First 10K in Over a Decade

I realized this morning that I haven’t run six miles without stopping in over a decade.
Not just six miles nonstop in a race… six miles nonstop at all.

The fifth overall race of the 30@30 campaign was a surprising success.
The South Lakes 10K – at the former high school of running legend Alan Webb – was another awesome Potomac River Running event. It is so nice to show up to an event that is so expertly coordinated and still feels friendly and low-key.

Four goals heading into the event:
1) Don’t get injured. ()
2) Try to keep an even pace – of about 8:30-8:40/mile. (X)
3) Try to negative split the second 5K. ()
4) Don’t vomit afterwards. ()

Yuge success!

I started off with what felt like an 8:45 pace – only to discover one mile in that I had run just over 8/mile pace. Surprised and feeling great, I decided to keep at it and got progressively faster every mile. I wound up negative-splitting every mile, despite the rolling hills, and finished with an average pace of 7:45/mile for a total time of 48:16.

Check out the splits here:
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So I clearly still have no concept of how fast I’m moving, especially in a race setting. Needs work but I’ll take it!

This was also the first race that I ran with music, bumping The Hood Internet – Mixtape Volume 7, with some new bluetooth headphones.
Racing with tunes was great and the new headphones – much less expensive than my previous pair which recently died – were great. Under $40 – highly recommend.

It was also interesting how much I enjoyed running on a completely unknown course. Without knowing what to expect around each bend, I just focused on getting to the next turn and didn’t have a chance to overthink my pacing or tactics. It was liberating.

I finished 56th out of 361 overall (43rd/men & 6th in age group) and felt great.

My dad was there to cheer me on and snap a photo:
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Now it’s time for an ice bath/sneaking into the hot tub at the Westin down the street. Next race up is a Labor Day 5K.


Double-Double Complete

Encouraging race today!

Another double-race-weekend was capped by today’s Leesburg 5K, the fourth race overall and the first campaign race put on by 30@30’s top sponsor, Potomac River Running. The large event was expertly managed and organized.

I had two aggressive goals entering the race:
1) Don’t get injured. ()
2) Run the fastest race of the campaign to date. ()

I was 2/2! This despite my left calf experiencing some soreness around mile one that stuck around through the race but luckily didn’t get worse. The course had its share of slow ups-and-downs, making it by far the hilliest of the four races run so far, but never too challenging.

I was pleased with my time of just over 22 minutes but still have absolutely no idea how to tactically pace any race. The first mile felt like it could have taken anywhere between 6:45 and 8:15. I had no idea.

In reality, I averaged just over 7min/mile… though my first two miles were about 7:15 and the last one about 6:35. The negative split was very encouraging, albeit inefficient. Most encouraging was my recovery time; while exhausted at the finish line, I felt much better after just a minute or two.

I also finished 2nd in my age group (30th overall/23rd overall men), which got me this great cowbell medal and a gift certificate to Potomac River Running, which I am excited to use to pick up some racing equipment. I have enjoyed munching on some pre-race sugar/caffeine chewables and may pick up another batch.

Next week is the first 10K of the campaign – another PRR event out in Reston – join me if you’re in the DC area!

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Stalin Island

This morning’s 5K was another great run put on by the terrific ParkRun USA group on Roosevelt Island. The trails and boardwalk over the marsh (pronounced: maaaahhsh) weren’t too muddy and the course is almost entirely flat. Racing conditions were pretty great as about 95% of the course is shaded by trees and the humidity was not too bad for a 9am start.

I had three major goals going into the race:
1) Don’t get injured. ()
2) Keep a slow pace with even splits (+/- 5secs per mile). (X)
3) Don’t lose to anyone running in basketball shorts. ()

I was 2/3 – I was certainly slow, averaging about 8:15/mile, but my splits were very uneven. My racing instincts kicked in when some dude in basketball shorts decided to use me as a pacer at the halfway mark and I sped up. Poor discipline.

Jessie joined me once again and took pity on me by jogging the first half mile alongside me before speeding ahead and cruising to become the race’s top female finisher.

We then posed near the statue of Teddy-Impersonating-Stalin and paid homage to a picture taken years ago – our first picture ever taken together.

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Our first picture together years ago:

We will definitely be doing this race again. Next race: less than 24 hours!

1/15th Done!

Another 5K race in Georgetown made for second race of the the 30@30 Campaign and second of the weekend. Jessie and Russell came to cheer me on and one of them also peed everywhere.

I had five goals going into this race:
1) Don’t get injured.
2) Feel tired at the end.
3) Negative-split the second half of the race.
4) Run slightly faster than yesterday.
5) Don’t lose to anyone who isn’t legally old enough to get a driver’s permit.

The first four were a success (number five still TBD)!
UPDATE: Got smoked by some 13 year old kid. Of course.

The 8ft. wide out-and-back running path was ridden with so many puddles that I wound up running an extra 0.15 miles skirting around water hazards/doing my best Courtney Frerichs impression to stay as mud-free as possible.

Despite the unimpressive time (averaging around 7:45/mile), the race felt pretty good and I got a medal just for finishing that made me feel more special than I am.

The race also proved that the weekend-double is doable with extensive Saturday afternoon stretching and ibuprofen. Now, Russell and I are going to have a napping contest.

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…And We’re Off!

The first race of the 30@30 campaign is in the books!

We kicked things off with a 5K at Fletcher’s Cove in Georgetown run by the terrific ParkRun USA group. The small race happens every Saturday morning and is put on entirely by volunteers.

Despite battling injuries, my lovely fiancé, Jessie MacLeod, joined me for this opening run and paced me through the race at about 8min/mile. I did my best Emma Coburn impression as we dodged puddles and jumped over mud.

My legs hurt and apparently I sweat more than Patrick Ewing.