I missed my second Tidal Basin 3K in a row this month, due to a meeting I was summoned to at 11:30 a week ago last Wednesday. The race, run the 3rd Wednesday of every month, starts at noon over two miles from my workplace. Before last month, I had run in 98 out of the last 108 races.
The race has changed for me though, as some people who regularly run it blame me, as president, for my club ending its sponsorship this year of the forty five year old race. A new association was formed to run the race, which is problematic because it's run on Park Service land and it is unpermitted. There are problems when the wrong Park Ranger shows up and wants to take names and lay down the law about groups over 25 persons gathering for any purpose there (I don't know how tour buses get away with letting their passengers out for a short hike). This is infrequent, however. I don't feel welcome running the race, even though I personally contributed $50 to the association to help it get started.
Anyway, the next morning I decided to do a fast short run by doing what used to be my staple run, a 2.5 mile run to the schoolhouse up the street and back. In olden times I did this run at breakneck speed five mornings a week, 12.5 miles every week. I'd be done with my daily exercise before the coffee finished brewing. It kept me sleek and fast, but I didn't have much base.
Now I run in groups and do around 25 miles each week. I have a base but I'm much less sleek and far slower. Hmmm.
Outbound there's a hill that's a third of a mile long. I can tell I'm on track if I get to the turnaround a mile and a quarter out in under ten minutes, which is an 8:00 m/m pace.
This particular morning I labored going up the hill and I passed the mile marker at 8:20. I hit the turnaround at 10:20 and wondered if I could return in 9:19. I couldn't. I ran up to my driveway at 20:12 (8:05), for a return trip of 9:52. If I had been doing a virtual 3K race, my time for 1.86 miles would have been 15:04.
The coffee was ready by the time I got back.