This was such a great race! I wish that my husband and daughter had been able to come watch but it’s a little early for my daughter to be up, plus she was a under the weather. My mom was able to come down for the race though so that was very nice! It’s always nice to have someone there supporting you and cheering you on.
I decided to go the expo on Friday. I thought it might be better than waiting until Saturday. It didn’t open until 3:00 so I was a little afraid of getting stuck in rush hour traffic, which I did. It took me 2.5 hours to get home. Lesson learned, next time I’ll just metro. I was glad that I got there pretty early though because by the time I left, the line was starting to wrap around the outside of the building.
The expo was at the National Building Museum. I had never been there before, so I was surprised by how beautiful it was on the inside. I was able to pick up my packet and shirt without too much of a wait. Then I walked around for a little while to see if there was anything that I simply couldn’t live without.
The Night Before:
It was a pretty laid back night. We had the usual Wegman’s frozen veggie pizza for dinner so as not to mess with my routine and stomach. My mom was even surprised by how good the pizza was. I ran around trying to set everything out so as to not disturb my husband and daughter in the morning.
I got up late! My alarm on my cell phone didn’t go off and I almost had a panic attack. I always allow way more time to get ready than I actually need because I cannot stand feeling rushed. Thankfully it was only a half an hour so I didn’t sleep through the race or anything. That has never happened before and I hope it never happens again. I’m just lucky that I’m a terrible sleeper, especially the night before a race, so I wake up about every hour or so to check the clock.
I tried to relax a little. It has been 3 whole weeks without coffee so getting up that early is more painful that usual. I made my ritual pre-race breakfast: PB & honey with bananas and cinnamon. Then I communicated with mother with hand gestures so the dogs wouldn’t hear us talking and begin to bark therefore waking up everyone in the house. We actually left right on time so I began to feel better.
The metro ride there was pretty uneventful. We got on the first train and arrived really early. In retrospect, we didn’t need to be there that early but again I live in fear of being late for a race. It was actually pretty nice getting there so early. I had time to use the bathroom in peace, without lines. Then my mom and I walked around looking at some of the monuments and watching the sun rise. It was a little chilly at the time but I knew that I would warm up as soon as I started running.
I was a little bummed upon hearing that the race was going to be cut short because of an investigation but it only ended up being half a mile short as opposed to the 2 miles that I initially thought.
I eventually headed over to the corrals and found where I was supposed to be. I decided to work my way up a corral or two. I know I’m a rebel, but I felt that I was slotted in a slower corral than I should have been and I wanted to waste as little energy as possible navigating around other people. This ended up being a good decision.
It was a great race with wonderful crowd support and the weather was perfect! The cherry blossoms were also in peak bloom. I saw a table with Gatorade, Oreos and beer. I don’t think I could ever drink and run but I’m sure some people can. I think my favorite sign was “There’s no time for Walken” with a picture of Christopher Walken on it. I’m a Christopher Walken fan. He’s pretty awesome.
I’m not always great at pacing myself but, with the help of my trusty Garmin, I did pretty good. I was hoping to be able to run an 8:30 average pace for this race and I was able to do that. Some of my miles were faster and some slower but for the most part I was right where I wanted to be. I felt good too. I probably could’ve pushed a little harder but I didn’t want to. I was at a comfortable pace and it was a nice flat course. This race was all about the cherry blossoms and I really wanted to enjoy them. So I did just that. Sometimes you just need to slow down a little and enjoy life. I even took my first picture while running. I’ve never tried this before for fear for dropping my phone but I turned out pretty good.
I heard the announcer say my name as I crossed the finish line too. He mispronounced it but it was still cool. I’ve never heard my name being said before. I grabbed a bottled water with a cherry blossom label on it and a banana for me and my mom. Then I went over to the medal tent. I was hesitant to pay extra for the medal but was glad that I did. It was a beautiful medal.
We took a few pictures and headed back. The metro was more crowded on the way home but still not awful. I was excited and much for talkative than I had been at 5am. It felt good to get home and take a shower.
Overall it was a great race and you can’t beat the scenery! I highly recommend running it if you get the chance and I hope I’ll be able to run it again in the future.