That's how long it took me to complete the Army 10 Miler this past weekend! I was very happy with my time - I'm a pretty slow runner, so I didn't have a particular pace in mind, but I had been running an 11 min mile during my training runs. The race was more fun than I thought it would be, and I'm so happy it's over!
We spent the whole weekend in the DC area before the race. My parents were very kind and flew to NC last week, then drove with me and the girls up to DC on Thursday. We spent Friday morning in the Capital, viewing the monuments and trying to view the White House (we were deterred by the large men in SWAT uniforms blocking the pathway).
We spent that evening in the Old Town area of Alexandria with my good friends the Roseann and Drew and their kids. We ate at Union Street Public House , where we had a nice dinner catching up with our friends.
I had a fabulous dinner there - I think it was the first time I've ever been offered a vegetarian chef's special!! It was too good to pass up - roasted acorn squash, roasted asparagus, eggplant, portabello, and corn, and rice pilaf. The acorn squash was excellent - the waiter told me it was roasted with orange juice, brown sugar, and butter. I'll definitely be trying it at home soon. We walked around the area a little after dinner, on our way to get some ice cream.
We happened to run into another good friend there - our friend we knew from my grandparent's town of Pune, India! We knew she lived in the area, but didn't think we'd be able to see her this weekend. What a small world that we ended up on the same busy street in Alexandria as Gia and her husband Tarak!!
The next day we had a later start, but I managed to maneuver around the Metro with my two girls to get to the Race Expo at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. I picked up my race packet there, got a new running shirt with a built in zippered pocket, some power gel to store in said pocket, and then made it back to our hotel in the Roslyn area of Arlington. I tried 3 different local delis to get lunch, but they were all closed. So I ended up at Ruby Tuesday, where Abby pulled the fire alarm on our way out the door! Emma was really distraught by the sound of the alarm, and was really worried about getting out the doors, even though she saw Abby pull the alarm! The hostess at the restaurant was very kind and understanding, and even hugged Emma to make her feel better. Naughty Abby!
(My parents were exploring the Smithsonian Museums while we had our adventures, so they missed the excitement. )
We headed to Fairfax that afternoon to visit some more friends. My parents and I had a great time catching up with our friends Lauren and Jenny, who we met when I was in kindergarten, and Lauren's husband Merrith. They fed us a delicious pasta with roasted red pepper sauce, grilled zucchini and squash, and my favorite ice cream, mint chocolate chip! It was the perfect pre-race dinner. And my girls had a really fun night playing with Lauren's kids. It was a strange feeling, to know our kids are now the same age we were when we first became friends, and we are now the age our parents were at the time.
I woke up the morning of the race feeling pretty nervous, but once I got on the Metro with about a thousand other runners, I felt better. There were over 26,000 runners at the Army 10-Miler that morning - I didn't cross the start line until about 8:20! As I said before, the course was amazing. We started at the Pentagon, ran through the Lady Bird Johnson Park, crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge, ran past the Lincoln Memorial, past the Watergate Hotel, (past the gas station where we asked a cab driver for directions when we were lost on Thursday night,) past the Washington Monument, past the Smithsonian castle and museums, around the Capital building, past the museums again (fyi - it is mentally painful to double back!), back again over the Potomac River, ran on a really long and boring overpass, and then FINALLY ran back to the Pentagon to cross the finish line.
The first 7 miles were fine, but the last 3 were tough. I was thrilled to finally finish! And I was relieved to find my family after the race - with so many runners, I was worried I wouldn't find them for hours! They said they saw me cross the finish line - I'm sure it wasn't a pretty sight.
My friend Roseann also came out with her kids to cheer me on. Maybe she'll run it with me next year!
My husband was kind enough to run his own Army 10 Miler in Iraq that day. He woke up in time to run it at the exact same time as me, and called me after I was done with my race! So sweet! I knew he was going to be running when I was, and that thought helped me get through the last few miles, when I was not having as much fun anymore!
After the race we headed back to our hotel on the Metro, then drove to Roseann's house in Alexandria. She treated us to a delicious lunch and let me shower and relax at their house for a few hours before we headed back down I-95 to North Carolina again. The drive home was pretty painful. Sitting in a car for 6 hours after a race is not good for recovery!
I'm proud of myself for finishing the race, and I'm glad I had this to look forward to and to train for while Scott is away. I'm not sure where we'll be next year, but if we're around here, I'll definitely try to run this race again. (Hopefully with some friends running with me! Heather? Roseann? Lauren?)