The October 7 Run for the Parks 10k got here before I knew it. Where is this year going? Everytime I blink another month goes by. Naturally, I still hadn’t seen a doctor about the tightness and pain that started in my hip flexors this summer, so this was going to be another race that I treated more like a training run than an actual race. I wasn’t thrilled about that and I really wasn’t thrilled that temperatures were supposed to drop 25-30 degrees overnight the morning of the race.
Put on by the Potomac River Runners, the Run for the Parks 10k was held in West Potomac Park. This has always been my least favorite stretch of races like Marine Corps and Cherry Blossom, but since it’s right around the corner from my office I force myself to frequently run it on my lunch time and post-work runs. I still share a love-hate relationship with this flat, quiet and windy stretch of road, but it’s actually starting to lean more towards love.
I woke up early on race morning already angry about not getting to sleep in after only catching a couple hours of sleep. Seeing it was 40s and rainy didn’t make me much happier. West Potomac Park doesn’t have any real close public transportation so I took my negative attitude over to the closest bike share rack and rode my way into D.C. for the race. I was at least pleased with myself for not bagging the race and crawling back into bed.
I lined up at the starting line pretty chilly, but warmed up quickly. We headed down Ohio Drive and around the bend at Hains Point before turning around and tracing our steps back toward the finish. I started slightly faster than I planned, slowed in the middle and sped up again for the last two miles. My hips were annoyingly tight once again so I averaged a 7:50 per mile pace, which for a 10k is slow for me. (For anyone that’s annoyed by that, years ago that would have been a quick 10k pace for me – it’s all relative and fast and slow is different for every runner.) My finish time was 48:40 good for 16th in my age group and 56 out 643 female finishers, so I can’t complain too much.
The rain wasn’t bad, but it held steady throughout the race, and the temps weren’t showing any signs of rising. All I wanted to do after crossing the finish line was go home and take a hot shower, but I noticed that Fast Track Physical Therapy was on-hand giving massages and free injury consults. I figured it was finally time and signed up for the waiting list for an injury consult. It didn’t take them long to tell me I was in fact injured and needed to stop denying it. I set up an appointment to visit their office, and will hopefully get to the bottom of this soon so I can get back to a training schedule and working toward Boston again!
On a side note, I’m pretty sure my finish line pic (courtesy of Potomac River Running’s Flickr page) could rival some of Mark Remy’s best “race face” pics.
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