow I managed to just stay in that groove the whole way through. My only (partial) explanation for any of this is that I went out significantly later than usual, so there were very few people outside, and when I see people I often feel a need to push myself to run faster - usually not so much to show off as because they're scary people and I want to avoid remaining in their vicinity any longer than absolutely necessary! - so this time, for once, I was able to maintain a perfectly steady pace the whole way.
It's nice not to be leered at or catcalled. My main interaction with a human being on my run tonight was with an old lady who was outside reading in a rocking chair on her porch and smiled at me as I went by. I'm okay with being smiled at. I'm pretty sure I very much deserved to be smiled at, considering that I was clad from head to toe tonight in fluorescent yellow, including of course a fluorescent yellow skirt. I had serious visual impact tonight, and not of the invitation-to-leer-at-me variety but rather of the you-might-want-to-shield-your-eyes-from-m
Edit, two days later: . . . And now I finally beat my best practice time!
(Also, I received an ad recently for high-visibility running clothes, with the title "Be seen . . . but not in fluorescent green!" The clothes they were selling were reflective, but they were nearly all black or grey. These colors do not work for me. I'm one of the rare few people who look good in fluorescent green and fluorescent yellow, but the price I pay for this is that black and grey - colors that apparently nearly everyone else looks good in, since the "little black dress" is so nearly universally regarded as a wardrobe staple - make me look so pale and colorless as to appear undead. If someone could please declare the "little fluorescent yellow dress" to be the new essential wardrobe staple, I would really appreciate it.)