Saturday night I checked the hour by hour weather forecast and it was only going to be in the 40's in the morning. No biggie; it would warm up. Saturday had turned out to be beautiful and I knew Sunday would as well. But I hadn't anticipated the wind.
I ended up wearing my running tights, a short sleeve shirt, and my yellow Brooks pullover. I didn't want to be too hot and figured I could tie my pullover around my waist if needed. It never became necessary.
When I was getting ready I was feeling very good and realized I looked pretty good too. I knew I would soon have hat head so I snapped a picture for proof that my hair isn't always in a ponytail! ;)
We got a late start but still made it with time to spare. I was worried, but luckily it had been for nothing. I kissed my family goodbye and went straight to my corral. I didn't want to waste any time going to the bathroom one last time. I think there were 6 corrals and it moved a lot quicker than the Rock 'n' Roll had. I ended up starting about 20 minutes after the gun went off.
The race started and finished at the Washington Monument
As expected, it took me a couple miles to warm up and get into it. I also started out faster than I should have but I did so because I really wanted a PR. I wanted to finish the race knowing I had given it all I had. I didn't look at my phone once and the mile marker clocks didn't mean a whole lot to me so I focused on how I was feeling. Did I have more in me? Could I push a little harder?
I had forgotten just how beautiful of a course this really is. The scenery is wonderful and there aren't many hills. There were very few cherry blossom trees in bloom which was a let down and the wind was ferocious. When I got to Hains Point along the Potomac River I was running into the wind and it would not let up. This was around mile 6 and it went on for about 2 1/2 miles. It was difficult. But then I turned a corner and the wind let up and all was well.
After you hit the mile 9 marker, there are signs saying "1200 left to go", "800 left to go", and "400 left to go". These helped so much! It took the guesswork out of it and I was able to gradually kick it up until I knew I only had a quarter mile left. I weaved in and out of runners as it was still pretty tight and just focused on my pace and my race. I gave it all I had for a great finish.
Despite the crazy wind and the lack of cherry blossoms, the sun was out and it was a beautiful race. And I got my PR. I finished in 1:53:32, taking 5 minutes off my previous time! I was overjoyed!
It didn't come without it's consequences though. I was super sore the rest of the day and the next. I was also ravenous for 2 days! When we got home I ate a well deserved burrito bowl and took Jack upstairs for a nap. Surprisingly, he hadn't fallen asleep either at the race or on the metro ride home. He ended up taking a 3 hour nap and I slept for 2. I never take naps but I needed it that day! After an equally necessary shower, I put my compression socks on to help my legs recover. My knees are still slightly sore, but I ran an easy 4 miles last night and all in all I feel pretty good.
I forgot to get a picture after the race but I got one on the metro! Better than nothing, right?
Sunday night, reading books with Jack and wearing my awesome compression socks!
I'm running a 5K this Saturday and I'm really hoping to PR again. Can I go 3 for 3? I'm not sure what my body will allow me to do, but I'm ready to find out. And I'm so glad I won't be running a long distance run this weekend! I need a little break before I get back to it next weekend and then I've got a half on the 28th. After that? I'll be taking a week off from speed and long runs to enjoy some easy runs. And then I'll figure out what races are in my future. :)