The GW Parkway Classic was my fourth race of 2017, and came after two back-to-back, week-long, international business trips. Although I didn’t workout much when I was in Seoul and didn’t really have issues with jet lag, I was tired. For once I heeded my body and took it easy the week leading up to this race. Maybe that’s why I ended up with my best-paced GW Parkway Classic ever.
18th in my AG! That’s a surprise.
Instead of pushing for a PR, my focus was on better pacing–holding back during those first few miles and leaving something in the tank for a strong finish.
Packet Pick-Up and Pre-Race Carb-Loading
Packet pick-up for the GW Parkway Classic is a breeze–you can pick up your bib at any Pacers store over two weekends. Since I went in the morning on the first day, I got a low bib number (65). You also can try on and change shirt sizes. Not sure how much I’ll want to wear this one, though.
The shirt is pretty drab , but I like the Old Town logo.
Saturday night is our usual dinner-out-date-night, and having a race the next morning doesn’t change that, although I did veto my husband’s chili craving. We ended up at Clyde’s, where we both had pan-seared scallops with rice and fennel puree. That sounds nutritious, right?
Some call it beer, I call it good race ju-ju !
I knew Port City was hosting the post-race beer garden, so when I saw the Port City Monumental IPA on the menu, I figured I had to order one for good luck.
After a very rainy Saturday, Sunday started clear with temps in the low 50s. While some debate wearing long-sleeves at that temperature, I knew I would wear a t-shirt and shorts.
I didn’t end up using the Athlinks Race Day app for much, but it was pretty cool seeing this message on my home screen when I got up!
We left the house a few minutes before 7:00, and got to the race venue in plenty of time for the multi-chapter Moms Run This Town photo.
I’m down in front in my throw-away jacket.
They let us into the corrals a few minutes before 8:00, and after a lovely rendition of the National Anthem and a simple Ready-Set-GO! we were off.
I’ll be setting up my Lawyers Have Heart 10K fundraising page soon —
I hope you’ll donate to support the American Heart Association.
2017 GW Parkway Classic Race Recap
My goal was to hover around an 8:15/8:20 pace, knowing the first mile would be too fast and the next few miles would be challenging. I kept the elevation profile in my head, and concentrated on getting through mile 5, which marks the end of the hilly section.
Just after mile 5 there’s a stone bridge over the parkway, lined with spectators cheering us on. I was looking forward to this point in the race so much I decided it was worth fiddling with my phone to take a picture.
I knew the next mile was down hill, and tried to take advantage of all the help gravity could give me. I also knew mile 7-8 usually is a challenge for me–it’s flat as could be, but also sunny with no spectators–so I psyched myself up to stay strong through that stretch.
That first mile–yikes!
I was ready for the hill at mile 9 and was pleased with how well I maintained my pace–although Sue said she passed me at that point! I tried to pace myself over the last mile, saving the final push until after I passed the Starbucks which marks about 1/2 mile to go.
As I approached the finish line I heard my husband cheering me on, and I gave it my all. I collected my medal and snack box, and made a bee-line to the beer garden for the reward I was really looking forward to. 🙂
I still can’t drink a whole beer at 9:30 in the morning,
but it did hit the spot!
Looking back over my previous race recaps, this was my second-fastest finish time for this race. My pacing wasn’t that much better than last year, but my two slowest miles were 8:21–I didn’t have that drop off during mile 9. Overall, I enjoyed this race more than usual, I think because I raced at a pace I was trained for instead of pushing myself at a too-fast pace.
I’m glad I have a few weeks before my next race–the Denver Colfax Urban 10–and that it will be such an unusual one!
Don’t forget to check out what everyone else has been up to at the Weekly Wrap link up hosted by Holly and Tricia, mark your calendars for Runfessions on Friday, and come back in two weeks for the May Ultimate Coffee Date link up!
Did you do something you enjoyed this weekend?