Generally I loathe charity races.
I don’t have any problem with other people
who do them, but I will tend to avoid them because they are filled with
ill-prepared people who are usually running their first race ever.
However, this is one charity race that I run every year
because it’s meaningful to me. I’m not going to get into the gory details as
to why, so I’m just going to say the race is for a cause that I will most
likely support for the rest of my life.
Regardless, I’ve been
a lazy slug for a very very long time and so I was as ill-prepared for this
race as all the other yay-whos running it.
And so when I awoke on this fine May the first in the year of
our Lord two thousand and eleven I knew that this was the perfect day for a new
personal worst (PW) in the five kilometer distance.
I decided to drive downtown and try and find parking against
the recommendation of the race organizers who were pimping the Metro. What the fuck do they know anyway? Clearly nothing, ‘cause I made it from my house (which is 40 miles away)
to a prime parking spot right in front of the Washington Monument on Constitution Avenue (score!) in 37 minutes. (Just as a frame of reference to anyone who
has never driven in DC, when I worked downtown it would take me 1.5-2 hours to
drive the same route unless I left my house at 5AM, in which case it would take
1 hour minimum).
About 45 min before the race I did a 1 mile warm up, which
felt like dog poop. And then I wandered
around until about 20 minutes before the race whereby I found a park bench and
lounged there while some chicky did striders back and forth in front of me. We
caught each other’s eye a couple of times and there was much disdain (on her
part, not mine – I knew I was being a lazy slug).
So the plan was to run really easy and then if I was feeling
it after the race I’d jog around The Mall, so I started towards
the back of the pack.
The weather was perfect (low 50’s and overcast). The only thing that would have made it more
optimal (for me) would have been if it were a few more degrees cooler.
The route itself is a nice one. All DC races generally start out at Freedom
Plaza near the Old Post Office building and head towards the Capitol. Then they’ll loop around somewhere and head
Anyway, to make a long story short, there were no mile
markers, so I had no idea what pace I was running, but it felt easy and
slow. Around the half way point I caught
up to some guy running with his jacket draped over his left arm in a way that
one would if he got warm during a Sunday stroll… though truth be told we weren’t
running much faster than Sunday stroll speed, so maybe it wasn’t as strange as
it seemed at the time.
Well, I wanted to at least beat out
Sunday-stroll-jacket-carrying-guy and we leap frogged for about half a mile, until
I lost track of him (not sure if I finally passed him or vice versa).
According to my watch, I crossed the finish very close to plan (almost exactly) and it was most
definitely a PW (by at least a minute, maybe more…).
But the run felt surprisingly good and I was ready to run
some more, so afterwards I grabbed some water and a popsicle and then went for
another run around The Mall.