Sunday, September 15, 2013

weeks of 2 and 9 September

Just run, baby.  I gave up on the complexities of my diet and running schedule.  Yes, I wimped out -- but, in a good way?  Right?  The one thing that's always worked for me is lots of miles.

The week of Sept 2nd didn't quite pan out that way:  4.8, 7.1, 0, 7.8, 10.3, and 2.5 for 41 total.  All of it easy.  I was planning on 18 that Sunday but just didn't feel like it.  Ugh.

The week of 9 September, my kids' winter swimming starts, which means that I'm getting up at 4am to get them to 4:30 practice.  I decided to do 10 mile every day Mon - Fri since I'm up anyway.  The practices are by some nice trails.  All of this was slow.  Around 10:00 miles except without my headlamp when it was much slower (but felt much faster).

  • Monday.  10.2 @ 9:52 on roads.  Practice was cancelled.  The pool wasn't filled, so came home and ran on road.
  • Tuesday.  10.3 @ 10:59.  No headlamp.  4:30 well before sunrise and lots of leaves on the trees.
  • Wednesday.  AM.  8.1 @ 10:06.  Still no headlamp, but I ran as fast as I could on the less shaded sections.  PM.  2.0 @ 10:26 on treadmill.  (actually 6mph, but footpod mis-calibrated)
  • Thursday.  10.2 @ 10:09.  Finally with the headlamp.  New Garmin 410 screws me on distance on the trails.
  • Friday.  10.5 @ 10:17.  Had headlamp, but took a wrong turn that added some distance.
  • Saturday.  4.7 @ 9:47 on road.  Thought I should take it easy before long run.
  • Sunday.  17.7 @ 9:44.  Gorgeous weather.  57 at start.  70 at end.  This is at least 18 miles.  Do not like the Garmin 410 for trails.  Friend measured with calibrated bike at 4.57 per lap.  FR305 said 4.50.  FR410 says 4.39.
  • Total:  73.5 miles.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

week of 26 August

Schedule calls for 4 hard runs plus one of the "easy" runs is 120 minutes?  Oh, and don't have hard runs back-to-back.  Kinda tough, especially if you figure Monday comes after a long run day.  I made things worse by taking my off day on Tuesday because of work/life.  I was faced with the 4 hard days plus the 120' in the last 5 days of the week.  I think I mixed them as well as possible but ended up running 51' easy on Friday and cutting out one of the workouts.  Here's how it went
  • Mon.  46' E1.  10:00 on treadmill watching Breaking Bad
  • Tue.  Off.  Didn't get any sleep and had to leave early for meeting.  Schedule has off day each week.  I took it today.  There are also 4 workout days, so back-to-back easy days is not ideal!
  • Wed.  7.26 miles.  16' E1 + 20:02  E3 + 2' recovery + 10 x (45" E4 + 15" rec) + 16' E1
    • ran at track.  20:02 covered 4200 meters  (7:40 pace -- was very constant)
    • Took about 9 minutes into E3 for HR to reach 170, which is a bit higher than marathon HR 9 minutes into a race, but was up around 179 after 20, which is near HM heart rate.
      • It was 72 degrees and 100% humidity
    • My cadence was 90-92 strides/minute.  OK, I have a fancy foot pod.
  • Thur.  8.20 miles.  16'E1 + 8x(3'E3|1'E4|1'R) + 16'E1.
    • fast part was out and back on hunter village and cross county back path with first 5' downhill
    • turned around at 20' and ended up exactly where I started after 20' on way back.
  • Fri.  51' E1.  4.69.  10:55 pace.
    • legs sore.  No way would it be a good idea to do the fast stuff today
  • Sat.  120'  E1.  12 miles 10:00 on treadmill
    • 2 episodes of The Wire
    • pretty sore still
  • Sun.  3 hours.  15 miles.  3' walk/7' run alternating 3mph (20:00) and 6mph (10:00) on treadmill
    •   3 episodes of The Wire
    • was worried after yesterday, but no problem
    • slow and not that far, but point is time on feet
  • Total:  51.4 miles.  8h58'
  • Weight:  169.8.
Getting legs sore with MPish cruise intervals followed by good old fashioned LSD seemed like a good enough plan.

Not doing well on the diet.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

week of 19 August

  • Mon.  Off.  Pretty sore from long run yesterday and schedule has an off day for week, so...
  • Tue.  10.1 miles.  21' E1 + 8x(6'E3|1'E1) + 17' E1
  • Wed.    4.5 miles.  46' E1
  • Thur.  5.45 miles.  56' E1 on treadmill.
  • Fri.  10.0 miles.  30'E3 + 2 rec + 10 x (1'E4 | 1' rec)
    • about 7:50 pace on flat for first 15 of E3.  Kept pace through trail but heart rate rose.
  • Sat.  4.80 miles.  49'E1
  • Sun.  15 miles at 10:00.  2h30' E1.  Surprisingly easy
  • Total:  49.5 miles. 8h05'.  9:48 pace
  • Weight:  170.8?!  I'm 17 pounds above my low from Summer of 2010.  I would be crushing it at 153.
Mileage down this week because I took the off day and last week I ran 8 one day instead of 45' as schedule calls for.  Right now I'm strengthening my legs. I need to get them back in shape after months of just slogging 10 minute miles.  I slogged the 15 today, but just because it's my first time at that distance in forever.

I started the slow carb diet on Saturday.  Saturday was rough.  I was hungry and couldn't think straight.  All was better after sleeping though.  I thought I'd suffer on the long run, but I was totally fine -- better than expected actually.  I also thought I'd be dead the rest of the day after my run, but no problem.  I didn't even take my usual sunday afternoon long-run nap.

I'm not pressing the marathon pace bits too much, especially with summer weather.  The HRM (and experience) takes the guesswork out of it.  I figure I'm good for about 3:30 shape if I run at ~166 pounds. I'm not going to kill myself trying to run 7:30's as MP when I'm not in shape for that.  The plan is to train like a 3:30 runner and drop the weight and times.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


"Summery."  Get it?  Anyway, it's not quite the end of summer, but I'm hoping this will mark the end of my summertime lackadaisical training.  I'd just been running mileage, and not much of it, until a couple of weeks ago when I realized I was 15 weeks out from the marathon.  Oh my.

Here's from 2 June through

Just slogging around at 10 minute pace.  You have to like the consistency with 10:10, 10:10, 10:11, and 10:13 as my weekly average for four weeks.  The ones that are slightly faster usually include a day where I ran slightly faster for some reason.

Two weeks ago, I decided I needed a plan.   I bought the Hansons book a few months ago and thought I'd give it a shot.  The plan's 18 weeks, so I started with week 4.  The schedule is availabe here (I was starting with week 15 counting down).  Tempo for them means MP.  I like the idea of doing on that MP so I know I'm ready, but that's pretty intimidating.

So here's how I executed the first week (week of 5 August)
  • 6.19 at 9:05 on TM (6.6 mph).  I decided to push up the pace from my usual 10:00.
  • 7.21.  6x800 @5k pace.  3:27, 3:26, 3:22, 3:25, 3:20, 3:24.  I was shooting for 3:20 (20:30 5k) initially, but I guess I'm lazy or slow.  Wx was 68 and dp of 64, so that's a decent excuse.
  • off.
  • 5.34.  3 at MP (was supposed to be 6).  At Va beach on vacation.  Nowhere to run where we were really, but there was a track.  Managed to leave my running clothes and had to go to Walmart, so didn't get out until 9:30.  Hot and humid (82 and 88% humidity), but mostly overcast until 2 miles into the MP section when I was in full sun, running on an asphalt (I assume) 1/4-mile "track."  I only tried to keep it a little under 8 min/mi.  "MP" splits were 7:56, 7:51, 7:41.  Turns out this was more like 10M/10k pace and I was dying.
  • 4.6 @ 10:14  Hot and humid again.  81 and 84%.  Ran the training course.  Just didn't feel like any more.
  • 4.6. @ 10:12. Same as above
  • 3.0 @10:00 on TM.  Left early to drive home.  Planned Herculean 12 miler on TM, but gave up at 3.  Ugh.
  • Total:  30.9 @ 9:27

Well that didn't go well.  Then for no apparent reason, I decided to try Marius Bakken's 100-day plan (that I impulsively bought quite a while ago), picking up in the second week of the 15 week program.  I've done this for a while before.  It has lots of fartleks and is based mostly on time.  It looks easy on paper, but it's harder than you'd think.  There are lots of fartleks where you run at between MP and HMP (E3) or between HMP and 10k pace (E4) -- basically near threshold and threshold.  The rest is easy running (E1).

Week of 12 August

  • 7.80 @ 10:18.  My usual route. This is a good time to complain about my Garmin 410.  My 305 gave me 7.9 for this route and google maps says it's 7.95.
  • 5.5 @ 10:00 on TM.
  • 8.04 @ 8:16.  1.5 wup, 6x1200 alternating E4 and E3, 1.5 cdn.  1200s were 5:23/158, 5:29/165, 5:08/177, 5:30/173, 5:11/180, 5:30/178.  Close to right, I think.  5:10 is 6:56/mile, 5:30 is 7:23 mile pace, but I think the idea is alternating slightly above and below threshold, which I did.
  • 5.3 @ 10:10
  • 8.9 @ 8:53 including 30 x 1' at E3 progressing to E4 with 30 sec recovery.  Avg pace over intervals was 8:04 (over same course Garmin cheats me) with avg HR of 164.  This is quite a hilly route, so not too bad.  Gorgeous, no-excuse day.  54 degrees!
  • 9.68 @ 10:07.  Schedule 90'.  Ran 98'.  Kind of beat up from yesteday.
  • 13.1 @ 11:28.  2h30m run/walk.  5 min run.  5 min walk.  Went at the runs kinda hard.  E2+ instead of E1 like I was supposed to.  I guess I liked the idea of actually running the run legs (~8:45).  I was getting into the 170s at the end on the uphill run segments.  Not used to going past 2 hours. 
  • Total:   58.44 @ 10:00

Hey, I ended up at 10:00/mile avg for the week.  I guess there are different ways to get there.  Near 60 with some good quality, so I'm happy about that.  My left psoas/aductor/something-in-there is a bit dicey this afternoon.  Was sore after run and pulled a bit moving furniture.  Hopefully it will be OK tomorrow.

Now the only number that's going to matter:  166.6 pounds.  Gotta get that down.  162 has been my typical weight before this last year.  The years of running only 40mpw (and my increasing age) have shifted my set point I'm afraid.  Over 60 (mpw) and under 160 (pounds) is what I need.

It's been 4 years since I've running a marathon, so I don't know what to expect.  I wish I'd have been able to run one in peak shape 2 years ago, but oh well.  I'd like to run 3:20, but I'm thinking I'll be lucky to crack 3:30.  I need to drop 5 pounds and get in a race.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Week of 27 May

Good week.  Kids had swim meet Sat/Sun and had to leave the house at 6:20am.  Proud of myself for getting up and out the door to run at 4:30am.  Doubled both days, too.

I did hill repeats on Tuesday preceding by two short (10 second) hill sprints.  I'm trying to get my running form back after slogging 11-minute miles.  The hills seem to help engage my glutes.  I did ~2:05 two weeks ago and now under 2:00 to get to the same point.  Granted, it's at a higher heart rate, but it was relatively easier as I just couldn't make my legs go before.

I also stopped wearing my Wave Ronins that must have had over 3000 miles on them (seriously).  I wore the black part off the bottom of the shoe in the heel.  I gave the Free 3.0v3's another chance and like them now.  My hip also has felt *much* better.  I think a lot of my problem was giving up the Hattoris (zero heel drop) when I started running on trails (rocks hurt my feet).  The new Frees only have a 4mm heel drop, so close enough I guess.

I'm also wearing my HRM again.  Most people wear one to slow themselves down.  I'm the opposite.  I'm trying to keep it above 130bpm at least.

Most importantly, I've quit sugar again in an effort to get my weight down.  I've hit over 170 for the first time since the first year I started running.  I think my "set point" has changed after a year or so of lower mileage.  It was tough for me to eat myself over 165 for a long time.  Not so anymore.

All of the detailed tracking isn't really necessary.  Weight and mileage are 95% of the equation.  Over 60 and under 160 is my mantra for the marathon.  I'll do something faster (like the hill repeats) once or twice a week and try to keep my mileage up.  I'd like to get back to doubling also.  Running 20 minutes instead of eating when I get home doesn't hurt

  • Mon
    • 8:57 AM   7.79    1:21:33    10:28    132 (66%)
    • 5:27 PM   2.22    0:25:24    11:26    136 (68%)
  • Tue           8.15    1:28:46    10:53    147 (73%)
  • Wed           4.70    0:49:22    10:30    131 (65%)
  • Thu           9.14    1:34:23    10:20    134 (67%)
  • Fri          10.21    1:41:35     9:57    136 (68%)
  • Sat
    • 4:32 AM   7.82    1:19:20    10:09    132 (66%)
    • 6:30 PM   2.50    0:25:05    10:02    138 (69%)
  • Sun
    • 4:34 AM   7.84    1:20:48    10:19    134 (67%)
    • 4:58 PM   2.70    0:27:00    10:00    125 (62%)
This Week        63.07  10:53:16     10:21    135 (68%)  

Monday, May 27, 2013

week of 20 May

Decent week except the weakness on Thursday.  Normally I get up at 4am to get my son to swim practice at 4:30 and run while he's there.  He hasn't been swimming Thursday mornings and it's too tempting to stay in bed.
  • Mon - Wakefield 6.38 1:06:26 10:24 132 (66%) 5:53 AM
  • Tue - WSHS track 8.03 1:18:39 9:48 148 (74%) 6:12 AM
    •  started out to do 400s at 5k pace w/400 rest.  No set #.  Did 8 in 1:38, 1:36, 1:35, 1:34, 1:35, 1:34, 1:40.  After 400 rest did MP for as long as I felt.  Only 800 in 3:45 (~7:30 pace)
  • Wed  - Burke Lake 7.31 1:23:29 11:25 126 (63%) 6:09 AM
  • Thu - weenied out
  • Fri -  Burke Lake Trail Running Morning 8.15 1:28:28 10:51 128 (64%) 6:16 AM
  • Saturday Springfield loop Running Morning 7.81 1:17:30 9:55 143 (71%) 10:30 AM
  • Sunday Springfield loop Running Morning 8.81 1:30:30 10:17 134 (67%) 10:19 AM
Total:  46.49 8:05:02 10:26 135 (68%)

Mileages are probably inaccurate (stupid 410) and heart rates are unduly influenced by wonkiness for the first few miles.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

6 months out to Richmond

I hit 60 miles the week of 18 Feb and was so proud that I posted for the second time this year.  Well I haven't come close again.  Here are my miles and paces.  I've mostly been trail running in the dark without a headlamp while my son swims at his 4:30-6am swim practice.  This isn't conducive to fast running.  My new Garmin 410 also seems to be stingy with the mileage, especially on trails.  One Burke lake loop is at least 4.5 miles and it gives me 4.35.  With the excuses out of the way

  • Week of 25 Feb - 56.3 in 7 runs, 10:14 per mile
  • Week of 04 Mar - 49.1 in 6 runs, 10:18 per mile
  • Week of 11 Mar - 33.2 in 5 runs, 9:58 per mile
  • Week of 18 Mar - 20.6 in 3 runs, 10:14 per mile
  • Week of 01 Apr - 34.5 in 5 runs, 10:35 per mile
  • Week of 08 Apr - 31.7 in 4 runs, 10:10 per mile
  • Week of 15 Apr - 43.4 in 6 runs, 10:23 per mile
    • Pike's Peak 10k in 43:44 (7:03 pace).  Didn't really race.  Settled into 7 minute pace and stayed there.  Felt I maybe could have run 5k more at this pace, but who knows.
  • Week of 22 Apr - 49.0 in 6 runs, 10:40 per mile
    • I think part of slower pace is that the leaves are back and it's very dark under the shade
  • Week of 29 Apr - 42.7 in 6 runs, 10:23 per mile
    • Sunday was two laps at 8:34 pace around burke lake.  Garmin 410 only gave 8.70 mile even though it's definitely at 9.0 (8:17 pace).  This was Hansons long run
  • Week of 06 May - 40.9 in 6 runs, 10:30 per mile
    • Tues - nominally 12 x 400 @ 5k.  Ran in rain on .18-mile bumpy gravel elementary school track.  ~1:45 on and 2:30 off.  If you believe Garmin (and I don't), the on paces were 6:41, 6:24, 6:23, 6:21, 6:29, 6:22, 6:43, 6:42, 7:02 (no way), 6:35, 6:45, 7:09 (uh uh).
    • Thur - 1.7-mile wup at 10:30.  4.5 miles at 7:47/169, 7:38/171, 7:40/172, 7:44/172, 7:41/170.  1.7 cdn at 10:50.  Supposed to be MP in middle but probably a little harder.  172-174 is my average MP, but usually takes me 10 miles to ease up there.  This is a very hilly course.
    • Sunday was easy long run
  • Week of 13 May - 37.8 miles in 5 runs, 10:13 per mile
    • Tues - Did 5 x 2:00 hills at Lake Accotink.  Jogged over and did 2 x steep hill sprint by dam.  Jogged back and did last 2:00 hill on way home
    • Wed, Th - no running due to lack of sleep and too much work
    • Friday was a moderate 9:32/144 on trail.  Had to be faster than 9:32.  Stupid 410.
    • Sunday was semi-moderate. HR in low 140s and then 148, 149 last two miles.  Two burke lake laps in 1:24:36.  9:41 pace according to Garmin.  9:15 if Burke Lake is 4.57 per lap.
 I'm trying to figure out a training plan.  I bought new Hansons book.  It looks pretty good, but speed on Tues, MP runs up to 10 miles on Th, and MP+30sec long runs every other Sunday sounds like a lot of intensity for an old chunk of coal like me.  I ran 65:55 for 10 miles when I only did uptempo running every 3rd or 4th day.  Their elite schedule has workouts every third day, which makes more sense to me, but hard to schedule long runs on a 9-day cycle.

More in another post.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Signed up for Richmond and back over 60 again

I signed up for the Richmond Marathon (November 16th) with a high school friend who's much faster than me.  My goal is to finish within a half hour of him, which won't be easy.  His best is 2:44 and he still typically runs around 2:50.

A lot of stuff going on in real life got in the way of running in January/February, but I got in some decent mileage.

  • week of 31 Dec.  28 miles in 4 runs.  New Years day 5k in 20:48.  Hilly race and I was sick with a cold that kept me sleepless.  Skipped the next 3 days of training.
  • week of 7 Jan.  48 miles in 6 runs.  My usual routes at ~10 - 10:30 pace with one treadmill run.
  • week of 14 Jan.  51 miles.  4 runs of 8 miles at 10:00-11:15 pace, one 8-miler a little faster (9:11), a 10 miler at 9:50, and an aborted run (1.35 miles).
  • week of 21 Jan.  50 miles. 10, 8, 8, 8, 0, 8, 8.  Pace was 10-10:30 except Saturday was faster (8:17).
  • week of 28 Jan.  53 miles.  8 every day except 5 on Monday.  10-11 pace except 8:53 on Thursday.
  • week of 4 Feb.  53 miles.  8, 9, 7, 8, 5, 8, 8.  Same as previous except slower.  4 runs 10:30-11 and 3 at ~10:00.
  • week of 11 Feb.  28 miles.  0, 0, 0, 7 (pm), 5, 8, 8.  10-11 pace.  Family emergency.
  • week of 18 Feb.  60.2 miles.  9, 8, 10, 7, 8, 8, 10.  9:45-10:25 pace except 9:16 on Sunday.
    • Started sort of following Bill Squires book (alpha phase, level 11, week 1) about halfway through week.
    • Thursday included 6 hill repeats (1:05, 1:06, 1:41, 1:08, 1:05, 1:37).
    • Did pickups on Sunday starting at 50 min.  Did 1', 1', 2', 1', 1', 2' faster on 5 minutes.  "Faster" was maybe HM pace.  Who knows?

This was my first week over 60 miles since 3/7/2011.  I averaged over 60 mpw in 2008 and only managed a 3:15 marathon, so getting within 30 min is going to be tough!

Weight was 167.8 after long run.  Need to lay off the cookies.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 wrap up


 It was certainly a down year for running (and blogging).  I DNS'd a marathon, ran my fewest races ever (3?), and ran the fewest miles (2098) I've run since my first year of running.   I learned a thing or two though.  The first is that the primary benefit I get from running is mental.  This makes it a bit easier to get out out of bed because it's not just a 41-year-old slow dude running a bunch to lower his 10k time.

MP = Meditation Pace

 Here's a post from me to runningahead that summarizes my "discovery"
Great to see everybody still at it.  I've been AWOL for a while.  I just wanted to share a benefit of slow running that might be glossed over:  it lets you clear your head!  My mileage dropped a lot over the last 6 months as the demands of work took their toll and I had trouble rationalizing the time.  I also wasn't enjoying running very much and probably didn't try as hard to "get it in" as I would.  I'd try to make it more efficient by doing more workouts as well.  Running less just stressed me more.  The low was when I bagged an out-of-state marathon I'd signed up for.  Eventually I was watching Google tech talks on youtube and saw a guy dressed as a Buddhist monk (Ricard Matthieu).  He was giving a talk about happiness and meditation.  It made me re-remember one of the key benefits of running, especially slow running, that I'd always been aware of -- it's essentially meditation.  When people would ask what I was thinking about on those long runs, I'd say "everything and nothing."

As always happens when I get off track with running, I went back to MAF.  For the last 6 weeks, I've run *very* slowly on the same 7.8 mile route.  Heart rates ~130 (I'm 41) and paces in the 10:30-11:30 range.  I'd listen to my body, stopping to stretch if I felt a niggle.  I'd admire the leaves and watched them change color over the weeks.  I don't think I broke 9:45 on a single mile.  Last week I finally got a full 7 days of running and about 55 miles.  Yesterday I did a turkey trot and ran 20:34, so I think I'm finally back on track.  I have a ways to go before I can attempt a PR in anything, but I now think I'm not too old yet.

As an aside, I tried treating the race itself as meditation, focusing on my breathing, paying attention to my body, but trying not to feed the negative thoughts that come during the hard parts of the race.  It was by far the easiest 5k I've ever run.  My HR was 189 (versus my usual 192) in the last mile, so maybe I didn't go all out, but it was pretty close and the race just flew by.  I also passed a guy at the end that I swear I normally would have let go because I'd rationalize that it wasn't worth the extra pain.

 New Year's Day 5k

Ran 20:49, which is 15 seconds slower than Thanksgiving.  I was expecting something more like 20:15, but I've had a cold and haven't been sleeping and also have a few extra Christmas pounds.  My heart rate was crazy high.  (  It avg'd 195 for the second half of the race.  I borrowed a garmin 210 (my 305 might be done for), but used my HRM belt and my understanding is that the processing to bpm is done on the belt itself.  Weird.  Was it the cold?  Not whether to be upset with my fitness or happy about my ability to push myself.

Some numbers

This extends on something I posted at the end of 2009. Months are in parentheses.

 2005 - 1224
10M - 1:24:49 (4), 20M - 3:06:27 (9), M - 4:49:21 (10), 10k - 50:17 (11), 5M - 38:56 (11)
2006 - 2589
M - 4:17:03 (3), 10M - 1:19:25 (4), M - 4:00:03 (5), HM - 1:40:08 (10), M - 3:56:14 (10), M - 3:43:16 (11), 5k - 21:23 (12)
2007 - 2640
5M - 34:20 (1), 1:09:49 (4), M - 3:24:15 (5), 5k - 20:32 (5), HM - 1:33:29 (9), M - 3:27:34 (10), 5k - 20:35 (12)
2008 - 3180
8k - 32:45 (3), 10M - 1:08:49 (4), M - 3:21:50 (5), 5k - 19:49 (5), M - 3:15:22 (11), 5k - 20:15 (12)
2009 - 2303 + 41h59' XT * HM - 1:29:48 (1), 8k - 31:55 (3), 10M - 1:06:43 (4), M - 3:19:01 (4), 10k - 41:47 (10)
2010 - 2644
8k - 32:07 (3), 10M - 65:55 (4), 10k 40:04a (4), 10k 40:21 (5), 8k 33:21 (7), 10k 40:43 (11), 10k 41:08 (12)
2011 - 2324
10k 41:01 (3), 10M 66:16 (4), 10k 39:35a (4), 10k up a mountain 44:30, 5k 20:41 (12)
2012 - 2098
5k 20:34 (11) + a race (maybe 2?) that I didn't really race


I need to race more and run more.  Cherry Blossom switching to a lottery has thrown me off.  I didn't get in for the second year in a row.  Ran it 5 times in a row before that.  I was considering an early March marathon, but I'm not in shape for that.  I'll try to race more and at least break 20 in the spring.  Do St Pat's 8k like I always used to do.  Find a Cherry Blossom substitute.  GW parkway is a great race, but it's later (read 'potentially hot') and isn't a fast a course (although pretty fast).  It also conflicts with Pike's Peak.  If I'm feeling sporty, there's a low key May (often quite hot!) marathon.