The alternate title of this post should be: "I had fun, but, geez, when did I get so bad at this?"
I know I shouldn't whine, but this race showed me that I'm in worse running shape than I was during marathon training. My body, however, has enjoyed eating like I'm training for a marathon...a little too much, if you know what I mean.
I ran this back in 2011, and the course has changed quite a bit since then. First, the loop around RFK turned into a loop around the Anacostia River Walk Trail. Frankly, it was not my favorite part of the course. There's something about trying to squeeze hundreds of runners on a very narrow trail that doesn't seem to work as well as you might think. In a smaller race, sure, using the trail would be fine. I think it even worked well during the marathon because the portion used was much wider (and, by then, the pack at thinned so much that it didn't matter). The second change was that runners no longer run down (and then up) Independence Avenue. It ranks pretty low of my list of favorite hills in DC - yes, I do have favorites - but it's a very pretty run up the House side of Capitol Hill before looping back toward the finish. Instead, we ran the narrow-ish streets around the Capitol and the Supreme Court before doing an out and back on East Capitol, which is my second favorite street in DC.
I ran the first two miles probably faster than I should, and then had to convince myself to keep moving during the more boring parts of the course. By Mile 5, I just wanted to be done but mustered enough energy for a strong finish. My watch clocked 6.4 miles in 57:55 -- which is not my fastest but a good reminder of what happens when I train and treat my body like it's not a vacuum for cookies. (Although they're truly delicious cookies that are bigger than your head, cookies are still a sometimes food.)
These days, I'm still packing up my apartment and getting ready for my cross-town move. Thinking about all the things that one has to do before a move, I've added remap loops of various distances. If I can convince my things to getting into boxes on their own, I'll be okay.