On Sunday I completed my 6th Half Marathon at the Alexandria Running Festival! It was ridiculously hard for me because it was so hot. My body did not agree with the weather one bit, I was starting to get a sore throat, and it was the longest 13.1 miles ever...
The race started 30 minutes late, and by then the sun was bright and shining. A big majority of this race was on the road in the middle of Alexandria, so there was not much shade. By the time I got to the park section, I was overly exhausted and tired, and had no energy or desire to continue running. But I trudged along because there was no other option.
I had a horrible time (for me) to finish, but I was still within the time constraints of a runDisney race, so I guess it is not too bad.
On Thursday night I had the opportunity to check out the Capital Wheel at National Harbor before it opened to the public. I attended with Kendra from When's My Vacation. It was an absolute perfect night. It was warm, with a nice breeze and the most beautiful sunset!
Kendra and I had an amazing time taking lots of pictures. The Capital Wheel is located on the waterfront by the boat docks. It is 180 feet tall. When we were driving over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge it was clearly visible and almost as tall as some of the hotels and building.
The Capital Wheel looks small from far away, but once you get close, it really is huge! There are 42 climate-controlled Gondolas, which fit up to 8 people. The entire wheel can fit up to 332 people at a time!
It was neat watching the sun set behind the Capital Wheel. While we waited for it to get dark, we enjoyed some live music, concessions by Wolfgang Puck Catering (the hummus was really tasty), and conversations with other attendees of the Preview Event.
It was neat watching the planes preparing to land at Reagan National Airport. It looks so cool with the sunset and the Capital Wheel. I'm sure it would be a great view for the people in the plane, as well.
The Capital Wheel has 1.6 million fully programmable LED lights. We got to see a Red, White, and Blue light show in honor of military families and USO.
Riding the Capital Wheel was a blast. I was a bit nervous for all of 5 seconds, but then enjoyed the trip and the amazing views. It was hard to pinpoint the monuments in DC in the dark, but you could certainly see everything lit up and it was beautiful.
The ride lasted about 15 minutes and rotated 4-5 times. It was enough time to enjoy ourselves and see the views from all sides. There were four people in our Gondola and it was a very comfortable number without feeling squished.
I absolutely loved riding the Capital Wheel at night, but would also love to ride it during the day to fully see the Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol, and surrounding areas.
I highly recommend that everyone should take a visit out to National Harbor and to take a ride on the Capital Wheel. Pair it with lunch or dinner and you have a fun day or night out on the town! Adult tickets are $15, and Children (ages 3-11) are $11.25, payable by debit or credit only.
On Monday, Madre met me for a run to try out my new shoes. They are pretty comfortable so far, and I just hope that they stay that way. I hate shoe shopping and I hate not having comfortable shoes!
Tuesday was a busy day. My 8th graders had their orchestra concert, so I had to stay after school, set up, have a concert, and then tear down. By the time we got home, I was over-exhausted, so I skipped my streak and went straight to bed :( This was very upsetting to me, but there was no way I could complete a 5k that night.
So on Wednesday, I knew I had to make it up. It was a bit rainy, so I headed to the gym to run 10k on the treadmill. I used 2:1 intervals, with negative splits.
Mile 1 - 5.0 - 12 min/mi
Mile 2 - 5.2 - 11:32mm
Mile 3 - 5.4 - 11:07mm
Mile 4 - 5.6 - 10:43mm
Mile 5 - 5.8 - 10:21mm
Mile 6 - 6.0 - 10:00mm
Last .2 - 7.2 - 8:20mm
When walking, I walked a 4.0 pace (15 minute mile). I ended up finishing in 1:16:13, which is an average 12:09 pace. Not very fast, but it was HOT at the gym. They turned off the fans right after I started running, and I didn't see a worker until over halfway through my run. Finally the turned on the fans. UGH! Hot and sweaty with no wind in my face! But I finished and that is all that matters.
On Thursday, I went to National Harbor with Kendra for a Capital Wheel preview event. I fully intended to track my walking, but cell service was spotty and my battery was quickly draining. I had to turn off runkeeper so I would have juice left to take over a hundred pictures! (Stay tuned for my Capital Wheel post!!!) I was wearing very comfortable shoes, and did walk a lot - from the parking garage, to the restaurant, up and down the piers, etc....so I am going to count that as my Streak Day #22 and call it a day.
On Saturday, Marty joined me for a local 5k. Someone else was supposed to join us (*cough cough*) but they did not.
We got to the race early enough to get our bibs and then we waited...and waited...and waited.
The race started later than posted and it seemed pretty disorganized. Only one person really seemed to know what was going on.
We finally started running. This race was through a neighborhood, and was generally ok, but they expected everyone to stay on sidewalks for a large majority of the run. It was way to crowded for this, and Marty and I ran on the side of the road. The course was pretty hilly. We would get to the bottom of a hill, only to go back up.
But we did pretty good with 2:1 intervals and finally finished. Marty had to leave, but I decided to stay for the awards and raffle. Again...I waited...and waited...and then finally I left. I later found out that awards didn't even happen until 2 hours after the race started. FOR A 5k! Really, everyone had finished in under an hour...I'm not sure why they waited that long...especially when I'm sure none of the award winners were still there.
Oh well. I got my 5k done for Streak Day #17.
Marty ended up getting 9th place in the category Mens 40+. If there was a normal 50-59, Marty would have placed 2nd.
I ended up getting 10th place in the Category Womens 15-39. If they did the normal 20-29 group, I would have placed 3rd.
I didn't do much running this week because my legs are tired! But next week I will step it up because I have a half on Sunday!
On Wednesday, Bella, Maestro, and I went on a walk around the neighborhood. After we came home, they both promptly passed out. It was a nice workout.
On Thursday, I REALLY did not want to go workout. It was pretty much raining ALL day, so I had to go to the gym. I ended up cranking out 5.5 miles on the bike before quitting, and then did some arm weights.
Friday was a bit tricky. I went to bring Bella home, and then ended up going on a shopping spree. While Madre and Marty went into various stores (target x2 and the exchange), I stayed outside and walked around the parking lots. When I got home, I still had to do about 1.5 more miles, so Maestro and I trudged out in the misting rain and finished up.
Have you heard about the soon-to-open Capital Wheel at National Harbor in Maryland? When I first heard about the development of the wheel for the DC area, I was very excited. I thought back to how much I enjoyed the London Eye and the amazing views that you could see from the top.
I will have the opportunity to experience the Capital Wheel before it opens to the public on May 23, 2014, so be on the lookout for pictures and a review of this fun, new attraction!
Because of my 10k and 5k races this weekend, I kept my next workouts pretty easy. On Monday I went over to Madre's and dragged her on a walk. We walked around her neighborhood and saw a few frogs.
On Tuesday I was going to go on an easy run, but Nathan decided he didn't want to go. THEN I touched my eye after handling a bottle of the World's Hottest Hot Sauce. So I had to take out my contacts and wear my glasses, which are the incorrect prescription (because I only wear them for 10 minutes a day...) So I went to the gym and did a quick 4 miles on the bike before coming home. Get 'er done!
I'm hoping to take my bike into the shop to get tuned up so I can get some outside biking done!
For Mother's Day, Maestro and I ran a 5k race at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield, VA, put on by Metro Run Walk. I have never been to this park before and was pleasantly surprised. The paved running path was surrounded by overlapping trees and passed over streams. It was a very pretty run. One benefit of being US Road Running Ambassador is that I get to do a lot of races and learn about new places to enjoy nature and run! I really enjoy running on paths through parks rather than on the street!
This race was pretty crowded with lots of families, kids, and strollers. It was a bit difficult running this race just because the path was not very wide and there were a lot of people. Maestro and I did 1:1 intervals because my legs were still tired from the day before and because of the heat and crowds.
Nevertheless, it was a fun race, and I got a rose at the end, as well as won a tank top in the raffle.
Streak Day 11 complete :)