Well it is Saturday Morning. A little after 7 am and we are making our way West toward Winchester. It is a cool morning with a light drizzle. We see a bunch of runners and find our way to Handley High. It is still raining, but very lightly. My family drops me off so that I can check in and so they can go park. I find the check in area, get my bib number (629) and work my way around to get my ChampionChip to attache to my shoe. I never used one of these before but was able to get it on with no issue. I pick up my shirt and make my way to a small tent to get myself organized. My family was making there way at that point and we meet back up.
We made our way to the porta potties for a quick break before I make my way to the start line.
On the way back we run into my Mom. She made it down. That made me very happy.
Now its race time.
We start out going east on Handley Blvd and go past the finish line, we take a right on Braddock street and head south for a bit then take a right onto Jefferson st and start heading West and going up hill. Some runners were complaining about starting out on a hill, but I would rather have the hill in the beginning then the end. Any way, we continue on and take a right onto the High School Service road then another right which brings us back around to the start line.
This is mile 1 and I am about a 11:30 mile and feeling good.
We take a left onto Washington Street and start heading North for a bit. The streets are lined with chair for the parade later on in the afternoon. There are some people out cheering for us and it feels great. It is still drizzleing. We take a right onto Piccadilly street for a block or two then another right onto Braddock Street and start heading South. We pass by mile maker 2, but no timer so not sure how things are going. We are coming up to were we are passing by Handley Blvd and here comes the lead runners. Alene Reta finished the race in 29:04. That is a 4:41 pace. Wow! I am impressed.
Well here we are coming up to the half way point. My 5k split time was 33:42. I am very happy. My first 5k that I ran in Dec 2008 was 37 min and some change so I am extremely happy and feeling very good. Now the rain has stopped and the sun has come out.
We continue South on Braddock which changes to Valley Ave for a bit then take a left onto Jubal Early Dr and head East until we get to Loudoun St and then tun around and head West back to Valley Ave. We just hit the 4 mile mark.
When we get to Valley Ave we take a left and head South to Weems Lane. This area has a little bit of a hilly dip but it is not that bad. When we get to Weems lane we do another 180 and start heading straight back to the finish line off of Handley Blvd. We just passed mile maker 5. I am feeling really good. There were a lot of support along the course. I believe that most people were actually staking out thier spot for the parade, but it was still good to hear people cheer. We pass Mile 6 just before making the left hand turn to the finish line. I cross the finish line, per my chip, at 1:08:06 and I am happy. I feel great. I was looking for my Mom and family only to realize that they had "front row seats" at the finish line. They were going to take my picture as I crossed the finish line. We all missed each other, what a bummer!
Well I had a great time and felt great afterwords. My timing to starting to improve and I am getting faster.
I have not yet convinced myself that I am going to participate in a full marathon, but I have decided that I want to participate in an organized half maraton. I say that because I am going to run in the World Wide Festival of Races Half Marathon. I have not choosen a half marathon yet but I am looking into the National Maraton but I have to qualify for it. In order to do so I need to run a 10k in 1:05:00 or a 5k in 31:00. So I am almost there.
Thanks for reading. More to come. I hope to do a post once a week, hopefully on a Sunday night. I start my training schedule this week. I did not sign up for the Marine Corp Marathon but I did download the training program so I will be starting that.