This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in Pacers’ Clarendon Day runs…that’s right, I said runs! Clarendon Day is a big street festival in the Clarendon-area of Arlington, and one of our local running stores puts on a 5k/10k/Kids Fun Run before the festival starts. One of the fun aspects of this race is the ability to run a 5k and a 10k back-to-back. The only “challenge” is getting from the finish line of the 5k, back up a huge hill, and to the start of the 10k line in time. It’s about a 1.3 mile distance, and Pacers gave each runner a one-way Metro ticket to get back to the finish, but you had to choose when to use it – after the 5k or after the 10k? Additionally, you are presented with three beer tickets when you participate in the double!
This week’s long run was a 12-miler (lower mileage week, hooray), so Danny & I decided to run the double, run that 1.3 miles back from finish to start, and then tack on some extra miles until we hit 12. Of course, since it was a training run, we were going to take the pace a little easier than a 5k race pace. Well, that was the intention, anyway. The whole first mile and a half or two miles of the 5k was a fast downhill, so we went out at 8:05 for the first mile or so. That is NOT long run pace for us, but after we had such a great start, I think we had the unspoken agreement to just keep it up. We held back enough that we weren’t trying to PR or anything, but we were definitely faster than we meant to be. We ended up finishing a little 26 minutes, pace of 8:18 overall. It is so funny to be able to say things like, “Yeah, we accidentally ran an easier 5K under 26 minutes today!” because when I started running 5ks, that would have been ridiculously fast for me! Now it’s just, “Oh yeah, we did this, no big deal!” The only bummer to the 5k was that half the runners were literally stopped in our tracks when a fire truck needed to cross the street, so that took some time off the clock for us. Luckily we weren’t trying to PR!
After that, we gradually started making our way back to the 10k start line. We took it easy heading back to the start since we pushed our legs more than we intended to for the 5k. And remember how I said the first section of the 5k was a quick downhill? That meant heading back to the starting line was a long uphill! We did make it up with enough time to tack on another mile of running before the 10k start.
The first part of the 10k was identical to the 5k with the quick downhill, and the turn-around point was about 1.5 miles past the 5k turn-around point. We ended up running past the Pentagon and into Pentagon City. We even ran the first few miles of this faster than we had anticipated, too! We were sub-9 for about 3-4 miles at least. The last mile and a half, though, felt so long and were tough. My legs were getting tired after going out so fast for the 5k, and mentally, I just wanted to be done. We saw something so amazing along the route, though – there was a blind man running (sign on his back informed us that he was blind), and he was attached to another guy who was his guide and was running with him. SO inspirational. We ended up taking a quick stretch break at around 4.5 miles, and he passed us then, so he even ended up beating us! Good for him! How can you not be inspired after seeing something like that? It gives you perspective on your “hard” runs. Anyway, our time for the 10k (my first actual 10k distance race, can you believe it?) was 57:34, pace of 9:14ish. That was okay with me, especially given our stretch break taking away time!
We opted to walk back to the start again rather than use our Metro cards & stink up the train, and here is what we spotted on the walk back – MCM is not far away!
Our official overall double time was 1:23:34, so an average pace of 8:58 for both races. I think we were both pleased with that, especially for a training run with extra miles added in there! Rounding out the rest of the training week, on Sunday I went out for an 8-mile trail run at Burke Lake – my legs were tiiiiiiired, but I was happy with the 9:07 pace for that. I am slower on trails, but figured the softer surface would make my legs a little happier. Plus, it’s so quiet & pretty!
This is the last week of training before TAPER TIME. This weekend’s mileage is 5 and 20 miles. I’m supposed to be running the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon on Sunday, but since some of the route is on national park land, we are all unsure what will happen with that. I am hoping Congress gets it together before then because I don’t even want to think about finding a way to hit 20 miles without that 13.1 base!