|ATM Finisher’s Coin|
So here’s how it went down…
- Packet pick-up was handled on Friday so I didn’t have to worry about it at all the day before the race. I was planning to drive down there (and started to) but because of traffic it actually turned out that my sister Jodi and our buddy Chris picked it up for me. Hassle/stress: avoided.
- I was really busy on Saturday with the Pumpkin 5k and my son Will’s tee ball game. I tried to lay low and keep life simple that afternoon as best I could. I made sure to hydrate a ton – always consuming water and nuun – and was plenty hydrated by bed time that night. Hydration mission accomplished.
- I ate simple foods on Saturday, though I really need to fine-tune this. Because of our busy morning, we didn’t have lunch until after 2pm and I ate a taco salad. Bad idea. Too much fiber the day before a race = overactive stomach the next morning. Also eating lunch so late meant that I had no appetite at dinnertime. My husband and I were both so exhausted and full that we actually wound up having cereal for dinner. It was all I could fathom eating at the time and made me really hungry the next morning. But I can’t eat a lot before I run so I was hungry during the race. Nutrition FAIL. Before MCM I really need to have a plan and stick to it. I am working on that now. I know myself well enough and have raced enough that I should be able to make an eating plan and stick with it. I’m annoyed at myself for messing this up – thankfully it was “just” a 10 miler and I didn’t have any major disasters as a result of my poor choices.
Getting to the Race:
Metro opened at 6:00AM and since we had to drive further east due to Metro issues, we left at 5:30AM. This was smooth sailing for us – we got to the Metro just before it opened and met our other two running buddies there with ample time. We hopped on the train and made it to Rosslyn where we had to switch lines.
|on the train, tired but pumped!|
Once we got on the second train we realized something was not working right with Metro. Maybe they couldn’t handle all the people flooding the city so early in the morning? Our train literally stopped and did not move for a while because of another train was stopped on the track. We were all getting a little concerned because we still had to check our bags, use the porta-potties and get to our corrals and it was already 7:00AM by then. When we finally rolled into the Pentagon station and got off the train the crowds were ridiculous. There were just SO many people jammed together. A lot of them were stinky, by the way. Yes – stinky BEFORE the race, eeew.
You may be thinking that would be fun – to be passing people for miles and miles – but I promise you it gets old REALLY quickly and is frustrating. I spent the entire race weaving around people and almost running into people who decided to STOP dead in their tracks…it was aggravating! And it didn’t stop – from start to finish that is how I had to run this race. I ran the first 7 miles with my buddy Justin who had his Garmin (I didn’t have mine because it broke last week and the replacement hasn’t arrived yet). According to his watch we were averaging a 7:30 pace but we were adding on mileage because of all the weaving we had to do. I ran ahead of Justin after Mile 7 and picked up my pace as best I could with all the traffic. I was happy with my finish time – 1:18:52 – it was a 10 minute PR for me (!) and a sub-8:00 pace. BUT I also felt frustrated because I knew I was running faster than that and if it was less crowded I would have had a better finish time. But this is not a course for PRs – you can’t let all the people frustrate you – so I finished feeling strong, happy with my new PR and resolved to find another 10 mile race to run in the winter/spring!
Overall: 3,102 / 21,914
Gender: 512 / 9,645
Division: 77 / 1,752
My buddies and I planned to meet back at Gear Check after the race. This was waaay more confusing than it needed to be. To get back there you had two choices – cross over Rte 110 (a pretty major road) or take a completely unmarked shuttle bus. I found the bus (by getting lucky and asking for help) but my sister and buddies all walked. It was poorly a organized post-race situation, in my opinion. But thankfully we found one another and got back on the Metro just fine.
|happy with our PRs, happy to be together again!|
All of us set new PRs in the 10 miler, even with the crazy crowds! I think we all feel the same way about the race though: that it was fun, but really not worth all the hassle we had to go through. It was a lot of claustrophobia! I am a people person, but that was just TOO MANY people! Too many people to be crammed on a Metro with, too many people to wait in line for porta-potties with, too many people to race with … I would rather spend my race-running dollars on other races. At least for now.
Today I feel just fine. My legs are happy and I don’t feel like I’m recovering from a race. I’m not complaining though – I have a new 10 miler PR and I’m running a marathon in 3 weeks! I learned a lot yesterday and had so much fun with my sister and my friends.
I cannot wait for MCM. Bring on the taper!