We did an out and back across the Arlington Bridge and I was still with the 2:50 pacer. The group slowed considerably as we made our way onto the ramp down to through a tunnel and towards the Kennedy Center. There were great bands on the course and it was so fun to see the sights from up close. I was starting to lose the pacer more often, and spent quite a bit of time wondering how much her arm hurt holding that sign. I would catch up at water stops and then start to fall further behind. I was ok with that, since I wasn't seeing any indication of the 3 hour pacer.
After the Kennedy Center we headed towards Haines point. We crossed over a bridge around 5.5 and there were groups of spectators there. I wondered if I would see the family, but it was too early based on what we had talked about. It should be close to mile 6.5 or 7. I was still feeling ok, having had some honey stinger chews around mile 5 and catching Nuun water or water at most of the water stations. The lines for the bathrooms were long, easily could have added 5 minutes to time, so I was happy I was feeling good and hoping it would continue.
We moved onto Haines point and it seemed a lot more deserted then I remembered it from the Navy 5 miler last year. There is a golf course on the penisula, so there is a lot of fenced off area. There were some cheer stations and a lot more signs posted from the race organizers along the path. They were appreciated as I didn't find my family and it was getting LONG. We entered in Mile 6 and headed out on Mile 10.
I finally found my family around after the 15k mark headed towards the mile 10 marker. I was so happy!
|I am in orange in a sea of purple|
|so happy to see and be seen|
We went back through the tunnel and it smelled bad to me. I don't know why, but I wanted to get out of there more then anything. We were headed uphill to get back to Pennsylvania.
|Nike official picture - isn't DC beautiful?!|
The last 2 miles were the worst. We turned onto Pennsylvania and headed towards the capital again. In other races I have run downtown they add all sorts of jogs into the courses, so I was scared. I had no idea what was still ahead of me and I was starting to not feel good at all. I didn't want to stop this close to the finish and my stomach felt too sugar sweet to take in any more fuel. I was stuck just the way I was and had to take it one step at a time. The best part of this endless walk (yes I was walking) was the tourists who where taking pictures of the themselves in front of the race.
About a half mile from the end of the race one of my new mom buddies came up from behind me. She had been moving all weekend, but even so I was shocked to see her. Then we began to hear the 3 hour pacer behind us. I had kind of forgotten about the pacers since it had been so long since I had seen one. He was loud and working on motivating the purple runners in his group.
What I did was kick it into gear. No damn way was I going to go over three hours if I didn't need to. Of course I didn't have much left, so it was a short burst, but I keep moving forward. Any way I could to stay in front of him.
I did it! Finish was 2:59:21. That still seems a little off based on my start time and the time on the clock, but whatever I did it.
|Love how you can see my orange shirt from anywhere|
We were met at the finish by a great announcer and Howard University ROTC students. Not the Marines I was hoping for, but let's face it, cute is cute.
The necklace and fantastic finishers shirt was mine. I walked through the various stations and was met by my family a short distance into the crowd. I am so used to being at races by myself, I almost forgot to look for them. I turned off runkeeper and it read 13.9 miles. Gives you some idea of the bobbing and weaving that was had on the course.
We found my bagcheck - super easy drop off and pick up by the way and meandered towards the car. The kids wanted food, but we couldn't think of where to go, so we decided to get something when we got back to Fairfax.
We headed to Coyote Grill after picking up my car. Goodness was had all around.
Happy to have another race in the bag. I am going to be looking for some smaller races for awhile.
I need to leave you with this classic picture. I look like I am sleep walking through this race!!