**Pardon the typos. I have kind of beat and am fighting to keep my eyes open.
In case you didn't remember, my first race was the Marine Corp Marathon 10K in 2009. It started this
Saturday, Katye met me at my house and we headed into DC. Instead of fighting the traffic (the rallies in DC were going on as well), we decided to hop on the metro to the Expo. After an uneventful ride, we made it to the expo and cruised around, picked up our race packets and shirts and walked to various booths. I stopped by Bondi Bands to exchange some of the bands I have (look for an update in a few days).
Finally, we stopped at the Running Skirts booth to help out. It was a good three hours of non stop helping ladies pick out skirts, find the best race outfit and convince them that once you run in a skirt, you will never run in shorts again. Before we knew it, it was time to help the ladies pack up the booth and head out for some carbo loading, but not before we got a free case of Honest Ade (yummmm) and a photo opp with Cindy.
Honestly, why do I look so gosh darn goofy in all my pictures? I think I was trying to look taller.
We headed to Noodles for dinner (mac and cheese--yummy) and made a quick
ice cream pit stop at Target before heading to my cousin's house for the night. Katye got to meet their crazy lab TurboTail Louie and we talked to B (my cousin's husband--my running partner) about his head cold and his plans for the race in the morning. Before long, it was time to head to bed and get ourselves prepared for the morning.
5:15 came way too quickly, and we were all shuffling around to get ready, with one very excited dog at our feet the whole time. After a quick ride on the metro we were at the National Mall, where the 10K started (the marathon started at the Pentagon). We took in the sights and I noticed Cindy and her husband walking by. We stopped to chat, take a few photos and delay removing our extra layers on the chilly morning.
Crappy iphone pic. That's the Capitol :)
Chewbaca. When he said cheese, he sounded just like Chewie from the movie. Best costume of the day!
My friend Melanie, Katye and I before the start.
Katye trying to stay warm??
We used the stink boxes and left just in time to head to the start and join in as the crowd was going by. People were starting to run before the start line, but not this girl. Its 6.2 miles people. You will get plenty of chances to run!
The first mile, I felt great. I was moving well, keeping an eye on my friend Mel and being a goofball (I was darting in and out of traffic cones). We were able to see this awesome group of women (I can NOT remember what their group is called) drumming at the start and check out all the costumes
After the first mile, I was slowing down, but I still felt great. After 1.5 miles, we walked for a minutes, then started up again and then I felt it. My right hip was bugging me. UGH. We had started our 6:1 run/walks and I was keeping up (Celebrity spotting-- Carla Hall from Top Chef) with it until I felt a super sharp pain in my hip. We stopped to try and stretch it out and talk to a guy working the course to try and find the next medic station (seriously, I appreciate you being there to help out, but could you have at least KNOWN something about the course).
The next few miles were me walking and
running shuffling when I could. I managed to keep my walk to a really brisk pace and kept apologizing and urging Katye and Melanie to go on without me, but neither did. I even tried to trick them, but running and slowing down, hoping they wouldn't notice, but they always did. I hate being slower and holding people back. At one point I thought I was going to have to hold Katye back from going up an overpass and yelling at some Steeler fans who were hating on the Ravens.
As we approached mile 6, I kind of got emotional. First, because it my runnivesary and also because I had completed three races in three weekends--sheer craziness. We hit mile 6 and I decided I would run the last .2 of the race. There was minor hill (but its kind of cruel to do that to the marathoners) and made sure to finish the race running and really happy with myself. Whats even cooler is I still PR'ed. Even with my bum hip and a lot of walking, I PR'ed by a minute with my chip. Katye stopped her watch when I stretched and walking to a medic, so without that stop, I would have PR'ed by 6 minutes! Go me! That is what I call progress!!
If you ever get a chance to run with Katye, do. She is awesome. She is such a great pacer and concerned with how you are doing and getting you to the finish line and is super positive. Seriously, I could go on and on about her!
The rest of the afternoon was spent running around, trying to find other runners we knew (Another Celebrity --I spotted Laura between miles 22-23 and yelled for her like a huge psycho--sorry about that). Katye finished the marathon with her friend (and helped get her across too---seriously, you need to run a race with this girl).
Me, Branden and Melanie-Branden ran his first marathon in 4:19!!!! That would be a TMB Endurance Band on my head too, btw.
Spectating in Crystal City. Katye got lots of comments on her "costume". People, its an outfit!!
My cousin Amanda and Branden. We love a Chuck Norris joke!
It was a long day, a long weekend and a lot of fun! It concluded three long, hard weeks of road races for me too, which was a really cool experience. A year ago, I did not think I would have done this at all!
The whole experience also got me thinking--on October 30, 2011, I will be running the Marine Corp Marathon. Awesome race, awesome crowds, awesome views and being part of the 4th largest marathon in the country--yes please!!!
Happy Running Everyone!