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America, September 16, 2002

One day I'll beat 21

A day of running and biking across DC

bike dc rules
the bikedc action shot
Matt & Beth Rock
my partners in sweat
How did I get myself into this? I've been running flat out for about 20 minutes, and now, with a final uphill sprint awaiting me, I'm asking my body to find one last burst of energy so I can cross that finish line in thirty seconds or less. It's the 12th Annual Spring Valley/Sumner Community 5K Classic and I'm trying to beat my best 5k time of 21:30 in the first (and probably) last 5k race for me this year.

I started off the year in good form, hoping to improve on last year's average of 22 minutes for a 5k, which a little less than three 7-minute miles, until I developed a painful shin splint right before the first race of the season. It seems that the very male response to an injury, just train harder, isn't the best for pulled muscles.

I spent the rest of the summer resting and doing yoga, to work my muscle groups in different ways to keep up my stamina while my foot healed. It wasn't until August that I really felt that I could push myself in the speed and distance needed to run at my 5k best, and this was the first 5k to come along.

Not that there aren't plenty of races in and around DC, for there are defiantly a lot of runners here. Usually, either the races are way out in the 'burbs or way early in the morning, so I'm never motivated enough to run them. The Spring Valley/Sumner Community 5K Classic is different though.

Last year, I ran this race and then met up with my cousins, spending a wonderful Saturday on the soccer fields of DC. This year I wanted to do the same, but I inadvertently signed up for two things, the race and then BikeDC, so instead of a clam afternoon of kids, I'm off after the race to bike for 14 miles around DC!

I'm thinking that after the bike ride I can really round out the day right, with a swim across the Potomac to make it my first mini-Triathlon. Naw, I'll go home & sleep instead.

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