Saturday at the Zoo
Katie came down from NY to visit me this weekend, and the weather was so nice on Saturday that we decided to go to the National Zoo. I wasn’t expecting much because admission is free, but we were actually quite impressed! The zoo is huge; we spent a good four hours there and still didn’t see everything. I liked that they had staff/volunteers standing at all the major exhibits to answer questions and provide information. We got a little hungry around noon, so we bought a giant bag of popcorn for $5 and barely made a dent in it.
For dinner, we ended up at Toki Underground again – we take just about all our visitors here :) I made the mistake of not ordering ramen this time; my sesame noodles were just okay, but I really liked the karaage chicken.
Sunday – Reston Perfect 10
Sunday morning, I woke up at 5:45 to drive to Reston for the Perfect 10 (you can run a 10K or 10 miles), a Potomac River Running race. The start and finish were stationed near a local high school, so there was plenty of parking in the school’s parking lot and real bathrooms, a total luxury. I picked up my packet before the race started, and waited in the car. I definitely learned my lesson from my last race and went to the bathroom right before the race started.
The weather was just perfect – on the cooler side but no wind – and after the first two miles, I figured I was going to easily beat my goal pace of 8:52 (my 8K PR). I really liked that the course wasn’t perfectly flat; all the small uphills and downhills kept it interesting and helped me set mini-goals for myself.
Mile 1 – 8:38
Mile 2 – 8:33
Mile 3 – 8:38
Mile 4 – 9:01 (had some trouble with my breathing here)
Mile 5 – 8:33
Mile 6 – 8:24
I finished with a time of 53:56, an 8:42 pace. I can’t believe how far I’ve come; a little less than a year ago, I was killing myself for a 9:15 pace in an 8K! One of the reasons I love running is because it shows me that I’m a lot stronger than I think I am.
I was impressed with the race swag; we got a Nike dri-fit t-shirt and a collectible pin, and whether you ran a 10K or 10 miles, you received a medal! I’ll definitely be looking for more =PR= races in the future!
What’s your next race? Do you prefer flat courses or not so flat?
Favorite free activity in DC?