When I found out that the .US National USATF 12K was going to be on my birthday this year, I signed up right away. I took a chance on the inaugural race last year, and it was a great event.
A few weeks before the race I found out that they changed the course, and I was disappointed. One reason I enjoyed the race so much last year was because it went through a part of the city where I never run. My first reaction to the new course was that it covered the worst part of the GW Parkway Classic course, twice.
I set my alarm for 5:00 am, hit snooze a few times, and got dressed in my cold weather running gear. I took Tiger Lilly out for a short walk, had a cup of coffee and my usual pre-race breakfast of a frozen Kashi 7 Grain waffle with peanut butter, and we were on our way by 6:45. I stayed in the car as long as possible, but wanted to make sure we had time to take a few pre-race photos.
Do I look cold? It was in the 30s.
I did one lap around the block to warm up, and decided to hit the pottys before heading to the starting line.
Who can resist a potty line like this 10 minutes before the start?
The starting area was not very crowded, so I kept my down vest on as long as possible before shedding it for one last picture and handing it off to my husband.
I really didn’t have any goals for this race. With all of my recent travelling, I’ve kept up my running, but I have not been training–no speed work or hill repeats! I settled into an 8:00ish pace, and decided I would be happy if I finished with an 8:15ish pace.
The course was mainly flat, with one noticeable hill at the end of the first mile, a less noticeable hill at about mile 1.5, and the same hills in the opposite direction on the way back. While I thought the course would be boring, it was quite pretty with all the trees in their fall colors along the GW Parkway.
I nailed my pace and finished strong!
Yep, the race course was that empty!
I wasn’t sure I would want a beer so early in the morning, but when I saw the beer garden was sponsored by Heavy Seas and they had my favorite Loose Cannon IPA, I couldn’t resist. After all, it was my birthday!
I think everyone deserves a medal on their birthday!
If you haven’t read one of my posts about the year I skipped my birthday (and ignored a dangerous health issue), please do–it could save your life.
How do you like to celebrate your birthday?