I run the Potomac Valley Track Club Go Fourth 8K every year that we are in town for July 4th. This year, the race was held at a different site, promised to be “all flat.” (We know about those promises, don’t we!)
Even though we left the house at almost 7:00 for an 8:00 start time, I had plenty of time to relax before the race. I decided the steps of this old train car were perfect for
striking a pose stretching.
The race was an out-and-back along the Washington and Old Dominion (W & OD) bike path. There were lots of cyclists and other runners out, so we had to watch ourselves while we were warming up and stretching. Now that I have been on the other side of the running-cycling divide, I am much more aware of cyclists and try much harder to stay out of their way!
It was no surprise that we sang the National Anthem before the start, but to make sure that we all got into the patriotic spirit, the race director asked us to all sing along. I was touched when approaching cyclists and walkers stopped and joined in.
The race itself was uneventful. My Garmin graphs tell the whole ugly story of my pacing. I started off way too fast and even though I maintained that too-fast past to the turn-around point, I was sucking wind on the way back (although thank goodness I remembered to take my inhaler!). I thought I had heard that the course had a gentle incline on the way out, with a gentle downhill on the way back, so I was counting on the “back” half to be easier. As you can see, I got that totally backwards!
As you can also see, I still was able to smile and enjoy my watermelon at the finish!
There seemed to be fewer runners this year, and I felt like I was one of the women towards the front of the pack. Since it was an out-and-back course, I tried to count the women ahead of me when they were coming back, and I felt that I had a pretty good chance of placing when I only counted 7 women. (After that, one woman passed me, but she was in a younger age group.) After I finished and cooled off, I checked the results and saw that I did place third in my age group! I also noted that first and second place went to women older than me–way to represent the fabulous forties!
All of the prizes were Fourth of July themed–towels, flags, t-shirts, candles–and I think I snagged a fun one!
When I got home, I strung them up on our mantle, so even if we stay home tonight it will be festive.
Did you run, bike or swim yesterday?
Did you watch fireworks anywhere?