I Went Running Again

This morning was the first day this winter when the temperature dipped below freezing.  I was keenly aware of this fact as I stood with my wife at the start line for the Jingle All The Way 8k in downtown DC with 5,000 other runners.  Naturally, there was a SNAFU as the police had difficulties clearing Pennsylvania Avenue for the race.  After a 20 minute delay, we were off.  About two minutes after that, my wife disappeared from my view with jack rabbit alacrity.

These races give me an opportunity to appreciate the organized cycling rides I do, which never have this many participants and consequently do not feature the crush of humanity that seem to be a hallmark of the running races.  I tried to imagine how the throng would look mounted on bicycles.  It would have been mammoth, that is for sure.

The race itself was fun.  We ran down Pennsylvania Avenue with the Capitol looming before us.  We also swung by Grand Union Station and the Air & Space Museum.  Part of the attraction of this event are the costumes worn by many participants.  There were several Santas and elves, plenty of reindeer hats, and the occasional runner dressed as a present (you simply wear a box with your head and arms sticking out).  It was my goal not to be passed by anyone wearing an extremely garish costume.  In 1994, I was passed by a clown in the Marine Corps Marathon and the memory haunts me still.

I am happy to report that no shepherds, angels, or boxes passed me.  One Santa finished a few yards ahead of me, but I wish to lodge a protest as he removed his beard and hat during the race and thus was not in a proper costume.  My finishing time was 43:30, which earned me 73rd out of 165 in my age group and 816th out of 1,716 amongst all men.  A very “middle of the pack” finish that I was satisfied with.  The 8:41/mile pace was decidedly better than the Army 10-Miler, when I thought my calf might detach itself from my leg and all I could manage was 10:15/mile.

My wife is turning into a running machine.  She finished at 41:20 and earned 15th place in her age group out of 252.  Amongst all women, she finished 320th out of 3,024.  She started jogging about 18 months ago and entered her first race this May – a 5k.  This was only her fourth organized race.  I’m in awe.

Below is a picture of us celebrating after the race in a local IHOP.  It was a great day with plenty of good memories.  Now it’s time to get back on my bike – the 3,000 mile mark is taunting me!

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16 thoughts on “I Went Running Again

    • There are few things more humiliating in a race than to be passed by someone who is encumbered with costume paraphenilia. Early on, I spied a man dressed as a snowman and was juggling three balls as he ran the race. To lose to this person would have been horrific. Fortunately, he remained well to my rear.

  1. And very nice you look too in your matching T shirts. I am familier with the IHOP, usually manage a visit once, as its not the sort of breakfast you want to be eating everyday. Well done guys.

  2. Good to finally put a face to the long suffering one!
    We have a Cricket related saying here in England when the man has a good looking ladywife. That of “Batting well above your average.” Like me, you are batting “well above your average!” Well done Sir! 🙂

    • We have similar terms, including “punching above your weight class” and “she’s out of your league.” Staying with the cricket terminology, she is definitely a quadruple century!

    • I probably wouldn’t run at all if it wasn’t for my wife. She hasn’t caught the cycling bug (yet) so if I want to spend more time with her, I need to do it in running shoes. I have to balance my desire to spend time with my wife against the desire to avoid lower leg injuries. It’s a tough balance.

  3. Good job…and a nice pace as well.

    Since I’ve been running with my wife for the past couple of years, those fast paces are a thing of the past for me. I’m gettin’ kind of old anyway, and besides, it’s a heck of a lot more fun and easier on the body to run slow.

    We ran 10k at a 12:00 minute pace on Saturday, but it was kinda cold. That seems to slow us down even more.

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