"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Woke up in the morning, felt nothing like P. Diddy

Somehow my unconscious mind recognized the measure of time we observe and woke me up just at the right moment for me to grab my phone and see the numbers change from 6:59 to 7:00. That was nifty, until I realized that I was due on the starting line of the Prevent Cancer 5k in exactly one hour. Wasn't I planning on waking up an hour earlier? If P.Diddy feels like this when he wakes up, I completely understand why he'd send someone to Queens to get him a sugar cookie. (Thank you, Lindsey, for introducing me to this musical monstrosity.)
Thankfully, I had packed most of what I needed the night before, so I grabbed my backpack and ran out the door, hoping to catch the first metro train, the only one that would get me to the city in time. I didn't take the time to put my shoes on, which became an issue when I hit the escalators in the station, but I made it onto the platform in time for a train. Hitting Foggy Bottom shortly after 7:35 gave me a shot, and I ran down the street toward the Lincoln Memorial as fast as I could with my backpack on. After passing the memorial, I saw the finish line banner on Ohio Drive. I ran to the bathroom, came out and was "ready" to "race" at 7:45. I should have just put my flats on while riding the metro, rather than mess with my trainers for a few minutes. I got to the line and saw I wouldn't have to contend with many people- I should be free to pursue a sub 15:30 or 16:00 time without any threat from other runners. My knees were sore as hell from running with that backpack, and my lower back wasn't feeling too great, but I figured with a flat course, I should be okay. I wrung the sweat out of my shorts (it was in the low 70s by 7:45) and got a move on. Pretty soon I could only hear my own footsteps. I looked up and saw an airplane on its way into Reagan, I thought I would race it, like Carl Lewis.

I bounded over the bridge and on toward Hains Point. I heard my first mile split- 5:04, and was feeling alright with that. Not bad for having woken up an hour ago. After dodging a few cyclists, I started to come up on the turnaround. 8:03. Not great, but I would see what I could do- I certainly wasn't killing myself in the first mile like last week, but I was also a little more prepared and it was a little cooler last week. My left patella started to feel every step, and I was getting concerned. I saw my competition lagging behind, and I knew I wouldn't have to worry about them.
Before looking at my watch, I figured I would hit the second mile in 5:25- and I was right on. This race was over- there was no need to try to run 4:50 for my last mile to break 16:00- I was totally over it. I eased up and started chatting with the slower runners working on their first mile. many of them were first-time racers, which was nice to learn. The volunteer at the bridge reminded me I could run the tangents, but I told him I was okay not doing so at that point. I slowed to a jog on Ohio and ran 6:15 for the third mile. Then I kicked it in with a 30 to add some excitement to a finish that saw me with a lead of 38 seconds. Not the fast 5k I was hoping to run.

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