The last few weeks, I decided to try an unorthodox experiment: what would happen if my moderately conditioned self decided to run a few 8 and 10Ks in successive weeks?
Here’s what I learned:
- When I wake up not excited to race, the race is hard.
- Right now, I’m physically conditioned to run not much more than 5 miles.
- Hains Point has not gotten more exciting to run since last fall.
- “Local” DC races are way more competitive than “national” charity races.
Despite waking up Sunday morning from a great night of sleep, I really, really did not feel like jumping out of bed and running a 10K. I had registered for the Veterans Day because I wanted to compare my speed from the MCM 10K two weeks earlier and see what, if any, impact a flat course and fewer people would have. I’ll cut to the chase – when you haven’t been training, crowds and a slightly flatter course don’t really have an impact.
Here’s what happened: I took too long to find a parking spot, I ran to the course, immediately went on the port-o-potty line, and the race started. I jumped somewhere into a group of racers and crossed the start line 2 minutes after the start.
After about 4 and a half miles, I was ready for the race to be done. It wasn’t as windy or overcast as I had expected, and I was overheating under my run jacket. Mentally, I also was not into it, which was sort of distressing because the only way back to my car was, well, down the race course. Plus, it was a Veterans Day race, which made me feel even more lame about being mentally checked out. Actually, any time you feel like the situation you’re currently in is crummy, just think about what a vet went through during a deployment to a war zone, and you’ll immediately reframe your immediate situation.
So yeah. I cursed my failure to eat a fritatta before the race like I did for my two prior races because obviously that was the difference in mentality between those and this race. And then I trudged on to finish the next couple of miles.
|On track for a negative split…until I wasn’t.
Guess where I checked out.
It wasn’t pretty. I had no kick. The couple I’d been running with since mile 5.5 mile sprinted the last 20 yards, and right before crossing the timing mat, the guy reached back for his partner’s hand so they could cross the line together. It was kinda cute. Next year, I need a cute guy to chase down the race course so I don’t mentally check out…
|Veterans Day 2013 on the Mall.