Striding Through

Because a life well lived always finds the right pace

Monthly Archives: September 2009

Getting back in stride, maybe

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, about 12 days. Since then I’ve been to Miami and back and then last night it was time for the U2 concert at FedEx Field. It was quite a show; my last time seeing them was in 1992 during the Zoo TV Tour in Philadelphia. I’ve always remembered that one as an absolutely epic concert, and it still stands in my memory that way. For me that night in ’92 is just hard to beat. So rather than compare the two, I’m just going to say last night was a great concert on its own merits.

As with all U2 shows, it was as much about the imagery and at times the message, as it was about the music. As one might expect, Bono had lots of nice things to say about his Democratic friends, but he also handed out kudos to Republicans like Josh Bolten and (gasp!) George W. Bush. In some ways it seemed like he was trying to remind us all in this time of great domestic political discord and poisonous rhetoric, that we are so much stronger when we work together through our differences.

Highlights – for me, they were Elevation, New Year’s Day, Unforgettable Fire, Mofo, City of Blinding Light, Vertigo, Sunday Bloody Sunday and One.

The songs I didn’t hear but wish I did – Pride, Angel of Harlem. Oh well, next tour, I guess.

Worst part of the night – trying to get home. The walk from the stadium and metro ride to fetch my car from Vienna took about 3 hours. I’m looking forward to catching  up on sleep tonight.

Another weekend, another 5k

I’ve got another 5k race tomorrow this time in Alexandria. It’s a little race called the New Orleans Rebirth 5k. Apparently the proceeds from the race go to assist people from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast who are still in distress from Hurricane Katrina, hence the name. The race course is in “Old Town” Alexandria, which means it should be flat and fast. I’m leaving work shortly to go get my packet. I’ll be back with a post-race report tomorrow.

ETA – I never got around to the report. Final results were OK. 20:02 for 17th overall and 1st in the 40-49 male age group. That was my first age group win in about 2 years.

Race Report – National Press Club 5k 9/12/09

Short version: 19:35, 34/549 OA, 3rd place in 45-49 AG. Full results here.

Full version:

I’d heard much about this race over the years but until this year had never gotten around to running it. Even this year, I had been looking at a different 5k race this weekend. But when that one fell apart, I seized on the opportunity and jumped into this race. I’m glad I did.

When I got down to 14th and F Streets on Saturday morning it was a crazy scene indeed. Not only were there runners all around, but also lots of “Tea Party” demonstrators — not my type of crowd to be sure — gathering for their protest of everything Obama. Whatever. I was here to race.

After waiting in line and getting my bib just in time, having changed into my singlet and flats while waiting in line, there was no time to warmup other than doing some quick plyometrics in place. The next thing we knew, honorary starter Jim Ryun was calling the “faster runners” forward.  So up we went to the start and we were off, heading down F St. towards 13th. Then it was a quick turn down 13th, down a big hill and left on to Pennsylvania Avenue towards the capital and past the raucous tea tumblers.

My first mile was crazy-fast — 5:25! I was pretty sure that was a short measurement until a friend reminded me that we were going downhill most of that mile. Still…that’s faster than my current mile PR. Surprisingly I continued passing people in Mile 2 even though that turned out to be my slowest mile at 6:54 (due to either being long, see Mile 1, or uphill). The turnaround came just near the Hart Senate Office Building on D St, then it was back the way we came, along Louisiana, a piece of Constitution and back onto Pennsylvania.  Around 10th St. or so I started laboring a bit but focused on keeping my stride long and relaxed. One woman did pass me — she ended up being the 2nd place overall female — but no one else did. As we hit the 3-mile marker turning back onto the (now uphill) 13th St. piece, I could feel the end coming, still felt pretty strong. As I turned back onto F St. for the finish I could see I was already in the 19s, no chance at breaking 19:00 today; admittedly that was a very ambitious goal. But I gave it a little extra juice for the strong finish anyway — 6:33 3rd mile, 0:39 for the final tenth.

While there’s still some ways to go to break 19, I did take 12 seconds off my performance a month ago at the club 5k championships (where I also finished 3rd AG).  In fact I believe this is a road racing masters PR for me at 5k.  Overall I’m very pleased. 🙂 And I still think on the right day, that getting closer to 19:00 or even breaking it is still out there for me

Nice touch after the race…instead of the usual bananas and orange wedges, we got a sit-down breakfast inside the National Press Club where they also did the awards and door prizes, etc. Sometimes you just have to love living in the nation’s capital. I got to meet some very interesting folks and talk lots of running stuff. Good times.
It won’t be long before my next 5k race: this weekend, Saturday in Alexandria, at the New Orleans Rebirth 5k in Alexandria.  

Another new home

Well after a year or so of keeping a blog at kickrunners.com, a running community I often frequent, I decided it was time to upgrade to real blog space and take advantage of the wider array of tools available. So after poking around I decided to plop myself down here at WordPress.

At KR, I kept the subject of my posts on my running, and I’ll still have lots to say about that stuff here. But don’t be surprised if I venture into some other topics as well.

First real post coming soon…