Monument Avenue 10K – Take Two

Monday’s are never fun…this Monday in particular. I think that the day following a road trip exceeding more than 5 hours should entail an additional day off. Why is it that sitting in a car for so long exhausts you so much?

No matter, the 8 hour car ride is now behind me, leaving only the memories of a truly great 10-k weekend.

Following my arrival in Richmond Friday night, I quickly realized one thing: I certainly did not pack accordingly. Knoxville has been displaying some uncommonly warm weather as of late and apparently I was in that mindset when I packed my bag with tank tops, flip-flops, and shorts. Thankfully, I wore jeans for the car ride up and threw an old (and might I add ridiculous) sweatshirt in my bag as an afterthought on my way out the door.

My life-saving, 80's-tastic, Footloose sweatshirt.

Imagine my surprise when we woke up Saturday morning to find it to not only be raining but also around 50 degrees. Well, crap. As I have a bad habit of overdressing for my runs, the most practical outfit I had for the race was a skirt and short-sleeved shirt. Double crap. Luckily, I was able to borrow an extra layer (thanks, E) and we all set out for our 10k adventure, a  tad later than we would have preferred.

It’s not a problem to start the race late – you can move back in your heats, you just can’t go up. Since our assigned heat was long gone, we walked into the first one we could.

Starting Line Jitters!

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but apparently I run a bit faster than the average pace of the other runners we had jumped in with. This resulted in me spending the majority of the race bobbing and weaving through the crowds. By the time I was done, my GPS had me at 6.39 miles. That’s .19 miles of bobs, weaves, and assorted spin moves in addition to the actual race length. Good thing I’m so nimble…

Another good thing? I gots myself a shiny new PR! Read ‘em and weep:

Actually, please don’t weep unless it’s tears of happiness for me - then feel free to weep away!

53:59! Exactly one minute faster than my previous PR setting 10-k!

I’d like to take a moment to thank my 3.5 mile motivator, this guy in the middle:

Thanks, B!

Having the back of someone’s head to try to keep up with is some great motivation. I lost him after 3.5 but had a pretty good stride going and was able to stick with it through the finish line. And just imagine what I could have done if all those other wackos weren’t in my way!

As I was most focused on not slamming into the people in front of me, I didn’t notice too many of my surroundings, which is a shame because the race is actually quite beautiful. Monument Avenue touts plenty of beautiful and historic houses, and hundreds of cheering spectators and their dogs line the street holding signs, as well as their morning drinks. And let’s not forget to mention the actual monuments:

Who doesn’t like to run and sight see simultaneously?

Our whole crew finished well…

…and after meeting up, we headed to our traditional post-race meal at a great Irish restaurant in downtown Richmond called Sine.

You would think one would be tired after an early morning ass kick? Not me, I was ready for some shopping so J, B, and I headed to Short Pump Mall so I could buy some congratulatory clothes from H&M. What’s the fun in getting a new PR if prizes aren’t involved? That, and I always try to hoard some H&M clothes as there isn’t one available to me in Knoxville or Nashville (I’m going to need to speak to someone about that…).

 Following our exhausting shopping excursion, it was time for a cookout, some NCAA action (I’m owning some folks in my bracket this year) a pretty intense game of Wii bowling, then finally, finally bed.

We woke up and headed to Joe’s  Inn for some food. When it comes to Sunday brunch, I don’t discriminate and when their spaghetti came highly recommended, it was spaghetti I got. Totally worth it. I, in turn, am now highly recommending it to you: fellow reader. if you ever get to Richmond go to Joe’s, get their spaghetti (w/ marinara), and a Greek salad – You won’t regret it. It’s fantastic.

mmm....

My carbo load up left me with plenty of energy for, you guessed it, more shopping! We headed to nearby Carytown to investigate their assorted stores. You can imagine my delight at stumbling across a Penzy’s Spices where I snatched up some legit vanilla extract and Herbs de Provence (I am accepting recipes for how to best utilize these items). Also another recommendation: Carytown Bistro & Coffee House – get their pink latte. Don’t be bashful if you’re a dude – it tastes like coffee and strawberry syrup milk. I put mine over ice and It was so good I had to smack J’s hand away more than a few times.

 Finally, much later than we anticipated, we headed back to TN. despite my less than stellar packing skills, I had a fantastic trip with great friends and family and I think those are the best kinds of weekends.

Happy Monday all!

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6 thoughts on “Monument Avenue 10K – Take Two

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