Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rock'N Roll Half Marathon in DC

I broke 1:40!
I ran my but off for that time. And this was not a flat run. The hill in mile 7 just felt like it never ended. But I was determined! Heck, I suffered hills on my treadmill all winter long!
This Hound Dod was ready!
The best part of the run - and yes this is with a runner's high, backed with all the reasons of why I am running 13.1 in all 50 states (plus DC) - was when I was chugging along, pushing for a 7:30 min/mile pace on E street NW. I looked up and there she was: Our Nation's capital building.

I screamed, "Oh my gosh!" 
I must have frightened another runner. 
He yelled back, "What's the matter. Are you okay?" 
"Yeah. But look. It's our Nation's capital building." 
He yelled back, "I know. She's beautiful, isn't she?" 
I still get teary thinking back on this crazy little exchange of words. It was so awesome sharing that moment with a fellow runner.
Before the race, I got very teary eyed, too.
That morning, I rolled, stretched a bit, had a bowl of Cheerios, and ran with Side-kick to catch a train towards the armory, where the race started. I was a little turned around. I guess I really didn't know where I was when I ran across the street to start my warm up. I did about four 100 meter strides. By the end, I was bawling my eyes out. There I was: Standing right by the Washington Monument. Whew. The monument also took my breath away.
Warming up pre-DC Half
This was a huge race. I think about 29,000 runners. There were people everywhere ...
Getting ready to line up at the start
Even Woodrow Wilson made it to the race!
Love when big races stagger the start!
We were off and running by 7:33am. The weather was great - no hat, no gloves - just an UnderArmour HeatGear Shirt, an old pair of Sugoi long pants, and a caffeine GU for mile 7+.
I didn't go out too fast - which was a first! 
I think mile 11 was a fluke - 6:09? I think I need a new Garmin! You can absolutely tell where the biggest hill was! Ouch: Mile 7 was tough!
DC splits
I really tried hard to keep up my pace and break that 1:40 time.
Last few hundred feet!
I was hoping for 1:38
...maybe next one! 
After the race, I had a great conversation with a man from NewYork - I think his name was Fred - I'm sorry, I have no brain when I'm done with races and can't remember names even though I repeat them 100 times over. Plus, with the wet clothes, and the sun hiding behind some clouds that rolled in, I started to go into freezing mode!
We stood there going over the race. 
I love hashing out the race afterward with other runners. One thing we both agreed on was that this race was unexpectedly difficult because of the changes in elevation. Fred (?) ran the race only a few weeks out from separating some ribs! I thought that was pretty incredible!
The next person I met was a young man (Darryl? Derrick?) 
He let me borrow his cell because I couldn't find Side-kick. We were laughing because I felt like I had Gu stickiness on my face, and he had some salt crystals on his face. We were both headed in the same direction:
On to get that celebratory beer!
I finally found Side-Kick. I was so grateful he showed up with my Champion fleece pullover, hat, gloves, and HotHand hand warmers. It was really starting to get cold without the sun.
 Cold, but not cold enough to stop me
from the celebratory beer!
Side-kick and I couldn't stay long, we had to get home. Mini-man's birthday party was the next day, and I had 20 or so people coming to feast on a St. Patty's Day meal of Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, and Carrots. 
Mini-man was born on St Patty's Day 
and his parties are always lots of fun!
Happy 17th birthday Mini-Man!
This picture is worth the stay up until 1am making that ice cream cake!
That was the easy part.
The hard part is handing over the car keys
now that he has his license!
Maybe he will want to run more with me, instead?
Hey, I can dream!
Next race hopefuls: Raleigh, NC or Harper's Valley, WV
Until then,
Train Smart Today!
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