What better way to celebrate your birthday than by running a half marathon? Running 13.1 miles is one of the fastest ways to remind your mind that your body has aged another year. Trust me!
However, my intent was to prove a point that I am just as good (actually better) in my 30’s as I was in my 20’s. So on Friday morning, Joe and I packed up the car and headed down to D.C. so that I could partake in the Rock’N Roll Half Marathon.
I have to admit the day before the race wasn’t as smooth as one would have hoped as left later than expected putting us into Baltimore and D.C. during prime Friday rush hour. This turned our leisurely road trip into a race against time. We had until 7 pm to get across town to the race expo so that I could get my official race bib and chip. We arrived with barely 5 minutes to spare. (Luckily, the race organizers decided to extend the expo by one hour or I may have not made it.)
After the expo, we met up with my two friends Kimberly (my race partner) and Michelle and we had dinner. We had hoped to have a quick meal in D.C. and then get to our friends Sandra and Rob’s place, which was our B&B for the weekend. Sandra and Rob were also running the race so our intent was to get there as early as possible so that we could all get a good night’s sleep. Again our intention unfortunately wasn’t our reality. Although we did have a fairly quick dinner, we drove around D.C. in circles for a long time and just couldn’t seem to find where we were.
By the time we phoned Rob and Sandra and found our way back to their place, it was close to midnight. We then realized that we all had to be up and out of the house in about 5 hours and then the panic started to set in. How am I going to PR with less than 5 hours of sleep?
I went to bed worrying about oversleeping in the morning which never constitutes a good night’s rest. I tossed and turned and then before I knew it, my alarm went off. I staggered out of bed thinking that I was really losing it and my day had barely started.
We all headed out to the race and started to feel better at how lost we had gotten in D.C. because even Sandra and Rob who live in D.C. got turned around on the way to the race. We finally made it there with of spotting other runners and following their cars!
From that point on, the race went incredibly smooth. The event was well organized, well spectated and it even started on time. Running through the nation’s capital was not only gorgeous it was inspiring. The weather also was beautiful 75 degrees on March 17th, I’ll take it.
Not only did I finish with a PR 2:05:59, which cut my 20-something-year-old time by over 3 minutes, but I also got the satisfaction of running next to one of my best friends of all time. Running is an incredibly personal experience. To be able to share in the moment with someone close to you is truly a blessing. I think for the first half of the race I kept our pace up and then by the last half Kimberly was keeping me on tempo. However, even though we had our personal struggles through the race, we crossed the finish line together!
The other amazing blessing was seeing my other two best friends Sandra and Rob approach and cross the finish line for the first time. I was so inspired to share in their moment of accomplishment and I even got a chance to run along side of them (outside of the fence of course) for the last .1 miles. Running 13.1 miles is an amazing accomplishment but the first time you do it is the most special. I am so proud of both of you!
All and all, an amazing weekend with some great accomplishments and the other bonus is that the medal has glitter!