A Fun, Football-Themed 5K

My racing schedule has a two month break in between marathons.  That’s longer than I’ve gone in between 26.2 attempts in quite some time.  So, to make up for it, I’m needing to schedule shorter races and – gulp – I may even need to do a long training run or two.  This past weekend was all about shorter distances and strength training.

After working late on Friday night (almost until 8:00 PM), I was too tired to think about working out.  Scot and I had been doing some strength work and calisthenics since the New Year as part of the Endurance Sports Connection’s ESCape your Weight Challenge.  We mostly did the exercises in the evening.  Instead, I decided to double-up on Saturday and do my exercises both on Saturday morning and on Saturday evening.

This is the exercise challenge for February.  It's MUCH, MUCH easier than January's. 

Saturday was a good day.  I slept in a little bit, then did my morning exercises (some from January's challenge, in which I'd skipped a few days).  Oww…I think I did 120 or so squats, plus lunches, wall sits, sit-ups, push-ups and planks. The weather had finally warmed up (relatively speaking, for wintertime) and the sun was out, so that afternoon I decided to go out for a walk.  I walked 4 miles on my local trails, the W&OD and the Four Mile Run trails in Arlington, VA.  It was a great day to be out, but I probably should have started a little sooner.  The sun was beginning to set and the wind kicked up in the second half of my walk, so I got cold wearing just a single long-sleeved tech tee.  By the time I got home, my hands were a little numb.  Thank goodness for Keurig Hot Apple Cider to warm up my hands and my insides.  I waited a few hours before doing my evening exercises (from the February challenge), and felt good about my accomplishments for the day.
Sunday morning came early as Scot and I were registered to run the inaugural First Down 5K put on by local DC running store Pacers.  I almost never really race a 5K; instead I use it as a training run.  I’m so bad about training, but if I’m registered for a race, I’ll go. 

Scot and I at the First Down 5K; look closely and you'll see the ice in the Tidal Basin...brrr!
Here I am with Woody Wilson, the mascot for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon; yes, he ran the 5K in costume, and beat me!

And Woody from behind...I have yet to run this race; I registered once but had to DNS due to injury
Joggler Barry Goldmeier races while juggling, but I've never seen him juggle footballs until this 5K

This race was special because in addition to the 5K, we could participate in the optional Combine: 20 each of push-ups, sit-ups, jump squats, then 20 yards of walking lunges.  Scot skipped the Combine, but he was my designated 'feet holder' during my sit-ups.  I earned a commemorative foam football for completing the combine.  Even though the number of reps was lower than what we’d been doing at home, it was challenging to do these exercises after running a 5K.  We were chip timed upon entering and exiting the Combine area.  After the race, I took a look at the Combine results and saw that the fastest participant completed his exercises in only 2:27 minutes!  It took me 7:05.  The slowest participant was 15:09; I wonder if he was really that slow, or just hanging out in the Combine area for a while.

The entrance to the Combine area where we'd torture ourselves with some post-5K calisthenics
With my race shirt (a soft tech tee), bib and my Combine football

I would do this race again.  It was a great reason to get in a good workout on Superbowl Sunday, to pre-emptively burn off the calories that we typically eat and drink during the game.  Adding the Combine added to the challenge and the fun.  Good job, Pacers!

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