The forecast was for cold and rain and I wasn't looking forward to more of that. When the alarm went off and it wasn't raining, I somehow managed to get myself out the door despite not having laid out clothes, my number, or a plan.
Friends had warned me about the jam-packed metro and crowded course. Ugh. I wasn't looking forward to either.
I decided I'd run to the start, for just under 3 extra miles. Then I had to decide: was I racing, or "training through" this one? I figured I'd start off at a decent but conservative clip and see how things went. Admittedly, that is my race strategy about 80% of the time.
It was overcast but mild, near 50 degrees. Great racing weather! My warmup run got me to the start with ten minutes to spare - perfect timing. Even better, my legs felt primed.
|Very happy with my splits! Walking the hill |
was definitely the right call.
I took off at a good pace. The staggered wave start worked really well. There was plenty of room to run at my chosen pace without tripping over people and fending off elbows. I had tapered a bit in the past few days, and I felt strong and steady.
I really enjoyed the course, even the long steep climb from Rock Creek Parkway to Calvert street. I speed-hiked the entire thing like the slacking ultrarunner I am. Everyone around me kept up their running motions as if their lives depended on it.
I passed a lot of those hill runners in the next mile or two.
I felt pretty damn good the entire race. There were a few messages from my always-the-first-to-complain right hip/butt, some tight quad-IT band area sensations, a twinge or two from my 2006 broken sesmoid foot, but they were all relatively mild.
I kept dropping my pace ever so slightly, mindful of not saving too much for the last mile in case it got impossibly crowded like the Army 10 Miler. I felt like I was executing perfectly, and looking at my splits afterward, I am awfully pleased.
The race went almost perfectly for me. It only rained for a few brief minutes just as I finished. The organizers had everything covered and that made for an enjoyable road race -- even for a spoiled trail runner used to getting lost in her thoughts.