The expo –
The expo was decent. Nothing too special but nothing lacking. It was not only raining/sleeting/snowing but also freezing cold around 30+ degrees. Me & my sis were praying that the weather was going to change for Sunday – and it was supposed to.
The night before meal –
We went to an amazing Italian restaurant for dinner and had loads of bread and a pasta with mushrooms. It was delicious. I definitely ate too much – so hard not to do when out to eat where there is amazing food! Our dinner was at 5:15 so we stocked up with pretzels and halloween candy to nosh on later. I had a lot of chocolate and some pretzels later in the night and peaced out around 9:30 (normal bed time!)
The morning of –
I didn’t have to get up till 6am so that was amazing. It’s like sleeping in still to me. During the week, I’m up just before 5 usually. I woke up and got my things in order – I had to totally revamp my outfit because of the sudden arrival of winter. Luckily my sister made us fun bright pink shirts to wear and it went nicely with my black capris. I ate peanut butter and bread and a mini snickers bar because I forgot my normal Z bar breakfast! I drank some water and headed to the lobby to meet my sister. She picked me up and drove to a metro stop to park and we headed on the metro to the start. The metros became insane about one stop away from the start. Standing room only – and we were packed like sardines in there. Getting off the metro and trying to get up to the exit of the building and out to the start was ridiculous. They were still making people enter their metro card (individually) and going through the turnstiles. At one point they just started letting everyone go through but I think it took us 20-30 minutes to get out of there. THEN we had to walk to the start. I swear the walk was at least a mile, maybe even longer. It was insane! And it was freezing. I was gripping my sis for warmth! We stopped at the port-a-potty line and it was already 7:55 (race start 8am). We heard the start and headed towards it. The race had already officially started – we started 10 minutes late and it was anti-climatic – we basically climbed a barrier and started walking up to the start line with tons of other people, crossed the line and started running. It took me a while to realize that I was actually starting the marathon – very weird.
The first 5 miles I was able to run with my sister. The amount of people on the course was way too much. There was weaving and no space for at least 10 miles. It was super frustrating. I lost my sister with the crowds and weaving and just kept on going but I was definitely getting worked up about the lack of space. Someone would just stop and start walking right in front of me or someone going super slow would not move to the side to run. Aghh… very annoying.
At mile 11, my friend Nicole started running with me and she ran with me until mile 24! Who has a friend that is in shape to just hop in and run a half marathon? How awesome was that?? She was my snack holder – grabbing fuel for me at the stations, tour guide – telling me where we were and where we were headed and random historical stories. She was entertaining for sure. My words were usually one word responses, like “cool” or “fun” haha and at one point I said that I didn’t want to know about mileage or distance left. It was super helpful but you know when you just get to a certain point and you just want the other person to stop talking? And when 6-4 or even 3 miles sounds like a ridiculous amount to go? I ran most of the Disney marathon with my sister and I’m pretty sure she told me to “shut the f up” or at least after the fact she told me she wanted to say that to me. You get real moody at some point in a marathon, right?? Haha. Nicole was a great running buddy - she only left me with 2 miles to do alone which was amazing!! And she kept passing me fuel and took action shots of me. What a great friend - thanks Nicole!
I felt like the entire race I was totally out of it in some other zone where I was hardly paying attention to what I was running by or taking it all in – at all. I was focused on my form, trying not to think about how slow I was running or how much my body hurt, and excited to get to the finish line. I was smiling, and for the most part happy, but also thinking that I never want to do this again and that we’re all crazy.
The crowd support along the course was fantastic. There were even fan-made water stops and people handing out candy and treats along the way. The crowds were great. As far as along the course, it was tough to get into a groove the first half of the race – way too crowded. I wouldn’t run this one again, because it was frustrating. And if I was actually going for a PR, I’d be super pissed! I thought they did a nice job with the aid stations and had lots of food to give out – oranges, gels (around mile 12), jelly beans (mile 19) and my favorite – dunkin donuts munchkins(mile 24) !!
I felt like I was looking for water so that they could have had more water stops – they were lacking.
|big sis at 23 miles, lil sis was finished already :)|
The final 0.2 to the finish was a little hill in which I was cracking up at myself because I could hardly pick up my feet at this point. I wonder what I looked like. It makes me laugh thinking about it. At the finish, they said my name and city which was so fun! Then it was a massive back up to get a heat sheet and your medal. The fun part about the medal was that a marine shakes your hand and puts it on your neck. Those marines are so cute! Then it was chaos getting to meet up with Bill and my sister (who ran an awesome time today, and would have done even better if it wasn’t for the crowded-ness). I was cursing by now. I think we had to walk about another MILE to the finish tents. A little crazy! They gave us water, bananas, & a little box full of fun treats (trail mix, pears, pretzels, dark chocolate, dried edamame). I met up with Bill and Kristen and then we walked another mile to get a taxi in Georgetown. The metros were crazy with massive crowds.
Overall – I was trying to enjoy the day and tell myself this was my last one for a while and try to stay positive. I was super negative the first 10 miles and angry! The crowds definitely helped and running with Nicole. It feels nice to finish! That was marathon #6. Maybe I’ll do Philly for fun?? Haha, these things are addicting but I don’t think so. More with my splits & fueling coming next.
In the end, besides the mile to the start, 2 miles after the finish - my garmin clocked 26.6 miles. Almost 30 miles today, ha! Ultra-marathoner right here :)