After our adventures on Saturday, we went to bed hoping for a good night. John was on Xander night duty and was only to get me if he needed fed. X woke up at 1 to eat and then again 3:30 for some reason. John had been tending to him since 3am and then it was evident he needed mommy. I made it back to our bedroom by 3:45, but by that time I knew John’s alarm would be going off at 4:15 – so if I did fall asleep it didn’t really feel like it.
At 4:15 the alarm went off and we started getting ready. John went downstairs and made us breakfast while I got my running clothes on. After eating, getting everything ready, and trying to use the bathroom (you know what I mean, runners), it was time to get Xander into his car seat. The transition was seamless and we were on the road by 5am.
Instead of taking the metro all the way into DC this time (there was track work on our line and we had to take a shuttle for part of it on Saturday), we decided to drive to our friends Mark and Lauren’s place and then take the metro from there. This worked perfectly!
We arrived to the Pentagon around 6:50-7am. The metro stop was busy but not as crazy as I was anticipating. You certainly had to be patient, but everyone seemed very nice – especially since I was holding a sleeping baby. Everyone loves a good baby!
Lauren and I hung out with our husbands for awhile before entering the security check point and watched the parachuters above us (un-pictured).
I was hoping I could feed Xander before the race, in order to be as empty as possible, but when he did wake he wasn’t hungry. Funny story though: the way I was holding X was pressing against my Camelbak tubing in such a way to completely drench my shirt. We were so confused and were trying to figure out if it was Xander pee or breast milk, before realizing it was just water. Ha! Luckily my bib covered a lot of the water spot!
Lauren and I said goodbye to the boys and made our way through the security check point, which wasn’t much of a check point at all. The website said no cell phones, audio/video devices, or headphones… yet we saw tons of people with them. Oh well, we had established a meeting location with the boys and were set to race.
We made our way to the port-a-potty lines before heading to our corral. Our corral was set to start at 8:25am and as each corral ahead of us started, there was fan fare for each. It was so exciting! Before we knew it, we were running! I’ve read a few other recaps from people in earlier corrals than us who said the first mile was pretty tight in terms of running space, however, I didn’t really notice a huge difficult. While we were running, the boys made their way to the Pentagon Memorial…
Back to the race… it was extremely patriotic and very uplifting. At the beginning of the race there was an amazing runner playing the piccolo WHILE running. He played all sorts of patriotic tunes and the runners would erupt into applause when he finished a song. So moving.
Also, apparently in DC when you run under a bridge you start clapping. The first time this happened I was confused but Lauren knew the drill. It was such a fun tradition that I was more than participate in.
The miles ticked by quickly and before we knew it, we were running on Independence Avenue, which ended up being my favorite part of the course. We ran down and back on Independence Avenue… making it possible to see the other runners AND there was a ton of crowd support. If I were to run this race again, I would encourage John to stand there for cheering purposes before heading to the finish.
I wish I knew DC better because I would describe where we ran, but it was an amazing course. We were able to see the Washington Monument often and there was some really pretty water for awhile too. We did run on some stretches of highway as well, but I guess that was needed to get the miles in. The course was pretty much flat with just a couple gradual hills.
It might sound silly, but as I was handed my finisher’s coin I was overcome with emotion and welled up. The last time I got emotional during a race was during mile 12 of my very first half marathon. The emotions I felt during the Army Ten Miler were so real and so raw. I was so proud of how far I’ve come since my pregnancy and giving birth. All I wanted to do in that moment was find John and Xander.
Sure, I have a ways to go, but no one can take away this accomplish.
Thank you John and Xander for being the best motivation and support system. Thank you Lauren for running this entire race with me – we were a perfect team! I can’t wait to see the official race photos of us!