Veteran's Day 10K: race report

So far, my very loose plan of doing lots of easy jogging and not much else this month has been going well.  It's making me happy.  I feel really chill about it, like it's okay to just let loose and not worry right now.  I've done one double run day and taken a few days off completely, and none of it is bothering my OCD (or my body) in the slightest.  Since this was going to be my last weekend in DC, Sarah and I decided late in the week to sign up and run a 10K.  A chance to visit with Hains Point one more time before I left.  I had absolutely zero interest in running hard, and just wanted to spend the morning around runners for (probably) the last time in this city (please pretend you can't see how fat I've gotten since the wheels fell off my training okay thanks).
We parked far enough away to get in a good walk/jog warm-up to the start.  After a few clothing changes and a kiss from Graham, we were off.
I realized in the car that I completely didn't even think about bringing music.  I haven't listened to music while running for a long time now, and I don't miss it, but I thought I might get a little bored and want some stimulation during the race.  However, no music device and no headphones meant no sounds.  And actually, that was just fine.  I think I've gotten to the point where music actually is too distracting for most runs, but I was worried that without my race crutch I wouldn't have fun.  Stupid, yes, but that's fine.
I told the poet before we left for the race that I wanted to run at a comfortable but slightly brisk pace, and estimated that I'd run a 56 (in my head, a 56 was 9:30 pace, whoops).  However, I decided not to wear a watch or Garmin, so I also told him that I might far underestimate how slow I was running and coming in at 1:14, but that there was no chance I would "accidentally" PR because I just didn't want to hurt.  Since I didn't wear a watch and there were no split mats, I'm going to make up mile splits based on how I was feeling.  Please note NONE OF THESE TIMES ARE REAL, it is all CRAP FROM INSIDE MY OWN HEAD.

Mile 1: 10:58
I placed myself much further back in the start corral than I usually do, mostly because I didn't want to get swept out at 8:15 pace and then blow up and be cranky all day.  I started behind a girl wearing loose fleece sweatpants, several layers on top including a wind-blocking jacket, a full scarf, knit ear warmers, gloves, and an iPod armband, no watch.  She seemed like a good person to run with so I decided that I'd stay behind her for a while and not try and dodge around people like a maniac.  The first mile was quite crowded and lots of people were chatting, and it was nice to just bounce along with the stomp-stomp-stomp of running feet.

Mile 2: 10:08
After we went past the mile 1 sign, I took a little mental overview of my effort and decided that I was probably running around 140 HR (long run style).  It seemed reasonable to start chugging a little faster.  I sped up until I felt like I was somewhere near MAF, and figured I would hang out there until the turn-around.

Mile 3: 9:38
After going through the water stop at mile 2 (no, I did not drink any water), we hit a tiny gust of wind heading around the end of the point, but it went away pretty quickly.  The lead men passed us going the opposite direction (rude).  Right before we hit the loop to turn around, a couple of guys came up behind me, laughing at the back of my shirt (puppies shitting rainbows).

Mile 4: 8:52
When I turned to chat with the guys, I saw that they were wearing IMKY finishers hats.  I obviously was wearing my IMCdA hat because I refuse to go out in public without some display of my ironman finish, so we started yammering about our races.  They were running just a hair faster than I was comfortable running while talking - if we hadn't been yapping, it probably would have been perfect, exactly how hard I felt like running.

Mile 5: 8:43
We continued chatting all the way back down Ohio Drive.  I noticed that the people around us were huffing and snorting and working hard, and I felt like a bit of an asshole chattering merrily away about races, but that's life in the fast lane, my friends.  

Mile 6: 8:31
After we went through the water stop on the back side, I felt us speed up just a hair (more rude).  It was nice to have the sun on our backs but I was boiling hot and more than a little horrified by all the fleece-wearing racers around me - I was in shorts and a tee-shirt and wished I was wearing less (the eyeballs of the world are thankful I was not).  Right before we hit the mile 6 mark, I caved and asked one of my new friends what time was on his watch.  "51 and change" he told me, and I VERY VERY MISTAKENLY believed him, said, "fuck," and took off for the finish line to try and get under my 53ish 10K PR.
.2: 0:38 (3:10 pace, obviously this is real)
I charged down Ohio Drive but as soon as I could see the clock, realized that a) those guys had come running up behind me at mile 3 which meant they had started WAY back in the corral and b) there was no possible way I had unknowingly been running sub-8:30 pace since I departed an hour ago.  Complete and total failure to do proper math, as usual.  (I know I'm in the blurry background but CHECK OUT MY GORGEOUS FORM!!) (Sorry, number 1924).
Official time based on the guys with the mats: 55:58, 9:01 pace 

After running less than a quarter-mile all out, I was pretty pleased to have run the first 6 at an easy peppy pace and not been racing.  Sarah and I had a nice chatty jog-walk back to the car, and then did a Superman-quick-change and headed directly to stuffing ourselves with brunch.
There is only one piece of data I will note from this, and then I will go back to being blissfully ignorant about clocks and watches and hearts for the rest of the month.  Last year around this time, I ran a STORM THE CASTLE 10K.  It was impossibly hard and painful and resulted in one of the greatest finishing pictures of all time.  Time?  54:54.
Two years ago, I PRd my 10K with Liz by a ridiculous amount of time, also incredibly painful, also brilliant finishing shot.  Time?  53:18.
I know that a minute is a lot of time in a 10K, but to run only a minute off of last year's time and suffering for only about 30 seconds because I'm bad at math after chattering along for half an hour?  That's okay.  I will take it.  And maybe one day, perhaps soon, I'll be interested in running hard again.  Or maybe not.  (I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on in this picture but had to post it).
How was your weekend?  Did you run moderately for almost an hour like me?


  1. What a perfect way to end your time in DC (sniffle)! And what a confidence-booster to know you can still run a time that compares well to previous ones while chatting and chilling out for most of the race.

  2. The white stuff started falling on Friday and continued through Sunday (off/on). My plans to do stair repeats while the hub did a Turkey Tri went to the land of runny noses, so I opted for at-home core and strength this weekend.

    The snow actually made the Tri a Du and the race organizers were very, very accommodating with the bike leg relay peeps (they could run or swim- their choice) and with the explanation of swim etiquette.

    It's colder today than the weekend, so I think lifting is on today's plan. :-)

  3. Sounds like a fun run to do as your last weekend in DC. I always love making new friends during a race! :)

  4. I love your description of the girl you decided to follow at the start of the race.

    Glad you had fun out there!

  5. That sounds like a lot of fun. And a minute in a 10k isn't that much, you did really well out there! Great choice to enjoy your last weekend in DC.

  6. 1) I love your dying-on-the-way-to-the-finish picture series. 2) I want the shirt #868 is wearing, because obvs I'm reading your blog for fashion tips from total strangers, but I really like that shirt. 3) I ran moderately for almost TWO hours this weekend, boom shakalaka.

  7. LOL glad you had a good time this weekend and your blogs never fail to amuse me. I hate race photos, plain and simple LOL.

  8. Great job, enjoying the race! Also wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award! You can see the format on my blog tomorrow. The rules for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award: Thank the person who nominated you, List 7 things about myself, Nominate 15 bloggers and inform them (I didn't do that many).

    The Kidless Kronicles

  9. Love the finish line photo shots!
    I also love your attitude - better to just run for fun than to hate it! And, look at the results - almost a PR!!!

  10. The finish line photos have improved so much over the years! Nice job all the way around.

  11. I think its so much better to have a cooler finisher shot then to run too fast haha! Love your pics!

  12. Love those old finisher shots. Now that you're all awesome, I guess we'll have to rely on those recycled pics and admire your form and hot biceps in the new shots.

    I got misty thinking how that course is where we rode many bicycle loops ...

  13. I'd say the race was a success!!
    I ran a super slow 5k on Sunday (42 minutes) but it was awesome because I paced a 10 yr old to her first ever 5k!

  14. Sounds like fun! I ran an easy 10 miles with a friend and her pups Saturday morning, but spent Sunday drinking beer, eating delicious, oh so healthy (NOT) stadium food, and watching the Bengals actually win a no running ;)

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  16. Those official race photos are AWESOME. I'm going to bookmark the one with you in the red shirt and come back to it from time to time. :-)

    I'm happy that you're having some fun running. I'm totally off running right now to let my sore heel get totally better. Your post makes me look forward to doing some 5Ks and 10Ks this winter and spring; I haven't done many straight-up running races in the last decade!

    I hope that you're settling in to your new place well! Happy Thanksgiving!


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