Monday, March 19, 2012

The write up. Rock n Roll USA

[hit publish too soon, article has been completed]

Saturday was my second full 26.2 miles.  It was in D.C. The race use to be the Suntrust Marathon, one I had wanted to do last year but ended up not doing so.  It is the only marathon that runs completely in DC limits (others run into neighboring towns/suburbs).

I flew in Thursday (and boy, were my arms tired!).  My fab. sister C picked me up at Washington Nat'l and got me set up at her place.  Friday morning we got to sleep in and then take her son to daycare. Came back and did my two miles to keep stretched and then to Wash Nat'l to pick up sister T and her sweet daughter.  Back to house, out to shop, pick up son, pick up dinner :-)  OUTBACK to go. Oh, right, we also had stop at RFK stadium/Armory area to pick up race packet, spend time at expo, buy stuff, get free stuff (including GEICO pez), bought some CEP compression sleeves and drive around some, sightseeing.

Friday night was a little overwhelming.  What to wear, what to wear, when to leave the house, how to get to start, etc.  Friday was cold, it was in the 50s, overcast, chilly, etc.  Definitely a sweatshirt day for me (except when we were inside with all those expo people). 

I decided on my capris (always wear capris in racing), an UnderArmour tank, visor with green sequin band over it, a green/white garter for the arm, a green boa tied around the waist, and my hydration pack system, along with a spibelt for GUs.

We decided to drive to one of the metro stations and ride the subway/metro into the Armory neighborhood.  It was a good thing we chose the one we did, instead of driving to the next nearest one.  The train wasn't too full when we got on, more got on at the next stop and it was packed by the third stop.  The next stop had people on the train car telling others outside to NOT pry open the doors, it breaks the metro cars in DC (but maybe not in other cities).  By the time we got to the metro station stop for the Armory the platform outside was packed and we were stuck inside until that crowd started to dissipate. It was not long, but with a packed car it sure seemed like a long time.

It was 8:15am and the race started at 8, knowing that I was in corral 17 I wasn't too worried, but I was worried. My sister said to go ahead and she'd catch up with me, which she did! 

Start of race!  People were moving past me. I'm not sure what corral I ended up starting in, as I saw 16000, 17000 and 18000 numbers.

The race started with us running under a GIANT American flag. WOW.

We then ran around some of the visions of the wonderful city.   I ran with my camera, knowing I could just click the shutter and decide later if the pictures were good or not. 

The first half I think went really well.  I was about where I wanted to be for the first 13.1.  I was a few minutes over, but didn't think much of it. . . until about  mile 15 when I realized I wasn't sweating any longer. Uh-oh.  I started drinking more water, to go with the cytomax flasks I was running with.  However, I didn't want to take in too much water too quickly.  

We ran straight towards this for several blocks and then we turned.

Some fabulous spectators near Howard University!

At mile 17 I saw a man running barefoot--no Vibrams--just his barefeet.   

The statue ahead is in honor of those lost on the Titanic.

Mile 19 included running over a drawbridge. Many of us elected to walk across this for safety.

The end is in sight!  Around the stadium to the right, around and up a hill, around a curve. . . .

This is in the last .2 miles. . . up to the end of the large signs, then to the right and straight through to the finish!   Only 28 minutes longer than I had planned. . . not bad considering it was hotter than anticipated, I was dehydrated and sunburned.  I recall reading a Runner's World article on the effects of heat and how to calculate for heat/humidty, etc (last year in the summer, July edition????) and was satisfied with my finish.

Now, if I can only figure out how to mentally get through those couple of miles where there is nothing out there

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