Weekending: On & Off the Pavement

This weekend kicked off with a Pacers Friday night 5K , a race distance these legs haven’t faced since August of 2010. While the competitive-me would have loved a good sprint through those flat 3.1 miles to replace an outdated PR, the still-sore-from-Bootcamp-me protested this notion.

Crystal City Friday night 5K bib

Warning: while it may seem like a great idea to spend Friday night racing, first think about the fact that it’s in Virginia. Then think about whether or not you work outside of D.C.. Then remember that these 5Ks attract a lot of last-minute packet pick-ups (guilty). Then, rethink your decision to do this based on the time allotted. Just a thought.

I actually made it in time to stand in line, get my packet, drop off my bag on the “bag tarp” (bag check? No, that’d be too fancy. In the 5K planner’s defense, the bag tarp worked just fine), find Epod & MJ, ask about Ivan’s whereabouts and then head to Chipotle for a pit-stop. A lot can happen in 25 minutes.

The “fun run” mentality lasted all of one mile, until I realized that the next two miles would just have to be around 6:50-7:00 in order to get close to the PR. Had I dodged-and-weaved through the crowd more strategically in mile 1 (no easy task), this could’ve gone differently. 7:13 – 7:02 – 6:35 – 6:21 (0.1+)

Crystal City Friday night 5K results
Missed the PR by approximately 15 seconds.

Next time, the legs won’t be full of lactic acid. Next time, there will be a “21” starting that Garmin freeze shot.

We got cupcakes & sangria, courtesy of MJ, as a post-race treat. That is one Friday night I didn’t mind spending on the pavement!


Do One Thing Every Day that Scares you

In other news, I did something today that terrifies me – after a twenty month hiatus, my clipless road-bike shoes met their bike-pedal companions, once again.

practicing clipless shoes

Rather than jumping all-in right away, I decided to take my lessons learned and approach things differently. I took this one shoe at a time, literally.

One Nike Free, one clipless shoe. We rode out on Beach drive for thirty minutes; I practiced clipping in and out with my left foot, finally realizing that if I unclip with my pedal on the top (knee bent vs. leg straightened), it makes a world of difference.

Where was this knowledge two years ago?! Why had I never thought to ask D about this?? Oh hindsight, you’re a fickle friend.

After about 15 minutes not knowing which would come first – my stomach falling out or my left side hitting the road– I finally “got it”, and felt at ease. I finally relaxed and pedaled alongside D with confidence. I finally got back on that two-wheeled friend that I’ve been neglecting. Sweet victory – all body parts remained safely off the pavement!

For the ride home, I switched shoes (yep – I rode with a back-pack and two different shoes. So suave on this bike thang…), this time practicing on the right side. It was smooth sailing, and I managed to pull myself up Tilden to top it all off.


It felt good to see speed come from tired legs, it felt even better to be out for a bike ride, on a hot Spring afternoon, with D.

Any other tips, clip-less shoe pros? I’ll take any advice I can get. I refuse to let a pedal-shoe combination get the best of my ego.

Any other weekend warriors?



Filed under bike rides, cross training, Races, running, weekends

7 responses to “Weekending: On & Off the Pavement

  1. Way to go on the race, and brilliant way to practice clipping in!
    I don’t have any tips except to not forget you’re clipped in! I’m saying that from experience after rolling into a ditch with one of my feet still attached to my bike…ouch, and embarrassing.

  2. Congrats on the clipping! I still refuse, but I’m stubborn like that.

    As for the race…I’m convinced that next time we should really just start at the very very front. It’s the only way to only have minimal dodging and weaving.

    • Heather C

      We can, and we shall! There were plenty of people who “shouldn’t” be up at the front – certainly not Elites, this time around. 😉

  3. cupcakes & sangria – be still my heart. You’re splits are bananas. AMAZING!

    OK I’m quite proud of your little shoe trick. For me, I always unclip one foot early, practice setting one foot free and you’ll always have a balance. I KNOW you can do it!

    • Heather C

      I unclip about half a mile back from a stop-light or stop sign…there is chancing this right now! My elbow would prefer not to spend another month permanently bent in a 90* angle 😉

  4. HAHAHAHAHA!!! I love your shoe idea with the bike! now we can ride together outside, yes?

  5. That is GENIUS! I wish someone had suggested that to (or that I had considered it myself). GOod way to ease into it and get some practice. Nice to see you back on your bike!

    WTG on the 5K, too. Your PR is due to be crushed.

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