Hi friends – I wanted to pop in and share some recent running-specific adventures.
First up is the 3rd annual Memorial 5k for my friend Paul, which was held last week at the W&L high school track in Arlington where we all met twice a week for many many years for our track workout group.
I no longer attend the group (I went consistently for about 4 or 5 years, but then when Riese was born never went back in full force, and now that we live down in Del Ray instead of right by the track it’s just too complicated logistically, but I miss it)!
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Paul and I met at the track workout group back in 2013, and quickly became good running buddies, training for many a marathon together with our other track friends (pictured here on a cold and snowy run in January 2017 with our friend Diane).
He was the perfect running buddy because he had a seemingly endless supply of funny stories to tell. One of my favorite runs with him was this 20 miler on a random Monday in 2016; he offered to keep me company for 14 of those miles because I was sad I was traveling over the weekend and missed our big group long run!
Here’s another of my favorite long runs we did together that got recapped on the blog – there’s a funny picture of him wringing out his socks mid-run.
Paul very sadly passed away in November 2020. The first memorial 5k was held a couple weeks later, and track veterans who knew Paul but didn’t actively attend anymore were also invited to join in.
I missed last year’s 5k because of lack of childcare logistics, so I really wanted to make sure to make it this year!
It was really nice to see some old track friends and my coach, and to all collectively remember our friend Paul. Mother nature cooperated nicely with a beautiful sunrise for us that got more and more epic as we ran (sunrise photos courtesy of Diane’s husband who was there supporting but not running).
In honor of Paul who was always right on my heels (or my rabbit in front of me) at the track as motivation, I aimed to run a “fast for me right now” pace.
I’ve been doing most of my runs lately between 9:30 and 10 minute mile pace, so I decided a good challenge would be to aim for anything under a 9 minute mile average pace, and I nailed it.
It felt hard but not insane, and having the others and my old coach yelling out my splits as I passed him helped keep me motivated!
We miss you, Paul. <3
Over the weekend, I met my friend Kathleen for a run. I went up her way the past few times we’ve met for runs so this time she came near me and we met at Daingerfield Island to run along the Mt. Vernon Trail on the Potomac River.
It was chilly and windy out but felt fine once we were moving. I was feeling pretty sluggish and tired – likely because of my faster 5k two days before – but the conversation helped keep me going.
This was definitely a run where if I’d been alone I probably would’ve walked the whole thing, so I was really glad to have company!
4 miles, check!
We’re running a 10k together (along with my friend Katie) this weekend which will be fun! I’ll share a recap next week, along with some holiday recipe inspiration.
Have a lovely weekend, friends, and see you back here soon!