Hi, friends! Happy Monday!
Bright and early on Sunday morning, Katie and I left her condo to catch the Metro to the race. We arrived a little after 7:00 AM and then went to check our bags.
While we were walking to our different drop-off locations, Katie and I lost each other. I briefly stopped to take off my long-sleeve shirt (Panhellenic Rush shirt circa 2000) to put into my bag, but when I looked up, she was gone. The sea of runners gobbled her up and she was no where to be found. GAH! Panic!
Just as I was about to drop off my bag, Theodora called me and said she and Anne were at the bag check. I found them just a couple of minutes later, so I was relived to have friends to run the race with. We looked for Katie for a little while longer, but, eventually, we had to get going with our pre-race activities, including waiting in the super long lines at the porta-potties, so we stopped looking for her and headed toward the corrals. Thankfully, Katie was with her friend Nicole when we split up, so neither of us were totally alone, which made me feel better about not being able to run the race together.
Hey, matching headbands!
At 8:00 AM, it was race time! Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of the actual race because I left my iPhone (and Spibelt) in my checked bag. Anne told me security would be confiscating phones and cameras at the start, so I didn’t want to risk having my iPhone taken away. At first, I was kind of bummed because I love taking race photos, but then I started to enjoy racing “naked” and not snapping pictures of every little thing.
Theodora, Anne, and I stuck together for nearly the entire 10 miles. The first 2 miles of the race were slow and crowded to the point where we were shuffling along and even walking at times. It was kind of frustrating— plus, getting elbowed and weaving all around to stay together isn’t so much fun—but I figured the slow pace would help me conserve energy, so I could make it to the end of the race in one piece.
By the time we hit mile 3, the crowds broke up a little bit and we cruised along for the next several miles, which was really enjoyable. I loved it all— the scenery (we ran along the water and monuments), weather (perfect – cool, crisp, and sunny), course (super flat), and crowd support (bands every other mile and tons of Army personnel cheering us on). Honestly, I don’t know where those miles went. Basically, miles 3 – 8.5 were a total blur for me. The three of us talked non-stop about anything and everything, which kept my mind off running, so the miles just whizzed by.
As we approached the final mile of the race, I realized I wasn’t all that tired. Sure, I had run almost 9 miles, but at a comfortable pace, so I had energy to spare. As soon as I saw the marker for mile 9, I picked up my pace and continued to run faster and faster until I reached the finish. I basically sprinted the last mile of the race— my Timex GPS Watch clocked my final mile at 7:09. Whoa, baby!
I crossed the finished line with Anne at 1:29:11, which was an average pace of 8:55 and a 28-second PR. Pretty sweet, right?! (Theodora finished just a little while after us. She’s tapering for the Marine Corps Marathon next weekend, so she didn’t want to totally kill her legs.) I’m really happy with my time and so glad I was able to run this race with friends. Having running buddies to chat with made it so much more enjoyable than running it alone.
After the race, I got my bag and immediately texted Katie so we could meet up. We found each other just a few minutes later. Hooray!
After the race, Katie, Theodora, Anne, Nicole, and I headed to brunch at Ireland’s Four Corners, a pub in Arlington, VA.
Bruch buffet? Sign me up!
Immediately after a race, I’m rarely hungry (usually I can’t stomach much more than water and maybe a piece of fruit), but about an hour or so later, I am absolutely starving, which is exactly what happened to me yesterday. By the time we walked from the finish line to pick up our bags, waited for the Metro, and traveled to the restaurant, I needed food in a bad way.
Brunch never tasted so good! I had an omelet with veggies, ham, bacon, and cheese, roasted potatoes with ketchup, baked and smoked salmon, and fresh fruit. And, boy, did it hit the spot!
After brunch, Katie and I said goodbye to Theodora, Anne, and Nicole and then took the Metro back her place. On our travels, we took a pit-stop at Pound the Hill for coffee. The mention of a “Pumpkin Spice Latte” on the sign out front totally caught my attention!
I ordered my favorite fall beverage: iced decaf pumpkin Americano. Mmm!
With coffee in hand, Katie and I wandered around Eastern Market for a little while. It was a gorgeous day, so we took advantage of the fall weather and enjoyed some time out and about in the sunshine.
Huge pillow mustache? Awesome.
Loved these mustache t-shirts! Haha!
Beyonce, is that you?!?
I was so excited to see a mini Beyonce at the market! It was almost like seeing a celebrity! Ha! I seriously thought about buying her, but there was no way she’d fit on the plane with me. But if she were in Boston, I would have totally bought her for our backyard!
After a 10-mile race and walking around the city for a couple of hours, Katie and I were both in need of a shower and some downtime, so we headed back to her condo to revive ourselves. After a shower and some time sitting on the couch, we rallied and headed out to the W Hotel to have a drink on the rooftop.
After enjoying a glass of wine and some gorgeous views of the city, Katie and I were hungry, so we headed next door to the Occidental where we scored some seats outside and ordered some appetizers and more wine.
Katie and I shared a cheese plate (we picked Piedmont and Grayson cheeses) and an order of really garlicky Truffle fries.
We ended up hanging out and talking for awhile, so we each ordered a second glass of wine. We spent a lot of time reminiscing and chatting about life—from crazy adventures and ridiculousness in college to “mom wallets” and our goals for the future. Let’s just say, it was so, so, so nice to see Katie. I really missed her.
While we were relaxing at the Occidental, Katie’s boyfriend, Mike, called to let us know he was at The Queen Vic, so we took a cab there to meet him.
We hung out there for another couple of hours, so I ordered some French fries and another glass of wine.
Good times with Katie!
What a weekend! I had a blast, but I am so happy to be home (and not traveling) for the next 3 weeks!