Another race down in the books! My trusty running buddy, Katie and I, completed the GW Parkway Classic 10-Miler yesterday. Though this race was a “local” race (in Alexandria), it felt like a mini-destination race because of the process – which wasn’t a bad thing at all!
I spent the night at Katie’s on Saturday night since we thought it would be easier for us to go to the race together since a couple of additional steps were involved for this specific race. We had to find a way (UberX) to the Pentagon City metro by 6:30am at the latest on Sunday to board a shuttle that would take us to Mount Vernon, the start of the 10-Miler. Since it was already going to be an early morning anyway, I figured it would be best for me to spend the night in D.C. so I wouldn’t have to add a super early morning drive to the city prior to the race.
Katie was the best race hostess and prepared an amazing pre-race feast for dinner. Yours truly brought dessert – a piece of vanilla-strawberry cake and a piece of yellow cake with chocolate frosting courtesy of Sweet Sue’s in Chesapeake Beach.
The casserole was to-die-for. I will be making this recipe again in the very near future. I could have eaten the entire thing – no joke. It may become an “any pre-race day meal”.
Throughout dinner and after dinner we lounged on the couch and watched the movie Now and Then (remember that movie?! Love.) before heading to bed. We had to wake up at 5am after all.
5am came a little too fast for us, but we got up. Had a cup of coffee each, got changed, and hopped in our UberX (a driving service) and were on our way to Pentagon City metro. We then boarded a shuttle bus and headed to Mount Vernon.
While we got there a little over an hour before start time, time sped by (especially after some stretching and dropping a bag off at back check) and suddenly it was time for the race to begin, albeit about 5-7 minutes late. Another strange and annoying observation was that all the racers weren’t able to properly line up in corrals because huge buses decided to park where the racers where. Katie and I were literally smushed up against a bus. It was dangerous. We thought the race surely wouldn’t start until the buses had cleared the road, but nope we soon found out that runners were just told to start running, which we did. I also found the music selection chosen to play before the race a bit strange – not exactly your poppy, energizing tunes you normally hear. It was more like house music. Weird.
I enjoyed the race course. The majority of the race was right by the water so it was nice looking out at the water at times. We also passed several beautiful (million dollar) homes which was nice to dream about too. The course description didn’t lie when it said the course would have gently rolling hills throughout – it wasn’t too bad, though the hill at the very last portion of the race was evil. This race didn’t require runners to loop back to the start line to finish, it was a straight shot from Mount Vernon to Old Town Alexandria. Even though I was undecided yesterday, I think I prefer courses that are the latter – you know that if you keep running you’ll eventually finish. No need to repeat anything. The weather was perfect in my book when we started, but it definitely started warming up the last 45 minutes of the race.
I was pleased with my time – I pushed myself the last two miles of the race, but I generally wanted to take this race easy since I will officially start training for the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon next Monday. I also wasn’t able to train properly for this race since Katie and I decided to run the race a little late in the game and because of travel plans. Tip for my next race? Drink more water before the race. I had a really bad headache for the rest of the day and I think it’s because I was severely dehydrated.
We also got pretty cool medals since this was the 30th anniversary of the race.
After munching on snacks provided by Pacers and doing some much needed stretching, it was time for brunch! We made our way to Columbia Firehouse in Old Town.
To say that we were hungry was an understatement.
For our starters we decided to try the Little Oyster Sandwiches and the Rosemary Garlic Fries with Smoked Garlic Mayonnaise, Buttermilk Goat Cheese, Ketchup. The Buttermilk Goat Cheese dipping sauce was the star of the entire meal. Seriously. It.was.delicious. I would come back to Columbia Firehouse just for fries with this dip.
For drinks, we decided to go non-alcoholic this time. I ordered a latte with regular milk (a blatant observation/critique of this restaurant’s brunch menu was they didn’t have almond or even soy or skim milk available, just regular milk. We found that very surprising) and a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade, which hit the spot.
And for our entrees Katie ordered the omelette with wheat toast (not pictured) and I ordered the Oyster Po’Boy. While I clearly ate my Po’Boy, it wasn’t the best I’ve had. It was rather bland.
After we were sufficiently stuffed we paid our bill and began our long walk to the King Street metro and boarded the metro to head back to Katie’s apartment. I then hopped in my car and headed home to Chesapeake Beach, where I promptly took a nap. 🙂