I was up fairly early Sunday morning and finally stumbled out of the hotel and towards the metro, where I spied a number of other women in race attire which was very calming as I knew I was in the right place!
I bought my metro ticket, however when I tried to input it into the slot, it wouldn’t take. I tried all machines and finally went to the booth where she looked at my ticket and then let me in. Of course the same thing happened when I tried to exit, except no one was at the booth. A couple of minutes passed and I was about to break down in tears when an attendant walked by and I all but jumped on him trying to explain. He waved me through. Crisis averted.
I stopped at the long line of port-o-potties, handed my bag in at bag check, and made my way to the corrals. My corral was full but somehow I managed to squeeze in.
I took a look around and realized I was really here. At the start line. The familiar nerves started fluttering. As I gazed towards the start line, I saw the Capital Building in the distance.
And we were off! I had expected a minute or two between each corral, but no, they let us all go at the same time. I think staggering the start may have helped with the crowding that happened for the first few miles.
We ran towards the Capital before turning and going through a tunnel where predictably my Garmin got all jumbled up. I do have to say, I loved running through the tunnel as there were two drum bands set up (one at the beginning of the tunnel and one at the end). The energy was amazing!
I ended up running the entire first mile (which is something I haven’t done since that one time I fell off a cliff and hurt my knee – and no, it still hasn’t gotten old to say I fell off a cliff!).
Past the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Monument, over the bridge and back we went.
The temperature was definitely starting to creep up, but there was a lovely breeze!! We continued along the water and around a golf course. I had been doing great up until around Mile 8 or so, when my familiar hip/ITB pain made its presence known. The adrenaline and other people on the course kept the pain at bay.
I do have to say the spectators along the course were amazing!! I don’t know how many high fives were offered to me. I’ve said it before but I really appreciated the energy at this race.
Back through the tunnel and towards the Capital before circling back towards the finish line.
I’m not sure where I was when I realized I was close to a PR. Then I stopped for a picture in front of the Capital, which was so worth it!
The finish line was calling me in. I took my last walk interval and put on the afterburners (well as much as I could).
Done! I crossed the finish line onto the red carpet. I ended up being a minute off of my PR. So close…but still such a fabulous race!
I got my Tiffany’s box!! Love!! Which was given to me by an ROTC in a tuxedo!
I navigated my way through the finish line area towards the finisher’s boutique. The line was ridiculously long. Since the theme for the weekend had become not waiting in lines, I thought twice but then got in line, which did not move for the longest time. I finally was able to catch a staff member and ask about sizes and was told once again that the largest they had was a large. I thought for a minute or two and as I was starting to feel ill, I got out of line.
They did have a stretching area which was fantastic – they had a bunch of yoga mats laid out and an instructor leading us through a variety of stretches.
My biggest complaint about this race was that there were no photographers. Seriously, no photographers. I am one of those who generally will buy at least one of the professional pictures.
With the race done, I went back to the hotel to start the day over again!
My plan was museums, but as soon as I stepped out of the metro I saw the Capital Building and decided I needed a real photo, not just a race photo.
It started sprinkling and I quickly took my pictures.
All of this took longer than I had thought and I realized I probably only had time for one museum. American History Museum or Natural History Museum? I came to the Natural History Museum first and the rain was coming down heavier so Natural History Museum it was.
The Natural History Museum had the Hope Diamond and mummies!! Score! I wandered around. I really liked the “Written in Bone” exhibit – a CSI take on early colonial settlements.
Guess what I had for dinner? Pizza! Once again in my hotel room as I started packing.
And after dinner? Oh yes! I finally had my Baked+Wired cupcake. Oh my. It was delicious!!
And on that note, my quick trip to DC was at an end. Until next time!