On the way to the metro at 5:30 in the morning 95N was down to one lane for road work! What?! Are you freakin' kidding me? And the amount of cars on the road on a Saturday at 5:30 was crazy. I was convinced that 75% were also heading to the race. I finally got to the metro a bit after I originally thought I would but no big deal. I then ended up waiting for what felt like forever for a very crowded metro train. Finally we were on our way to the start. I met a lady that lives very close to where I teach. We had a great chat and I wished her luck on her race as we left the metro. I quickly headed over to bag check. Last year bag check was a mess. School buses and runners checking bags do not mix. This year it was UPS managing our bags. I am pleased to say it went much better than last year, both checking and picking up my bags.
I had on cut off shamrock socks on my arms along with my horrible hot chocolate wind breaker that I have been trying to get rid of at a race for the last few years. Well this wasn't the year to drop it off..I ended up checking it because the weather was not that cold. I figured the socks on my arm will work until we start running. Those socks didn't even make it to mile one, but they did help keep me warming waiting in my corral.
I then headed over to the long portapotty lines. I figured I had time because I was not in the elite corrals so it would be some time before my group made it to the start line. I loved my portapotty line. I was chatting to the girl behind me about races and the people in front were huge tri people. They were talking about all of the places that they have ran Ironman's. Love it! I am secretly in awe of Ironman people. They also were talking about all of the pro Ironman people they have seen and met. Very interesting conversation to listen in on while waiting to use the bathroom.
I headed over to the start and had a bit more time to wait. We took off and I was having problems with my ipod. I could get it to play four or five songs and then it would crap out on me. Really?! Ugh. I thought when it did that last week I just didn't charge it enough, but I am going with it is time to purchase a new ipod shuffle. I got it to play once more and then I gave up. I didn't want to mess with it every five songs. So I was now on to running and listening to all of the conversations happening around me.
I knew this was going to be a hard race. I was feeling so tired. Which shouldn't be the case because I felt like I got more sleep than normal Friday night. Oh well. Nothing to do when you are four miles into a run. I just had to wish for the best and that meant that I was hoping not to hate life for most of the race.
We finally hit the horrible hill up Rock Creek Park. Last year I remember having such a great run that this hill didn't really suck to bad. This year it sucked big time! I actually think that they made the hill BIGGER! I'm convinced that it doubled in steepness and length! :) I made it up the hill and just kept plugging along one mile at a time. I new I wasn't having a PR race. I was trying to use the down hills to get back some time that I was losing on the uphills.
There were some great signs. One girl had a sign that simply had the word Penis on it..not quite sure what was up with that one..but it did make me laugh a bit. I also missed the damn juggler! How could that be? I feel like I always see him when we run the same race!
I enjoyed a shot of beer at a homemade aid station. I figured if I am hating life I should embrace what the course has to offer. Too bad I didn't stay on the other side of the course though..a few houses down they were offering margaritas...I would have enjoyed that a bit more. :) During one section some college students were yelling out stuff to try and keep us moving and trying to give us reasons to keep running. They started with "Run for the Children!" Then another "Run for Brunch" And then they decided to put them together, "Run for the children so they can have brunch!" Don't know why that just made me laugh.
My ten miles really was not that far off from my normal 10 mile time..maybe 4 minutes slower. But then I just started walking more. I tried to tell myself that it was just a runclub run away. But my legs didn't really care. I think they were just done. I was done. Those last three miles featured a lot of walking! I mean a lot! I finished. It was a bit tough but I crossed the finish line.
I then ran into some half fanatics. We chatted a bit and talked about upcoming races. They were very nice. Two of the girls were heading down to VA Beach to run the Shamrock half the next day.
I then called Megan to see if we were all up for meeting for brunch. Megan and Jen were working a water stop at a 4 mile race. Looks like everyone was up for food. I headed over to the metro to meet them. The metro was packed. Trying to get into the metro was crazy.
I basically changed on the train once it was less crowded and I had a seat to myself. Socks and shoes off, compression sleeves and flip flops on. Sweaty shirt off and dry hoodie on. Face wipes to take off the salt from my face. I was starting to feel a bit human again.
I made it to brunch. French toast, eggs and bacon. Yum!!
I think my main problem with this half marathon was that I did not run enough prior to race day. Stupid winter! My next half marathon is Pittsburgh half in May. I have plenty of time to keep up my miles and have a great Pittsburgh race!