Sunday, March 17, 2013

The one with the birthday, CPAC, and the race.

As most of you know, I ran my first half marathon back in June. It was quite the experience. An overwhelming one, for sure. But good. And tough. Tough enough that I felt I'd call it a day and hang up my shoelaces. Well- in regards to long races like that.

And then my apartment burned down. (I know, I know. Talking about the fire again! Sheesh)

My friends Jaclyn and Leticia (from college) had both run the Rock-N-Roll DC half marathon the year before and had registered to run it again this year. And since I'd be in DC- they encouraged me to sign up.

I was so torn on whether or not I should run. I'd be moving to a new city. I wasn't sure how much I could train. I wouldn't know WHERE to run. But to be honest, I needed a goal. With the fire affecting so much of the 'right now' season of my life- I needed to look ahead and have a goal. I needed to look beyond what was happening right then. So I decided to register.

And then the training began. I wasn't NEAR as dedicated to the training plan as I'd been for the first one- but I got my long runs in and that was the main focus.

As race day approached, I DREADED it. Last week- I couldn't even look forward to my birthday on the 12th- because I just wanted the 16th to be here and the race over.

But speaking of birthdays...yes, I had one. On Tuesday. And yes, I'm older. It was a super low-key day- but had a great day. Went to lunch at The Lincoln with coworkers and then spent the evening with the roommate, her sisters, and Jaclyn.

Thursday night was spent celebrating my birthday with Mary Laura and Josh at BLT Steak (Thanks, again!!) , then Friday night, Governor Bush was speaking at CPAC and Josh hooked a girl up AGAIN with fantastic tickets to the VIP dinner. (Remember Josh from RNC? He's always getting great tickets!)  So I went with the coworkers from the DC office to the Gaylord at National Harbor.

As soon as Governor was done speaking, I bolted home so I could get in bed at a decent time before having to wake up super early for the race.

I set my alarm for 5am- began pre-race prep- and hopped on the metro. **Side note** Metro on the weekend is terribly slow and awful. Surprisingly enough- it was fantastic and on time for race day!**

I got to the start line and waited for Jaclyn and Leticia to arrive. I didn't get to see Leticia as she was in a corral WAY ahead of me (cause she's super fast)- but Jaclyn and I met up and planned to run together. The weather men in DC had been calling for a 70% chance of rain and I had been FREAKING out about this. Running 13.1 miles is tough enough- but to run in the rain with wet socks and shoes?!?! Ugh. In other news- it DIDN'T rain, praise the LORD.

Either way- the race started and we were off! Miles 1-2 I was really rusty feeling and needed to warm up. Miles 3-5 I felt good. Found my groove. Then miles 6-8 I was struggling. That's probably in part because of the huge MOUNTAIN we had to run up. I'm not joking. It was SOO steep. Jaclyn and I looked at the hill- each other- then walked. :-) Once on top of the hill- we picked up running again and made it a couple more miles before we got separated at a water/gatorade stop. Not sure where she went- but I kept running.

Now, in my last race, miles 10-13 were the worst. It was more a mind battle because I'd never run that far, but a battle nonetheless. In that race- I didn't know if I could actually DO it. This time- I KNEW I could and miles 10-13 seemed to be quite easy.

I know people will hate me for saying this- but I felt like this half marathon was easy. And maybe it's just cause Jesus knew I needed something to be easy for a change. But either way- I felt it was a great run for a great day. And perfect weather. Cloudy and cool.

I crossed the finish line with a huge grin on my face and gladly accepted my medal. I looked around for Jaclyn and Leticia, but in a swarm of 30,000 people- there was no way. In addition- no cell service because of so many people, so I just limped to the metro and made my way home.
My roommate was home and I had her take my picture post race. In addition- I know this sounds crazy- but even in the pictures POST race- you would have never thought I'd just run 13.1 miles. It's funny though because in this one picture, I started to stand up and my legs just weren't going to allow that to happen- hence the non-standing- awkward stance. Weird. I know.

I showered, then promptly got in bed and slept for 2 hours. After my nap, Jaryn and I had made plans with Jaclyn and Leticia at Point of View for dinner and drinks. Great dinner, great drinks, and such sweet friends. (Yes, I made them wear their medals to dinner.) I'm so glad to have run with them- not just today- but to have done life with them for the past 10 years. It seems like just yesterday we were 18 year old kids trying out the college life. And here we are today- all professional women who have moved away from home with big dreams and excitement for what the future holds. Thanks for encouraging me to run this race with you guys!! It was worth it :-) Every bit of it.

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