Friday, October 29, 2010 – First Day in DC

The only thing to say about Friday is “Welcome to DC!”  Our first night there after our First-Timers dinner for the marathon, we went to the metro to head back to my friend’s house only to be thwarted by a jumper.  Yes, our first impression of DC was, sadly, a common event of someone trying to kill themselves by jumping in front of a train!

We finally made it back after they decided to single-track the trains once the incident had been cleared.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 – Rally to Restore Sanity & March to Keep Fear Alive

First impression – Sardines!  Metro was insanely packed!  I didn’t know you could squeeze that many human bodies in such small spaces! Never did try the  phone booth test in my youth – this was it!

As we walked from the metro station towards the National Mall, we say costumes and signs galore of all different types and sizes!

We couldn’t even get close!  The Mall was full and so were the grounds around it and out into the streets!  They needed way more jumbotrons than they had! Guess they under-estimated the size of the crowd!

We ended up walking around and getting some pics from backstage.

Next, we enjoyed the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where I FINALLY got to spend some time with my best friend the USS Enterprise!

By now, we were already tired from being squished in the metro for about an hour and walking and squeezing through throngs of people and checking out a couple of great touristy spots!  We listened to some more of the rally and decided it was time to go.  We needed our rest before the BIG DAY on Sunday!  Our legs were already getting tired!

Sunday, October 31, 2010 – MCM & 10K Race Day!

It was up at 5:00 a.m. and off to the metro at 5:30 a.m.  OMG! Another day of sardineville at the metro!  My husband and I split up at Chinatown to head to our respective starts, me with my Sherpa, my very dear friend and our weekend chauffeur, host and tour guide!  I had time for a potty break before lining up.  It was FREEZING!  I kept my warm gear on until 10 mins to start.  I probably could have stayed warm longer since it took a few minutes to reach the start once the cannon went off, but I didn’t – next time!

At first, my legs were so tight I was afraid I wouldn’t even make it one mile!  After a very short  minute or two they warmed up and started working right!  I had no idea what the course was like.  It was a packed race and there was no spreading out of the crowd.  It was difficult to maintain any kind of pace.  Walkers had lined up in the faster running positions and were moving 5 across or more together.  That was extremely annoying!  I’m assuming this is common to all races.

Turned out, the course was up and down, up and down, up and down – long gradual hills all the way! Yikes! I didn’t do enough hill training, but I felt great until I hit mile 4!  At that point, I had to use the facilities! Unfortunately, on such a short race, that was all behind me by then (no pun intended) and I had to hold on! I had stomach cramps for a few minutes, but they eased off after a little while and the whole feeling  went away.  Whew!

At mile 5, my legs started getting heavy and so did my breathing.  Knowing I only had a mile to go, I pushed on.  With less than half a mile to go, I came to it, the hill – not sure what they call that hill, but it was curved around so you couldn’t see the Finish Line.  That meant no motivation or kick from seeing the end at the bottom of the hill.  I took a few seconds breather and told myself to get my butt in gear!  I was there and I wasn’t going to wuss out!  I started running again and pushed as hard and fast as I could up that last hill and through to the finish!

I MADE IT!!!  First race ever, sick, and with little training in the last 2 weeks!  Look closely! I’m the one in the white hat and black clothes staring intently at the ground wondering, “Am I there yet?”

And here we are together after my husband’s finish from his first marathon!

Official times:  Me – 1:02:47      Stephen – 4:54:50