The Lawyers Have Heart 10K is the only 10K on my race calendar year in and year out. I prefer 10 mile races and don’t like racing in the summer, but because I am a lawyer and like to support the American Heart Association, I usually dedicate a Saturday morning in June to this event.
Thanks to everyone who donated through my fundraising page–
I earned this great hat by raising over $250!
1. It’s too hot. The weather this year wasn’t as bad as it’s been–like the year they switched everyone to the 5k–but even as I headed to the venue at 6:30 am there was no hint of coolness in the air. It wasn’t oppressive, but I don’t like feeling warm before I’ve even warmed up.
2. The course is brutal. OK, I’m exaggerating. It’s only a 10K and the maximum elevation gain is only 70 feet, but except for the long climb at mile 9 (!) all of those “hills” are overpasses and underpasses, because this course is run on the freeways of Northwest D.C. Not only is the scenery completely lacking, but most of the route is in the blazing sun, which reflects off the concrete making sure you look forward to the bit of shade offered by the next underpass.
Garmin must give me a “red” HR zone much more easily than OTF.
My average HR was in the low 160s.
3. The course is not designed for PRs. For a number of years, the course was basically an out-and-back along the Whitehurst Freeway and Canal Road, with one hairpin turn getting on and off the freeway and one at the turn-around point. They changed the 10K course last year and tweaked it again for the 2016 Lawyers Have Heart 10K so the course included four hairpin turns.
4. My pacing sucks. Maybe I can’t blame this on the race, but I do think the heat and the route make it particularly hard to pace myself. The first mile is slow because of the crowded start and that first hairpin turn, and the last three miles show the toll the sun was taking. I feel like I ran better at the Reston 10 Miler even though its hills were real.
5. The post-race party was lackluster. In the past, there’s been a great post-race vibe along the waterfront with music and vendors with giveaways, but it seemed lackluster this year. I think the usual offerings were there–information from the American Heart Association, boards to make and post dedications, the always-popular snow cones, and face-painting–but the way they were set up (crammed around the small fountain area or spread out around the buildings) made them hard to get to or easy to miss.
I had to hunt for the water and bagels–although once I found them I got the most amazing salted pumpernickel bagel. Luckily my office was serving a post-race “brunch” with bacon.
As I was running the last half of the course, I wondered if I should switch to the 5K next year, but as much as I complain about the 10K, it seems to be a race I love to hate. I can’t see myself not doing the 10K even if I know I’ll probably have the same gripes next year.
Is there a race you don’t love but can’t seem to quit?