Parks 10K

Day 189

Fidelity Investments Parks 10K is one of races I run each year. Each year as far as I can remember, the weather was cold. We started at 8AM. The sun was already up and started to warm up a bit but I think the temperature is still uncomfortably cold in tees and shorts. I woke up early again though not as early as 3AM like the previous day.

Most people bundled up. I started with two layers and a fleece and took off most of them and ran in my short sleeves and shorts. Only a few of us did so. I was very cold in the end. Again took me the rest of the day to warm back up.

It got warmer later in the race and I did not regret my decision. I love running in the cold. I love running fast.

I have been running marathons lately and my average pace for those were between 11-12 min pace, about 6 mph. Finally to be able to run a 10K felt great. I ran it like it was a 5K, fast, then after the first couple miles, I started to realize this race would last an hour instead of half an hour.

I noted that I was not gasping for breath at any point the during the race. My muscles though were a bit tired. I couldn’t really push them to my max.

I thought I did very well. I finished in 54 min. However, my previous fastest time for the course was 48 or 49 mins. I had no regret about my current time, but thinking I was indeed much slower now than before. It is hard to train for being fast and also running for long distance.

Impression

Day 103

I have been to many great hikes. Last weekend was one of those perfect hikes. In term of work out, It was about there. I wasn’t totally exhausted but I got blisters, probably from getting my shoes wet. I got chaffing, probably from wearing cotton clothing. My hips was bruised from carry the weight of the sack, my friend was saying what do I carry in that thing. I brought more than enough food to eat. It was just perfect but my friend had the Friday meal ready for me. She also gave me ‘brownies’ that was good for lunch. We hiked out early on Sunday. So I saved three meals. I had about three meals left over.

One thing I learned was I need to get the system down. I have been out a dozen of time but it still feels like 4 or 5 times. I still don’t know what to do or how to pack. It took me too long to organize or get dress in the morning. Twenty some minutes to take off my clothes or putting them on is way too long :). And I only had one set.

Routines. Routine is good. I need to get myself down on routine. Like what to eat and how to cook. Even boiling water took me longer than my friend who cooked her entire meal.

Bearbag. Yup. I forgot how to do the PCT style hang. It took me too much time getting the robe over the tree. Got to remember to bring a small pouch to put a rock in to throw it over the tree. It was just unbelievable. There were many things I felt I know, but actually doing them, they felt like the first time.

I slept great. I love sleeping next to the creek and also on the ridge.

Another thing I appreciate from this hike was it was a preview of the run I will be doing in two weeks. My run will be on the road but it will have similar elevation change as the hike was. I will be running on Blue Ridge Parkway.

The whole hike was generally peaceful. I had no great alarming thoughts. I was feeling generally calm and happy. My life was peaceful. In the past, hikes provide me a mean of escape, this time, I was not running from anything. It was as pleasant as a walk in the park.