March 17, 2020 - This was my first race of the season and, likely, my only one for the foreseeable future due to all of the COVID-19 cancellations and restrictions
I scheduled this race back in late-Dec/early-Jan as I need to be in DC in mid-March. I had already done the DC Rock n Roll Half and wasn't impressed. This was a little race, precisely on the weekend I needed, was a charity racem and I knew the course (the C&O Canal towpath). I liked the combination. Unfortunately, shortly after signing up for it, I fell behind in my run training by about 2 weeks due to the cold/cough I had back in January that lingered for several weeks. It wasn't the first time when my training wasn't where I wanted it and it won't be the last. On top of that, I developed a major charlie horse in my calf early in the week after my morning workout. That was new! As a result, I only did elliptical instead of running the rest of the week just to be safe.
Early in the week leading up to the race, the RD sent out a notice indicating the race was on as scheduled as the number of participants was under the DC COVID max group size number, but he still provided the option of transferring registrations to another race or doing a virtual race. A smart person would have taken all of those factors as a sign and taken advantage of one of those options. I've never claimed to be smart and since I had to be in DC anyway, I did the in-person race. It rained the night before the race and that morning started with temps in the low 40s, cloudy, and drizzling. I applied my Amp Human. Not so much because this was going to be a FTP test, but to help minimize the soreness from not running that week. Between the bad weather, people being on edge over COVID, and the social distancing recommendations, there was none of the typical pre-race chatter. It was definitely strange. Even with the small numbers (a total of 114 people showed between the 5K and the half marathon), the RD broke the start into 3 waves. The nice thing about the C&O Canal towpath is that while it's a "trail" that has it's fair share of rocks and is prone to lots of standing water due to the soil composition, it's not a true trail in that you don't have to worry about roots, tree limbs, etc until you're well outside of the DC area and you never single track. It was an out/back course with just a couple of water stations due to the cool temps. Fortunately, I didn't need to worry about it as I self supported with my Infinit customized run blend! I ended up finishing in 2:14 and was 2 of 5 in my AG. Given the fact I was behind in training, the charlie horse, and the constant puddle dodging the whole race, I was quite happy with my results. I stuck around after the race long enough to fill my blender bottle with water so I could drink my Infinit customized protein recovery blend before leaving. Even on a Sunday morning, I hate driving in the District and certainly didn't want to "drink [my blend] and drive." A shout out to Bishop Events for holding the event. I'm sure they had a lot of pressure to cancel. They put on a great small race.