The potential government shutdown had me on the edge of my seat last week. Obviously, I was concerned about the greater implications it would have for our country (though I won’t go into my thoughts/opinions here because this isn’t a political blog and I’m not opening that can of worms). But, I was also concerned because Tim and I were planning to run the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 mile on Sunday, and in the event of a government shutdown, the race – which starts at the historic Mt. Vernon estates and finishes in Old Town Alexandria – would be canceled because most of it is run on the George Washington Parkway, which is operated by the National Park Service, a Federal agency.
Friday night was spent cooking a pasta dinner, sipping wine, and watching CNN for continuous coverage. Observations from the night included: CNN correspondent Dana Bash kind of blinks a lot. And Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) maybe needs to ease up on the tanning salon visits. But that’s neither here nor there. At approximately 10:29 p.m., CNN reported that the two sides had reached an agreement – and that meant that Race Day was on!
Race morning could not have been more perfect. Cloudy and in the low 50s – ideal race weather. I was really impressed with the race organization. We caught buses that took us to the start area, which had music, food, hot drinks, and the thermal space blankets to keep warm. Very nice.
The race itself was fantastic – one of my favorites. The course was beautiful and not too crowded. Most of it ran right along the Potomac. There were some small rolling hills – enough to keep it interesting but not too difficult. But the best part was, I felt like myself again. I kept thinking: “Oh yeah – THIS is what it feels like to have a good race, an enjoyable race.” It was challenging and I worked hard, but I felt strong throughout. And I had fun the entire time. I never found myself thinking – when is this going to be over? It had been a very long time since I felt that way – maybe since last year’s Georgia Half Marathon.
The icing on the cake – I ran below 9-minute miles and was just 23 seconds off my PR at this distance. It made me feel like I am definitely back in the saddle again. Very, very happy.
The only downfall of the day is that we forgot to take any pictures. But, Pacers (race organizer) and Swim Bike Run Photography posted tons of pictures for free download. Very cool of you, Pacers. And you organized one of the best-organized and enjoyable races I’ve ever run. Will definitely be back! Thank you!
So now, I don’t have any races on the schedule until the Peachtree Road Race on July 4 (though I may throw a 5k or 10k in there before that). Which means I can just focus on building my aerobic base. And I am determined to make strength training and swimming more regular occurrences on my training schedule. Will keep you posted on how successful I am there.
Miles run since last post: 28.3 ; total miles for the year: 176.5.
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