Although I wore the same top and similar pants, this picture was taken right before my bikini competition last fall as part of the fitness inspired photos I took. Just so you know, if it’s not obvious already, this was completely staged… I mean who runs over rocks anyways? (that’s just asking for a sprained ankle). I remember when I got the pictures from the photographer I felt indifferent about the “running” pictures, it’s just not me… I’m not a runner. Looking back at this picture doesn’t change that, I’m still not a runner but I do feel good about saying that I am an athlete.
Last week I mentioned how bad I’ve been with the training program and this past week wasn’t any different. The last two weeks prior to race day I ran once, for 5 miles, that’s it. The lack of adherence to the training plan made me a bit nervous about race day. I tried not to set any major expectations although I secretly wanted to finish within 2 hours but my real goal was to complete the entire race without stopping. You could’ve asked me what my goal was when I started training and it would’ve been “to finish” but my training gave me the confidence to know that finishing it wasn’t the real hurdle. I wanted to push myself and I knew that being able to run all 13.1 miles without walking would mean a lot more than my previous goal once did.
Before I get to the actual race day details, there’s no way I could go to DC without satisfying my inner tourist. All day Saturday, Dave and I walked all over DC hitting the major tourist attractions. There were very few things we didn’t see but just to name a few: U.S. Capital, National Mall, White House, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veteran’s Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial. We walked everywhere; I’m going to estimate that it was around 5 miles, I was exhausted! This was also Dave’s first time in DC.
The expo was fun; my favorite part was the motivation wall which was the first thing you saw as you entered the tent. The chip on the bib recognized your name and a few seconds later a personalized message appeared on the wall. This was super exciting and such a neat feature, good job Nike. It was a bit tough anticipating where my name would come up and coordinating a picture… let’s just say a took a few tries. If you were there and saw a crazy person going in and out of the tent there’s a good chance that was me lol :)
The only reason why I even decided to do this was because of my friend Arlenis (I mentioned this in my initial post). She’s a little fireball; she never ceases to amaze me. She ran this race after having broken her tail bone a few weeks back and still managed to complete the race in an awesome time. Now she’s trying to recruit more of our friends for next year’s event… so sneaky! Her cousin also joined us.
Dave thought I was crazy from the very beginning yet supported me the entire way. Around mile 7 I saw him on the sidelines, I even managed to squeeze in a quick kiss which was a great boost for the rest of the race. After I was done he asked if I was considering a full marathon (which I’m not) but if I was, he wanted to kow if there was anything he could say to talk me out of it lol. Let’s just say running over 2 miles is amazing to him; he did promise me he’ll run a 5K with me. In that case, we can be amazing together.
The course was relatively flat with a little bit of an incline in the beginning and the end with most of it being along the shore of the Potomac River. It passed right in front of the U.S. Capitol and also graced other top attractions like the National Mall, WWII Memorial, Reflecting Pool, and Lincoln Memorial. The weather was great, around mid-60’s but it was a bit windy. I purchased a long sleeve shirt branded with the event the day before that I ended up taking with me and I’m glad I did because it was a quite chilly especially in the beginning. I ended up taking it off and wrapping it around my hips before mile 7.
There were over 15k runners! For me, this was specifically noticeable during the first mile; runners were running at different paces (some were walking) which caused me to either slow down or zig-zag around them. After the initial mile, I tried to keep my pace throughout the course. I picked up my pace in the last mile which took a lot out of me; I was really exhausted and there was a bit of an uphill around the 20k mark. The final chip time is noted below for the various markers and the finish; I averaged a 9:29 pace and happy to say that I didn’t stop once, which I was very happy about.
I can’t say whether I’ll do this again but for now I’m happy to have done it (I got the tiffany’s necklace to prove it!). The better question is what shall I get myself into next? I have a few ideas up my sleeve ;)