I had my worst time in the 5K series this past Friday, but that's relative. 21:46 is damn good compared to what I could run in previous weeks. There's one more race to go in the series. While I don't like to run 5Ks all that often, preferring 10 milers and half marathons, I'm going to miss the Crystal City Friday 5Ks. Good camaraderie with fellow runners, an opportunity to get in a great workout, on a night that I don't do very much on anyway because Saturday mornings are usually taking up by long runs? It's a plan! And Old Scratch Amber Lager by Flying Dog is as good as ever. Just thought I'd mention it.
On Friday evening, I was asked to fill in on Saturday as the fourth team member for a costume run at the Run Amuck Festival at Lake Needwood Park in Maryland. Our team was cops and robbers. Lake Needwood has some deceptively steep and gnarly hills, I now know whay the hold cross country championship races there. For Run Amuck, we had to run through an obstacle course and two mud pits. Given that people were falling over the place in the mud, the "race" turned into a walk sort of fast on the trails trip. It was very fun though, I'd love to do more mud runs. They even had a place where you could wash off your shoes and donate them for a cause. I did that. The clothes? Thrown out, I purposely wore stuff that was in such bad shape I'd have to toss out anyway.
Which leads me to Sunday, the GW Parkway Classic. In a nutshell it's a 10 mile race from the Mount Vernon Estate to Old Town Alexandria. After meeting up with many Pacers Fun Runners and various other cool runners, off to the starting line we went. There was talk about getting near the front and getting off to a very fast start because it's a crowded race, and there is a downhill drop at the first. Guess what, I did just that! A 6:20 first mile! Close to the fastest one mile ever for me.
I paid for that at the end of the race. At around mile 5 I started to slow down a lot, zigzaging to find shade, drinking as much water as possible, but generally rueing starting out too fast. On a hot day that saw temps get into the 90s later on, (forecasted "Feels Like" Index was 67 at 8 am, 78 at 10 am - I use that more than the temperature to gauge weather conditions) I had to slow down my pace if I wanted to have a bagel and water at the finish and not IV fluids. I managed to suck it up, keep my focus, and cranked it up a bit on the last mile to finish in 1:16:35, my best 10 mile race ever.
I was very happy to have finished with a PR in this heat. The clock thermometer above a animal hospital a few miles down the street from me read 101 at 3 pm this afternoon, 96 at 4:30. While it wasn't that hot, it was a sudden change from a cool spring, that's for sure. And it's still very hot at 9 pm on Sunday Night. But I fought the heat, occasional shoulder trouble (Ali you're not the only one dealing with shoulder stuff) and earned another PR.
After that I had a great omlet at Caboose Cafe in Del Ray, saw the 100 degree thermometer reading, saw some new lanes on Route 1 near my apartment, and had a good yoga class. I must have been in a good zone during the final pose because I was so relaxed that I had to open my eyes twice to make sure the whole class hadn't taken off after class was over! That might been my favorite moment ever in the 7 1/2 weeks I've been practicing yoga.
Great times. Work week beckons. And the car wash. And more running Tuesday night.