It’s a point-to-point course along the Potomac River that includes lots of gentle, rolling hills. While it included more downhills than uphills, it didn’t strike me as a particularly fast course — though maybe that’s just me …
After running roughly 8:20-minute miles at the National Half Marathon in March, I set out today to run tough but(I thought) do-able 8-minute miles on the 10-mile course. Instead, I ran 1:26:10 –8:37-minute miles. My 5-mile split was 42:18, and my 7-mile split (strange place for the race to take a split time, but whatever) was 59:02.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad disappointed. But it’s certainly not a disastrous performance for me, especially considering what a wimp my body is about running in the heat. It was pretty toasty this morning, with highs expected to climb up to 90 degrees by the afternoon, and I get annoyingly light-headed and slow at the slightest rise in temperature. And some running days are just better than other, you know?
One small word of advice based on today: You know how you’ve read that it’s a bad idea to mix up even the smallest parts of your routine on race day? You should take heed. I was so excited about the scallions I bought at the Silver Spring Farmers Market yesterday, I put a ton on my pasta before realizing they really upset my stomach. Also, I tried the super-cute Feetures! socks I got at the Silver Spring Earth Day 5K, which are really comfy for short runs, but are apparently blister-inducing for longer ones.
I still really enjoyed the overall race experience, though I’m not sure I loved it enough to run the race again. I did get a sweet technical T-shirt (it doesn’t take much to make me happy). Plus, my IT band and ankle got some post-race attention from Dr. Paul Glodzik of the Maryland Sports Injury Center, a chiropractor who specializes in sports injuries.