We rocked n’ rolled n’ qualified!

imageAs reviews go, I’ll give this race experience a “very good” if not excellent, only because of the flaring up of my IT Band. The course was doable and scenic, the weather was excellent, the runners phenomenal and there were enough liquids & gels to go around. The music rocked..somewhat..and the cheers while no New York, were great. The truth is out of the three marathons I’ve run so far and based on others opinions, there may not be another marathon cheer-must-have experience such as New York. But, I liked DC, of course it could very well be because I PR’d and did my qualifying time for Boston there, but it’s also a lot more than that. You can probably tell that I’m a people-gal; I love meeting new people and experiencing different cultures and appreciate diversity and art and all those good things The Capitol is known for, It has so much to offer. Each time I visit, I promise myself I’ll be back because there’s no way I can ever get to see or do it all. But I digress, back to my race experience.

The day prior to the race, I got in from New York and went directly to the race expo and spent most of that half of the day hopping around from booth to booth with its various information, activities, running wear and other paraphernalia to be had. As if the hours there weren’t enough, I just had to do some additional external shopping mostly in the context of items missing at the expo. I eventually got to the hotel at 8pm; exhausted, starving and cranky as heck, immediately vowing never to do that again? Which I’ll probably promptly forget the next time, though really, applying some time constraints are mandatory to preserve my sanity. I promptly stuffed my face, paying no mind to by golden rule of no stuffing after 6pm after which, I’m forced to stay up an extra two hours so I don’t kill myself with digestion problems and then spent the most irritating night anyway, getting up every two hours. WTH!!!

The next day was just as tiring, add painful and longer, and you get the picture. It started off cold which was expected, at least on my end, as you wouldn’t think so by the way every one was dressed and shivering but I was wrapped in my blanket and was doing pretty good. Since I had signed up with a pace group at the expo, I was pretty much ready to stick with them for the race, as much as I could anyway, given the uncertainties surrounding an event such as this – who knows what could happen. However, I was pleasantly surprised to meet a beautiful and like-minded runner who shared similar goals as myself and we teamed up and decided to run together and soon left the pace group behind. At that point, I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea, as I was a bit wary about taking off too quickly given I had recently decided to employ the negative-split concept (running the latter half of the marathon at a faster pace than the first half). Anyway, to close without writing my biography, we ran all the way to mile 20 together, encouraging and pace-checking and pointing out how pretty this and that was though I’ll admit I was much quieter after 13 miles, by which time, I was beginning to feel some pain and was not one for complaining when nothing could be done. All of that to say, my new friend made my 20 miles happen the way it did and I believe that helped me across the finish line. A runner needs a runner buddy like that. I really enjoyed the time running with her.

To conclude, the last 5 miles were the toughest 5 miles ever! Pain, comparable to my two previous marathon experiences; though I could have quickly say more if you’d asked me then, in a few weeks I probably wouldn’t think so but it was excruciating. I didn’t stop only because I knew I wouldn’t be able to even walk to the finish. Thank God for a strong mind. I finished, got my medal and spent the better part of 90 minutes in the medical tent. Ninety worthy minutes I’ll say because, call me crazy, but it was worth it. Sucker for punishment, that I am, I spent the rest of the day hobbling around at the Smithsonian museum. Again it was worth it.
DC Rock n’ Roll you get 4.5 stars!

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