Today was a long, but fulfilling day. I started the day at an ungodly hour *sigh*, but I showed up to report for volunteer duty before the race. It was kinda fun to just be there to greet other runners and direct them towards the shuttle buses and answer questions. One thing I realized, when you’re headed to a race, runners have the serious game face on, lol. More oft than not, folks just went on about their business with minimal interaction. I guess runners are more cordial when we’re out running…than the wee hours of the morning as we’re shuffling towards a race in the cold and rain. 🙂
Once I made it to the race there were a ton of folks there, everyone kinda doing their own thing in preparation for the race ahead. I was very excited about running this race; I wanted to run the 5k last year, but it sold out so quickly…and here I was about to kick out the 10 Mile! The race itself takes place in VA from the Mt Vernon Estates into Old Town Alexandria. What I loved most about the course was that it ran parallel to my favorite trail. Riding down to the Estates and even making my way back up running towards the finish line, I was able to pinpoint how far along I was by the various visual markers I noted along the trail itself.
I went into the run wanting to have fun and not worry about time or pace, just to take it in. Just me, the road, and the trees…*sigh* I didn’t even bother to turn my GPS on! Just went out running for the love of it and I had a grin on my face for most of the race. The course had a lot more hills and inclines than the actual trail, but I powered through it and made sure to take little walk breaks through the water stations and things like that when necessary. It had been a minute since my last long run…maybe 2 – 3 weeks, so I was worried that I might feel a lil rusty when I got out there. Turns out…I was…just a lil bit, lol. Those first 3 miles were just tough, mile 5 I hit a nice lil groove which kinda waned between mile 6-7, and by the time I got to mile 8? Well I was just looking for the finish line at that point, lol. But I was ok with that. I used other runners as pacers and internal goals which pushed me a lil catch up to them, not necessarily to pass them (though I did), but just to keep myself from slacking off too much. My leg began to feel a lil tight along the way, and by the time it was all over even my knee felt as though it was a lil bit aflame. No worries though, I made it home to soak, stretch, use the foam roller, and throw on my compression tights all to make sure that I’m recovering well.
Pacers, the organizers of the race, really did a great job from beginning to end. The shuttles for the runners to and from the start lines, the ‘space blankets’ (I don’t know their actual name) to keep us warm, the post race goodies…I will say I’ve been thoroughly impressed with their consistent dedication and effort in putting on a great race for runners. You can really tell they’re a group of runners that love putting on events for other runners, which makes me even more proud to be a Pacer’s Ambassador!
All in all, this was an awesome day and an awesome race. Now that I’ve run it, I can see why it was dubbed one of the prettiest races in this area – it was downright gorgeous! Dare I say…this is quite possibly my favorite run thus far and I plan on making this one a regular, looking forward to running it again next year! 🙂
See below for my stats/times from today’s race.
Next up? Stop the Silence 5k next weekend! 🙂