Finish time: 24:38
Placing: 291 out of 1129
206 out of 492 (male)
83 out of 186 (male division)
Finish time: 57:42
Placing: 340 out of 772
217 out of 354 (male)
90 out of 136 (male division)
Finish time: 1:22:20
Placing: 135 out of 262
102 out of 153 (male)
44 out of 64 (male division)
I am tired. I ran this double coming off a week with very little sleep and minimal training. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it, even though about half way through the 10K, I was pretty sure I wasn’t even going to finish.
This was mainly a product of poor planning, dehydration and exhaustion. I didn’t really look at the race logistics, I just figured that it was close enough to home that I’d be able to figure it out the morning of. Which was mostly true, except that I did not realize the finish line was about a mile downhill from the start line. Which means, if you’re doing the double, that after you finish the 5K, you have to walk up the hill in approximately 30-40 minutes to get back to the start line for the 10K. And when I finished the 10K, I had to walk back up that hill because that’s where I parked my car, near the start line.
Also, it was a lot warmer than I thought it would be. Not really warmer, but sunnier without much shade. As we ran down Jefferson Davis Highway (and as I type that out, I realize how weird it is that we have a highway that is still named after Jefferson Davis), the sun was relentless. I didn’t bring a hat or sunglasses. Thankfully, I brought a water bottle.
But it was a good race. A fast course with a downhill that you don’t have to make up at the end. I’ll do it again next year, this time with a lot more sleep and a bit more planning. I originally signed up planning to run with Mini–it is stroller friendly. I am very glad that I didn’t do that just because it was a tough race for me. Then again, maybe I would have taken it easier with her, or maybe I would have just gone home after the 5K.
As I mentioned, up until the morning of, I was thinking about skipping the race and sleeping through it. Mini has been going through some sleep regression, and that’s ok but it has kept us up a little last week. I didn’t help matters on Friday and Saturday because I stayed up late on both nights–socializing on Friday and watching football on Saturday. So when I went to bed on Saturday night, I was beat, and that 6am wake up wasn’t very fun.
But it’s all good. There are worse things in the world than having to get up at 6am to run a race for fun. I left at around 7, got to Arlington by 7:20 and went for the packet pickup. Lined up at around 7:45 and waited for the 8am start.
8:13 min/mile; 7:33; 8:00; [0:57]
The race starts at the top of a Wilson Blvd. and you run all the way down it to Jefferson Davis Highway. This makes for a fast run. Next year, I’m going to rest up enough because, though it is a net downhill, I’d like to see how fast I can do it when adequately prepared. I thought about holding back on this race and saving some energy for the 10K, but I decided that, what the hell, let me just try and go a little fast and see how it ends up. I think I paid the price for that on the 10K, but I got a decent time for this race.
Finish time 24 min, 38 sec.
At the end of the 5K, I actually had told myself that I wouldn’t run the 10K, and honestly, if the start and finish were at the same spot, I would’ve just gone home. But that walk up to the start line cooled me down. Like I mentioned, you have to walk back up Wilson Blvd for about a mile to get back to the start line to run the 10K. On the walk back, I chatted with a guy who was doing the double as well. He was also training for the Marine Corps Marathon in a few weeks. I’ve made it my goal to try and talk to someone for some time in every race I participate in. It’s the reason I pay the money–to run but to also get the shared experience to run with others. I didn’t catch his name, but we mainly talked about different races and racing strategies. He clued me in to the Reston 10 miler which happens in the Spring. I’ll put it on my radar for 2018.
I got back to the start line just in time to line up and go again. There wasn’t much down time in between. Which was kind of nice because I didn’t want to wait around.
8:05 min/mile; 7:38; 8:10
Basically, the 10K route is an extension of the 5K. You take Wilson Blvd to Jefferson Davis and go out and back a little further, til about mile 4. So the first few miles of this part were the same as before.
I started off fast, like before, due to the downhill. I felt alright, but knew that I was running on fumes.
9:27; 11:21; 10:30
Right around mile 3, things started getting tough. Very tough. Before this race, I never thought that I’d have to stop and walk during a 10K. I figured that regardless of how tired I was, it was just six miles, and I’d be able to get through it, even at a slow pace because it’s not a terribly long distance. When I started walking at mile 3.5, I wasn’t sure that I’d even finish. The sun was just incredibly crushing once you got to the bottom of Wilson, and but for a few overpass structures that we ran under, there was absolutely no cover from it. I knew that the sun was dehydrating me and also amplifying my exhaustion from the lack of sleep I had. I should have worn a hat because dousing myself with water was not working. Part of me was trying to push through without stopping, but then the smarter part of my brain went off and told myself that I wasn’t doing this to prove anything to anyone, and that if I kept pushing, I’d end up in a terrible situation. The last thing we needed was another medical incident this month.
So I stopped, and walked. I think I walked most of the way from miles 3.5 to 4.5, and started a slow trot from there. I picked it up a little at mile 5 and told myself that I should just try to finish in under an hour.
I felt alright for this segment–no sprint to the end, just an easy trot to finish.
I collected my second medal (you get two medals when you do the double) and a few snacks + water, and sat down to cool off. I was still overheated and overtired. And I wasn’t looking forward to walking back uphill to my car. I looked for metro options, and then thought about Ubering, but I decided to just walk back. I was ok to walk and I didn’t have to be anywhere too soon, other than going home to see Mini and enjoy the wonderful brunch that Jess made for me. It took me about 25 minutes to get to my car. Next year, though, I’m either going to metro or park near the finish line.
The funny thing about this course is that I stopped to walk for a good mile and I still finished the 10K with a pace under 9:30. That’s not an indication of my athletic prowess, but rather that this race is super fast. Next year, I’d like to see how it goes with some planning.
I went home and gave Mini my medal. She enjoyed playing with it, and then when I took it away from her, she cried as if I took away her most prized possession, even though she learned of its very existence only minutes before.