Hi! Sorry for the delay in race recapping! I came back from DC and pretty much immediately turned around for a wonderful week long vacation at the beach in Florida. Super relaxing, no computer allowed!

So, the race went great! πŸ™‚

Saturday morning I pulled on my compression socks and my dad and I hit the road for the 4.5 hour drive down to DC. When we got there it was off to the race expo, an early bird dinner and bed by 8:30, it was pretty wonderful. Like always though, I never sleep well the night before a big race, especially when I have to stay at a hotel.

5:00am came pretty early but I jumped out of bed, ate my peanut butter sandwich, drank a TON of water, a cup of coffee, and got dressed (sports bra and all πŸ˜‰ ) I stretched and foam rolled and then it was time to hit the road for the 15 minute walk over to the start line.

Yikes, I look tired.

It was about 40* at the start so it was pretty chilly! Of course I warmed up quickly as soon as I started running but I felt bad for my poor dad who had to stand in the cold for HOURS. I told him to wait in the hotel for a few hours and then just show up for the finish but he wanted to be there with me the whole time. Even though I came literally in like 7,870th place he always acts like I won the race. He got there so early that he had the perfect spot right at the finish line to cheer me in. It makes me happy that he is so proud of me–it’s nice to have someone believe in you like that.

The race went off by corrals and waiting while other people get to start is always the hardest part! Before the race I talked to my coach and she told me to go conservatively at first, warm up for a few miles, pick up the pace, and then go as hard as I can for the last few and negative split. Ok great!

Except all my nervousness and the great energy and adrenaline in the crowds make that EXTREMELY difficult to follow. I always start out too fast. The first few miles I was FLYING! I felt so great! It seriously didn’t even feel like I was working, I felt like I was just being carried along by everyone else. I wasn’t thinking I was just going and it felt amazing. It was warming up a little but there was a nice breeze and the course was pretty flat:

Mile 1: 9:06

Mile 2:Β 9:05

Mile 3: 9:02

Mile 4: 9:07

So yeah, the first 4 miles were great! I walked through the water station during mile 4 and still had a really fast time. I should have known that wasn’t sustainable though because I never go that fast!

Then things started getting tough. I planned on having a gel during mile 5 but my heart rate was just so high up to this point that the thought of taking in anything was just repulsing me. I knew that trying to have anything in that state would just lead to disaster, but I also wanted to take in some calories so I slowed my pace down to get my heart rate and breathing under control. There was another water stop right at mile 6 so I slowed down and took the gel right before then.

Mile 5: 9:30

Mile 6: 9:17

Ohhhh mile 7. This is always a rough point for me. It’s at this time in any long race that I start thinking “why the hell did I decide to do this again….?’ I start to get tired and things start to hurt and I think about how far I still have to go and how much I just want to be done. I’m guessing it’s probably normal for people to start to feel this way in the middle of a race, the excitement at the beginning has worn off and it’s still too early to think about the final kick. I also started getting SO HOT. The sun was beating down on me and the breeze was gone. I really wanted to take off my outer layer but didn’t even know how because it was a zip up but my race number was attached so I couldn’t unzip it. I had to stop and pull it over my head which caused my hat to fall off and I had to turn around and grab it. Ugh, it was really frustrating and I lost a lot of time. Then I started getting flustered and really anxious and had a really tough time getting back into my groove, and never really did for the rest of the race.

Mile 7: 10:33

I slowly walked through the water stations and even had to walk a few times. Blech. I guess that is what I get for starting out to fast! It was definitely discouraging though, seeing so many people pass me running so strong. I just kept plugging away though.

Mile 8:9:59

Mile 9: 9:51

Mile 10: 9:19

Once I got to the last mile I kicked it up again and got excited for the finish! I could hear people cheering from about 1/2 mile away and it gave me chills! Of course to be cruel the finish was uphill so it was hard to go all out but I just kept pumping my arms and finished strong! I threw my arms over my head and had the biggest smile on my face πŸ™‚

My final time was 1:36:00 and my garmin read that I ran 10.19 miles (all that weaving around runners adds up!)

Wooohooo! I love medals! And another number to add to my race wall!

Overall it was a great race and a great day! I had a blast and I’m so excited that race season has begun!