This morning was the Battle of the Boulevard 10K sponsored by my favorite running store, Pacers. The race was in the Clarenton section of Arlington County in VA. The race starts at on the high ground and you run down Wilson Blvd, to highway 110, by Arlington Cemetary and the turn around is near the Pentagon. It is a very challenging and fun course. This was my last hard run prior to Columbia, next weekend.
We have been having lots of rain here in the DC area. Thursday night and Friday we had over 4 inches and this morning it was still drizzling. I got up around 7 (the race did not start until 9, how nice is that), ate some cereal and dreaded running the rain. I got to the start about 830, hooked up with my running partner Janelle and we both received our chips.
A little after 9 the gun went off and it was down the hill. I stayed with her for a about the first half mile and then we were seperated. Since it was cool and rainy it took me a while to get settled and warmed up. The first mile was 7:54.
The second mile is down a half mile hill which is rather step. I cruised down that hill, maintaining a decent pace, but I did not want to run too fast and wear myself out. There were a fair amount of spectators out in the rain they were very vocal and brought some good energy. I did see one lady arguing with the cops who would not let her turn where she wanted to due to the race. Its not like there were not plenty of signs posted warming people of the race. I reached the second mile in 7:44.
The third and fourth miles were all on route 110 near Arlington Cemetary, with the turn around near the entrace to North Parking at the Pentagon. The only thing worth noting during this part of the course was I was about about mile 2.5 and here come the leaders. They passed me at about the 18 minute mark. Time for miles 3 and 4: 8:29 and 9:01.
From mile four to mile five it was back up the big ass hill. I just tried to plod along. Near the top of the hill, I decided to walk for 30 seconds in order to rest my legs so that I could pick up the pace on the flat ground. Hell, I knew i wasn't running much faster than I could walk anyway. Mile 5 was by far my slowest mile at at 9:58.
The final hill is between mile 5 and mile 6. This is not a long hill but rather short and step. I actually cruised up it easier than I thought I would after listening to others bitch about it. I know I was slowing down, but I was on pace to run about 54 min 10K. Mile 6: 9:10. I did the final .2 (or as my Garmin told me .3) in 1:48.
All in all I was very happy with the results. My last 5 miler back in Dec I ran over 9 min miles on a pretty easy course. Today based on Garmin results I ran 6.3 miles in 54:08 or a 8:36 ppm average.
To give you an idea of the course here is my elevation read out.