This weekend was hands down one of the best weekends this year. My Ohana was all in town, many of them running a 10k race for their first time, and Amanda was running her first-ever MARATHON! You can read her blog recap at the link – try not to cry too much! She is amazing!
The weekend started out Friday night when people started trickling into town. On Saturday the race festivities began and we made our way to the DC Armory where we navigated the crowded parking lot and jumped in line to wait for our race packets as the power went out in the tent. It was a littler terrifying to walked through a pitch black dark tent with no lights to find out bib stations. Then we grabbed out gear and headed to the expo. I think that is when it really sank in for everyone that we were doing this! The expo was great and I picked up a few stinger waffles and stinger gels for the in-between period between my two race (more on that later) and the girls bought everything from new shoes, an official MCM race jacket, water bottle holders, sweaty bands, and free samples. The expo had it all!
On Saturday night the girls and I cooked up pizza, pasta, salad, and garlic bread for out carbo loading feast and did our best to make it into bed before 11! why so early? Well…because we had to be awake at 5:30 am! But first we laid out our race gear and checked our to-do lists.
5:30 AM came around a lot fast than I wanted too and of course the race day jitters had the best of me. Alarms went off and us bleary eyed runners and rock-star support team got dressed and hit the road. We took the metro three stops down to Smithsonian and I bolted for the pota-poty line. I swear I always try to use the bathroom at home before a race but no matter what I do I always end up having to pee right when I get to the race start! Maybe it’s nerves? Either way, those things are a rare form of HELL! *barf*
Post porta-poty photo op
We lined up at the 1:15 mark knowing that our group of runners would be all over the pace from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. This was safe! We watched marines parachute out of a plane with a giant American flag and land at the MCM start, we listened to the national anthem, and we howitzer cannon went off!
My plan for the day was a little different than I had originally planned so I knew I needed to take it easy. Amanda was running the marathon for Team Not Alone and was running in memory of her beautiful mother Glenda who we miss deeply and all ran for. She carried us all through that day – you could feel Mrs. Glenda all around. My original plan (which was approved by the MCM fyi) was to wait to start my 10k race until Amanda reached the 20 mile mark so that we could run the 6.2 together. On Saturday we realized that the courses were slightly different and that our plan would not really work out the way I has planned. So I made a decision on Saturday at the Expo to run the 10k with the group and metro to the 20 mile marker of the marathon and run with Amanda. 12.4 miles. I was nervous since I had not done a distance like that since my half marathon earlier this year but I knew it was going to be great! One of the best choices ever and our friend Andrea joined me as well!
My trying to truck it up the hill behind zippy Beth – she killed that hill!
For the 10k, I had the pleasure of running with Beth who was running her first ever 10k and started training 6 weeks before. We live in the same neighborhood so we were able to get in a few training runs together before the big day which was great. During those training runs we ran with a consistent 1 minute run 1 minute walk plan that ended up with a 13 minute mile. Beth was comfortable with that and knew that she could finish the 6.2 with that plan. We stuck to the plan and poor Beth got a foot cramp (those suck!) at mile 2 so we had a couple of stretch breaks to keep her toes from cramping and 1 porta-potty break so we finished with a 14 minute mile pace which was still AWESOME! 11 months prior to this race I race Beth’s first 5k with her and I realized this close to the finish line and ran behind her up the finish line hill and was so incredibly proud of how far she had come. How about a half marathon, Beth!? The rest of the group finished 8 minutes ahead of us and speedy-speedy Andy finished in under an hour! Crazy! Beth and I high-fived as we received our medals and we met the group for watermelon, beer, and bananas. Man…that sounds nasty now. We really were lucky to have a rock-star support crew of friends who carried out gear for us to the finish line and took photos so that we could do our best to look like that ridiculously photogenic marathon guy (this one). THANK YOU ALL of cheering us on and carrying around very heavy bags – Tory, Caroline, Max, Matt, and Danielle.
SO proud of these awesome 10k-ers!
By this time I was HUNGRY and knew I needed to get some food in my stomach before I jumped on the metro to make it to mile 20. The options were pretty limited so I went for a plain McDonalds egg mcmuffin (gross, I know, but it was pretty basic and not horribly greasy). I gobbled it down and Beth, Christy and I made our way to mile 20 to meet up with Team Peacock. One of the best added surprises was getting to mile 20 right as my friend Melissa was running by. This was also her first marathon and we ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon together this past spring. I heard someone call my name and immediately ran over, hugged her, and jogged along with her for a bit until I needed to turn around. She beat the bridge! I made my way back to Team Peacock and Mr. Brian (Amanda’s dad) hugged me and told me that he was so proud of us and that we were killing him that day with all of our love – that was the second time I cried that day. To call is an emotional ay was an understatement
Mama Caroline braiding my hair pre-run & a post-run banana
We were tracking Amanda up to that point on our phones and knew that she was near. She had run a consistent 13 minute mile for the entire 20 miles and did not stop! Wow! I stood on the barrier and looked for Amanda’s teal under armor shirt in the crowd and could see her running up the on ramp. We started SCREAMING! The crowd went crazy and Amanda raised her hands and Andie and I jumped in. Our plan – have fun for the last 6.2! Boy did we! We continued running til we made it to the end of the never-ending bridge and started to power walk. Even power walking we were till passing people left and right which was pretty funny to me. We danced through the bands and people playing music on the side of the street, we made ourselves look SUPER good in our best running poses by photographers, we looked out for the best signs, we laughed at the vodka shots some spectators tried to hand us and gagged at the smell of the spilled vodka in the heat, and we cheered on other runners around us. It was the fastest 6.2 of my life because e were having fun while doing it. For those 6.2 I forgot about the blisters on my heels, forgot about my IT band pain, forgot that I was hungry and wanted another drink, forgot that I had to get my butt to work the next morning. It was amazing!
*Photos from Andrea :D*
before we knew it we were at mile 26 and picked up out pace and started running again. We could see the hill and started up it together – the three of us in a line. We rounded the corner and saw the Team Peacock cheering section and I started to tear up again seeing everyone and I could see Amanda holing back tears too. Her dad ran out and high-fived her as she ran the very last bit to the end and Andrea and I ducked out and joined the group. It was amazing! We met up with Amanda at the family meet up and it was hugs all around.
Killing that hill!
Amanda wanted beer and pizza and we all agreed that the combo sounded amazing after a day of running. We headed back to Beth’s house and ordered 9 pizzas, a case of Sam Adams, and 2 six packs of Angry Orchard. We finished it all. YUM!
To say that I have the best friends in the world is an under statement 😀 I am blessed and need to remember that more often. I am SO proud and will remember this race forever. So what’s next? Mr. Husband was certainly bitten but the distance race bug while watching the marathon. I race more than he does…but he is a MUCH faster runner than I am. We found a half marathon (13.1 miles) that was 13 days away and figured, what the heck? Let’s do it! I essentially ran a half marathon this weekend and am walking fine and ready to exercise again 2 days later (thanks foam roller) and Max is in much better shape than I am. So on Nov. 10th Max and I will be running the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon from Mount Vernon to National Harbor – that goes through 2 states and the District of Columbia. Pretty cool!