Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Well, I'm one more short, local race into February. Before the month is up, I will have run a race on every Sunday of February. This last one was the George Washington Birthday Classic 10K, billed as "Ye Oldest Race in Alexandria", VA. It was the third Pacers race of the year, and so far I'm a streaker of the 2014 Pacers races (that will change in March). 

It was the coldest race of the year, so I was quite bundled up...maybe a little too much; I had to tie my jacket around my waist after half a mile. My extremities were adequately covered, but I've noticed that my body never completely warms up on these really cold days. I have less energy than I think I should. My muscles rebel against the cold temps. And that surprises me, as I trained for my very first marathon (the 2005 Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans) during the winter, and often ran in the cold and with snow on the ground. But these days, I just can't seem to warm up and run efficiently.  I've run faster 10Ks as the first 6 miles of a marathon, when my pace should actually be slower than a 10K race.

Here I am at the start, freezing while other participants are still waiting indoors to be called outside

The weather after I finished, so it was slightly colder at the start

So, really, this 10K was just another excuse to get out of bed and do a training run, something I've been so lax at doing during the frigid winter. The course wasn't that interesting, but I knew that going in. It was an out & back that partially bordered I-495, and ran past some cookie-cutter suburban townhouses and apartments. There was a small hill or two. But more notable, there was definitely some ice. While the road had been cleared of the snow we got a few days prior, there had been a thaw and a refreeze, so there were some small puddles that had now become ice. It was possible to dodge them, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone slipped.

Some ice in the road; some of the slick patches were harder to see

There were some familiar faces at this 10K. First, there was Woody Wilson, the mascot from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, whom I'd seen two weeks prior at the First Down 5K. I also saw DC-area joggler Barry Goldmaier, who'd also been at the race two weeks ago. And even though this was only a 10K, I saw a woman on the out & back wearing the new Marathon Maniacs beanie that they gave away at the Louisiana Marathon reunion in January. I didn't recognize her, wasn't able to get a picture, and didn't see her at the finish, so I may never know who she was. I did call out "hey, Maniac" and wave, and I got a wave or a smile back.

Here's Woody Wilson, winning over new fans; he beat me...again

Joggler Barry Goldmeier finishes the 10K; Barry told me he drops the beanbags a lot at the beginning of a cold, winter race, and people think he can't juggle, but it's only because his hands haven't yet warmed up

This is another race that I don't need to do again. It was an OK race, but other than the George Washington theme on Presidents Day weekend, there wasn't anything special to it. It's not a bad winter training run though, so it worked for me.

Sporting my shirt that is reminiscent of a dollar bill


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