As Joe Henderson says, "Failures are less devastating when expectations aren't excessive, and successes are all the more satisfying when they aren't planned." This Saturday morning was to have been a medium-long run with comrade Cara Marie Manlandro, but her calf's a bit iffy and she suggests we defer it until tomorrow (2012-01-08 - CM's Neighborhood Loop). As CM and I text back-and-forth I recall that there's a DC Road Runners race at 9am. It's close to home (in Kensington) and inexpensive ($5) — why not try it? My expectations are low. A new PR is the result.
Christina Caravoulias greets me at the start, in the Ken-Gar park. The course is simple: begin at Rock Creek Trail milepost 7, run to milepost 2, and return (cf. Rock Creek Trail Miles 0 to 4 and Rock Creek Trail Miles 5 to 9). More training buddies appear as starting time looms: Ken Swab, Emaad Burki, and Rebecca Rosenberg who is talking with Alyssa Soumoff. Alyssa already knows me, and reminds me that I've met her. She calls herself "The Other Alyssa" when I redundantly tell her my name.
At "Go!" we dash off, sun in our eyes. I run mostly alone after the first few miles, when some young ladies of similar pace keep me company. Coming back from the turnaround I'm sure I see dear friend Kate Abbott, but it's a mistake; after the race she turns out to be Cindy Cohen, who ran with me at the 2009-11-01 - Potomac Heritage 50k 2009. Today's GPS trackfile reads long by ~1.3%, Correcting splits accordingly by ~5 s/mi gives rough pace data 7:42 ⇒ 7:39 ⇒ 7:38 ⇒ 7:49 ⇒ 8:07 ⇒ 7:59 ⇒ 7:53 ⇒ 8:01 ⇒ 8:05 ⇒ 7:50 — overall not too horrid pacing, an average of ~7:47 min/mi for the first half and ~7:58 thereafter.
The official race results put me 52nd overall, gun time = chip time = 1:18:41, 44th male, 10th in the 50-59 year old male group. The previous PR for this distance was set in the 2010-02-28 - RRCA 10 Miler, a 1:19:06 performance on a hilly course in Columbia MD.
^z - 2012-01-18