Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll Half

Once again, I'm looking at doing a race completely untrained.  My back has prevented me from running, and lack of motivation has kept me from walking.
Joann has had a stress fracture..... do we attempt to just walk the whole thing?
Paula also has had an injury and thinking of skipping the race...... but wait, my willingness to walk prompts Paula to remember our Baltimore experience and suggests that we complete part of the race and then find a metro.  Interesting.

As this race gets closer, I'm more and more anxious to get a valid finish time... not bail from the race halfway through, not cut off mileage due to a fire, but actually complete the given distance and cross over the finish line.  Can I do it?  

Packet pickup for this event was a clusterf*ck.  100% most ridiculous thing from the location all they way at RFK stadium, to the house that closed at 7pm forcing me to go during the day, to traffic in and around DC that made a 40 minute commute into about an hour each way, to parking about half mile away from the actual expo.... UGH.  Got my stuff, went home, selected my outfit.  In retrospect, I wonder if the main reason I wanted to go through with this race was because of the sparkly green skirt I planned on wearing to support St. Patrick's day?  Getting a pedicure the day before was probably not my best idea, but I woke up Saturday morning with sparkly green toes to match my skirt and headband.  Off to Clarendon to meet Ingrid, Rachael and Deb!

The metro ride to the race was absolutely terrible.  It rivaled the bus to NYC which was already topping the list as worst transportation experience ever.  Our train arrived at 7:15 and it was estimated a 30 minute ride to Stadium Armory.  HA.  The train was completely packed.  the 4 of us got separated and were literally squeezed into strangers.  Then we pulled into a station where the crowds from the earlier train were forced off due to a malfunction.  No way all these people were going to get onto our train.... right??  Wrong.  OMG.  The train could barely move at this point, and we finally pulled into Stadium Armory at 8:02.  Too bad the race started at 8:00.

We got out of the metro station around 8:15, still had to do bag check and make our way to the start line.  Luckily we were using chip timing.  At 8:40, we make our way into the starting corral, which is still oddly crowded... turns out the race was going in waves.  We got into the corrals as they were starting wave #8.  We started with wave #24.  The good part about this was that we somehow met up with Paula and Tommy, something that we had chalked up to a lost cause given the crowds and are lateness.  Eventually we got to the start line and were off....

Paula and I started walking, and noticed Ingrid and Rachael not too far ahead of us attempting to run.  They weren't really gaining any ground on us so decided to just join us and the 4 of us stuck together.  Came up on the first mile marker... then the second... could already tell this was going to be a long day.  Paula left us around mile 6 and as I glanced at my watch, I noticed that 2 hours had already passed.  Really?  2 hours to go 6 miles?  Ouch.  But the 3 of us kind of picked it up after that, incorporating some runs into our walk.  Mile markers started coming faster and at some point we began running more than walking.  We toured areas of the city that I'd never seen before and passed some incredible smelling restaurants -- we were starving!!  Mile 11.. mile 12.. we picked up our run pace.. mile 13, we were almost there!  The 3 of us sprinted to the finish and collected our medals... WE DID IT!!!!

Our finish time was ~3:36, so we really did pick up the pace in the back half.  It was really hot by this point and the race gave us towels soaked in ice water along with various food and refreshments.  I grabbed a yogurt, but the real prize would be the huge meal at IHOP after meeting up with James and Deb, who had finished well over an hour earlier, and a looooong metro ride back to Ballston.  Nelda met up with us for breakfast also before James and I took a cab back to his place for well-deserved (and needed) shower.  So happy for a finish time and medal and starting to get pumped for the next one!