The Capitol Slain!
Sunday morning the alarm went off at 0500, and BB and I struggled ourselves from the far preferable state of slumber. Blearily managing coffee and putting together a sack of yogurt and granola for the train ride, we shuffled off to the metro. We arrived at the Washington Monument just in time to wait in line for the porta-potties and then wedge into the corrals for the start of the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon.
We started off at a decent clip. Faster than our normal long-distance training runs. Which is generally the plan for races, right? Go fast? But also because the weather was cool and dry and our long runs have now reached 19 miles. When you run 19 miles at a slow pace, you can generally run 13.1 miles at a bit of a faster pace. We were sitting on good fuel and feeling pretty confident. My foot felt great.
The course was pretty flat, a few small hills but nothing challenging. A gorgeous run out the Tidal Basin and then up to Georgetown and back. As the race went on, we picked up speed. The trip to Iceland really took BB’s fitness to another gear. She’s at a point now where she can pace me at any speed I can go. So unless she’s feeling off for some reason, we run at the pace I set (Except at the beginning of a run, when I would tend to bolt out too fast, and BB holds me back so I don’t run out of gas. It’s a good system.).
I started with a tweaky hip adductor, but it eased as the race went on. So as I felt better and better, I picked up the pace and BB motored along beside me. We did the first four miles at a 9:50s pace, and the next six much faster, so that our average time for the first ten miles was in the 9:30s. Then, for the final 5K, we kicked it up a lot. Averaged sub-9 minute miles to bring our average for the race down to 9:26. We finished in just under 2:04. A personal record by a minute and 20 seconds.
I was still in the bottom half of men, and of men my age. But not by much. And the fact that I can make a reasonable showing for 40-44 year old men in a footrace over 13.1 miles fills me with awe and pride and gratitude. I’ve come so far. And it’s been so much work. For a long time, now. And I got my sixth finisher medal.
The mushroom frittata was delicious.