26.2 amazing miles of running in and around the Nations Capitol; Washington DC, and Northern Virginia.
Welcome back to #shlomotrained for a special post race review.
So, here we go!
(let's get started)
October 26, 2014 started with setting my alarm at 12:15am for a 4:25am wake up (That's because I had a family event in NY over the weekend, and I couldn't get back to Silver Spring any earlier).
I awoke Sunday morning without needing my alarms to sound at 4:15am. This was the first time I would be taking mass transit to a race start, which meant I needed to give myself extra time to get to the start.
After checking over all my race-day check lists, and eating a small breakfast of oats, and a special combination of orange juice, coconut water, and chia seeds I headed on over to the Metro (Yes. I also had regular water).
5:24am, I board a Red line train at Wheaton heading in the direction of Downtown DC. Having to get to the Pentagon station, I know I will need to make a transfer at either Fort Totten station, or Gallery Place. I make the decision to transfer at Fort Totten to catch the Yellow line to the Pentagon and the start of the Marathon.
6:15am, Pentagon station.You have to remember it's still dark outside and very very cold. It must have been in the low 40s with an extra windchill on top to make it feel much colder. Brrrr! Next, time to make sure that both my mind and body are ready for the race! I take this time from 6:55 am to 7:55am to use the facilities, meditate, pray, and get all warmed up (All without headphones or music).
After completing my race day routine, (In my designated corral) I hear the master of ceremonies say, "30 seconds away from the start, 20 seconds, 10 seconds, 3,2,1, and boom!"
7:55am and we are underway with the 39th running of the Marine Corps marathon!
The first few miles of any run, and in this case the marathon are used to settle in and see how you are feeling. Today, I am feeling strong and my spirits are high.
Being myself, I like to run with people for at least the first half of the marathon, and this morning was no different. Running along side a young man named Jeremy.
With a few small hills in NoVA in miles 1-3 and with good legs we are running, and moving fast! Ready to take the race over the Key Bridge and into the Georgetown neighborhood of NW Washington DC.
On the approach ramp to Key Bridge is where the crowds started to get loud, and it only got louder going through the streets in G'Town!
Took us through G'Town and Rock Creek Parkway. This portion of the course had the first few special moments of the day! (and there were many of them) On the corner of M street and Wisconsin Ave there was a special surprise for me, a good friend of mine and co-worker from the Washington Sports Club Brittany T. was out there cheering for me. Yay!
After continuing through G'Town and making my way over to Rock Creek Parkway for miles 5.5-9.5, I'm still running along with Jeremy still cruising at a nice pace, and on target to hit a time of 2:50. Rock Creek Parkway in my opinion was the most scenic portion of the route. Being that it runs through a state park, there was just some beautiful fall colors and the opportunity to see others heading northbound while your on the southbound lanes. Guess what, just before mile 8, I got another boost of inspiration, I got a special shout out from another great friend and first-time marathoner Brittany Peterson. Congrats on your great finish of 3:52!
Still feeling strong and the winds starting to pick up I wished Jeremy good luck! (as he wanted to go faster)
Passing by the Lincoln Memorial was my next big moment. The crowds were swelling and the noise was let's just say extremely loud. After acknowledging the crowd, they got even louder. As I approach miles 11 through 13 and Hains Point I get some more chills and get emotional. (You may be asking why is that?) Hains Point in my opinion is the hardest portion of the race course because there aren't many spectators. However lining Ohio Dr (the street name on Hains Point), there were pictures of our fallen heroes and motivational quotes to keep you going!
Stay strong, and be #shlomotrained
*I apologize for a lack of pictures*