My Best-Paced GW Parkway Classic Race Recap

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.

2017 GW Parkway Classic Race Recap

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. 

2017 GW Parkway Classic Race Recap

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?

2017 GW Parkway Classic Race Recap Port CitySome 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.

Race Morning 

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.

2017 GW Parkway Classic

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. 

2017 GW Parkway Classic Race Recap

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.

2017 GW Parkway Classic Race Recap

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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?

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51 Responses to My Best-Paced GW Parkway Classic Race Recap

  1. Awesome job! I’m seeing a lot of great results from today’s race! My friend Jackie won the 5k!

  2. Great job! Nothing better than running a race you’re pleased with. I’d say except the post race beer — except I don’t drink & particularly don’t like beer! All those beer tickets I’ve never used . . .
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Beta testing what Iโ€™ll need: 4/17- 23 Weekly WrapMy Profile

  3. Congrats on your great race! I’m so happy for you. Send some speed my way! I miss it.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Doing the OppositeMy Profile

  4. That is so fantastic! You rock. Perhaps I should hire you as my running coach ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Look at those splits! You rocked this race! Congrats – you’ve really been on a great roll with your races ๐Ÿ™‚
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Weekly Wrap – Marathon Fun and RtR Week 7My Profile

  6. Kimberly G says:

    Congrats on executing your race so well – what an accomplishment! Your splits were amazing too!!
    Kimberly G recently posted…Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon Training Recap โ€“ Week 8My Profile

  7. I’m glad this was a great race for you! I’d like to run a 10 miler this fall!

  8. You ran a great race!!! Congrats! Too bad about the drab color of the race shirt…the logo is really cool (did a guy design this? LOL)
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Nonstop Running…Literally and FigurativelyMy Profile

  9. Gina says:

    You are one speedy lady! Great job! I strive for that pace for 10 miles too! So impressed Coco – wow! Congratulations
    Gina recently posted…Shin Splints, Stress Reaction, OR Overly Cautious – that IS the question?!!My Profile

  10. Lesley says:

    Great job! Maybe being tired is the secret? I had a great training run this weekend and was operating on very little sleep. Maybe it’s a good thing runners are wired before a race.

  11. Shathiso says:

    What a great race! Well done x
    Shathiso recently posted…Diacore 10k Training Recap: Week 6My Profile

  12. Marcia says:

    Congrats on such a strong and well-paced race! You are such a star at the 10-mile distance. Is that race shirt grey? I swear I think grey race shirts should be banned. I’m so sick of them. Blah.
    Marcia recently posted…The Power of MoreMy Profile

  13. MCM Mama says:

    Nice job! I love the hills in the first five miles – I know that makes me weird. Looking at the elevation explains why mile 6 was my fastest mile LOL.

  14. Wow your pace was absolutely amazing! Oh how I wish I was that fast. Great job!!

  15. Congratulations! I’m so sorry I didn’t see you – I didn’t realize how HUGE this race is, so many people! That first mile was a lot of fun going downhill! Why is the last 0.5 mile the longest though, lol!

  16. Great job! It’s always fun getting a personal course best ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m hoping to run my half in June better then last year.
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…Run|Cycle|Earth Day Weekly Wrap UpMy Profile

  17. I think I’m gonna start calling it good race ju ju too since it worked so well for you!
    What a great race for you I love it when it all comes together like that!
    Tricia @ Misssippipiddlin recently posted…Weekly Wrap 90 RandomnessMy Profile

  18. Way to go! I had to defer this year, and hope to run it next year.

  19. Ana says:

    Congratulations! You did amazing!! Your stats look great!
    Ana recently posted…Weekly Wrap 4.23.17My Profile

  20. Rachel says:

    This is a great recap. Sounds like a really successful race. Congrats!!
    Rachel recently posted…How to Pamper Yourself During Racing SeasonMy Profile

  21. vicki says:

    Congrats on a well run race!
    vicki recently posted…The Chilbury Ladies ChoirMy Profile

  22. HoHo Runs says:

    Awesome job Coco! Your paces are excellently even too. Enjoying the race is the best thing of all! Yeah, I’m not a fan of the gray shirt. Funny, I can’t usually get through a whole beer that early in the morning either. But, I give it my best! Thanks for linking.

  23. Way to go!!! You crushed your pace!

  24. Congrats on your race! I’m glad the weather cleared up for you. Here in NC it poured and was cold all day yesterday (and still is today!).

  25. Coco says:

    We got so lucky! It was pouring again today, but all day yesterday was clear – and cool!
    Coco recently posted…My Best-Paced GW Parkway Classic Race RecapMy Profile

  26. Mary says:

    You certainly were very deliberate and strategic about how you ran this race, maybe that helped you enjoy it too. Nice times!
    Mary recently posted…Chocolate Raspberry Bar with Freeze-dried RaspberriesMy Profile

  27. Congrats! That is an awesome performance! You sure are speedy and all that travel did not slow you down! Nice that they let you try on the race shirts but I agree with you- kind of drabby! I am impressed with runners who can drink beer at 9:15am- you rocked it!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…It’s not Spring, it is Sprummer! Weekly wrapMy Profile

  28. Chaitali says:

    Congrats on that pacing and on enjoying the race! It sounds like it was a good one ๐Ÿ™‚
    Chaitali recently posted…Weekly ReviewMy Profile

  29. Congrats! That’s a speedy finish time. I’ve tried drinking a beer after a race and I could only get a few sips down. Not really a beer drinker either so maybe that was part of the reason!
    Elaine @myRUNexperiment recently posted…The Run Sandwich โ€“ A Runnerโ€™s RoutineMy Profile

  30. Congrats on running a strong race! We wound up having absolutely wonderful weather Sunday morning, which helped so many people be able to run strong races.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Loudoun Half Marathon Training Log โ€“ Week 6My Profile

  31. Amazing job holding such a fast pace for so long. Fabulous.

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