Sunday, April 27: RACE DAY! #werundc
AHHHH! Is what I thought when I heard the 4am alarm went through the hotel room. I slept but not as well as I wanted too. I woke up during the night sneezing and feeling congested, and of course, I was nervous! I expressed to a lot of people I’m really scared that I wouldn’t finish the race, and that the bus would come and pick me up because I was too slow. The main reason I thought this was because my 13 mile run went pretty bad and I pretty much have been slacking on training since week 7, so about halfway through.
My race day clothes- yeah I wore new stuff- the tank too and the socks but nothing bad happen to me so yay!
Me and Lauren 🙂 omg I’m so tired! Ahh!
I got up, put on my race clothes, ate a Luna bar, and headed to the Metro once again. Thank goodness we loaded our Metro card, the lines to load them were long!
After getting to the race, we checked our bags and hung out mainly by that area. Since I was using a sweatshirt that I didn’t care about, I was going to toss it once I start so that it would be donated. Lauren and Kathleen had nicer gear on, so we chilled until they were brave enough to take it off. lol
My friend Paige wanted to see me at one point on race day, she was ambitious and said she wanted to see me start so I texted her when I was there. She wanted more sleep (which I completely understand, so did I!) and decided to track me on the Nike website and to come down once I was close to being done.
We were all in separate corrals, so Lauren and Kathleen dropped me off and wished me luck. Just standing in my corral alone, I was nervous and scared. I was thinking, “Can I do this?” “Will I finish?” “Why is it so cold?” “Can people tell I don’t really know what I’m doing?” “Do I look like a loser since I don’t have anyone to talk to?” lol I wanted to use my phone, but I didn’t want to waste my battery, so I avoid using it completely.
Before I knew it, I was closer to the start line, I looked up at the clock and noticed 16 minutes had pass, and I just started running!
I didn’t take any pictures during the race, I didn’t want to fumble with it going in and out of my case, and I didn’t want to risk lowering my battery power, and I knew I needed my phone later to find Lauren and Kathleen, and to find Paige later too.
The race was awesome. The weather was good, the course was pretty flat for the most part, and I had so many interesting signs to read, so much cool entertainment to see/hear/watch also.
They took the WE RUN sign and lit it blue under the tunnels, and also had the wall people signed their name there too. Lots of drums and marching bands! At the half way point, one point I really considered stopping to take a picture was they had a dragon and loin dance! (It’s those asian dances you tend to see during the Lunar New Year) But at that point, I was thinking, I’m half way done! I can do this! Keep going!
Other fun signs I saw were “You run better than healthcare.gov” “Girls, show congress how to run!” “You run better than the government” A lot of government puns.
“Run like Ryan Gosling is at the end!” There was also a poster that said “TOUCH” for a power boost! I thought that was funny!
One of my other favorite groups was I kept seeing people wearing Blackhawks gear, and their shirts read “Three Run Two” and I thought, hm, that’s funny, sounds like 312, like Chicago’s area code and the beer. And I kept running and it turns out, it was a Chicago running group from Logan Square! How awesome was that!?
I also saw a few girls wear a black tank and skirt, hair in a bun and a crown, and I thought, that’s awesome! They’re Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s!
From mile 7-11, that part was tough for me. You run through a peninsula and onto an island that I felt took FOREVER. There isn’t much cheering groups there and I felt the sun beating down on me. The cherry blossoms weren’t really there anymore either, so I felt like I had nothing to look at! I felt like I was on LOST or Gilligan’s Island, I was screaming and wanting to so badly to get off the island!
Luckily, at mile 11, Kathleen’s friend Brandon was working the water stations. I looked for him and thought I saw him, but I wasn’t sure if it was him. I felt delirious, I didn’t want to stop since I knew I only had 2 miles left, so I took the water from who I thought was him and then kept going. But it turns out, it was him! lol
I liked how at every station, they had water AND Nuun. I would drink both and use these places as a mini walking break before running again. I also really enjoyed the Clif shots they gave out, I grabbed two of those and really did use them when I was struggling at miles 7-11. I didn’t have to use the bathrooms, but man, those lines were LONG! It was great that they would post signs how far away the next bathroom was though.
Mile 12 was interesting, they called this the Chocolate Mile and handed us chocolate! And this was another section where they scan your bib and it flashes your name on the screen to encourage you to keep going! Mine said, “Huong, it’s time to rally!”
I did feel like the last mile was the longest. I kept running faster and faster but the finish line didn’t seem to get any closer.
But, before I knew it, I saw the finish line and I crossed it. The time there said 3:02 ish, so I was kind of mad at myself, I wanted to finish before the 3 hour mark. But, there was no time for that. I needed to pick up my Tiffany’s necklace! And swag bag!
I didn’t take a picture of the swag bag, but it had food from Whole Foods, a water bottle and chocolate milk. Then you would go in line to get your Tiffany’s necklace. They also offered heat blankets here too. I was getting my phone ready to get a picture with the guy that gave it to me, but I did notice he wasn’t stopping so I didn’t get one and I was sad. But, I kept walking and noticed more lines, and as I got towards the front, I saw the guys I wanted a picture with-the guys in tuxedos and a silver platter with Tiffany blue boxes! So, I hopped into that line! I didn’t do a crazy pose, just a simple one!
And here’s a picture of the necklace 🙂
Afterwards, I found my friend Paige and we wondered around stuff that wasn’t just for finishers so she could be with me. I saw the line for finisher’s apparel, and boy was it LONG! Thank goodness Lauren runs fast and grabbed me a shirt! But, there wasn’t anything too special. I really didn’t like how Nike is making stuff is random colors. I understand the teal (for Tiffany’s) and purple (for lymphoma and leukemia) but red? That one confuses me to the max.
And once again nike doesn’t fit me too well. I asked Lauren to get me a medium (since the shirt I got for the race was too small for a small) and now this medium is huge! Ahh! But at least I got something?
I grabbed another sample of Paul Mitchell, and then try to find Lauren and Kathleen. I didn’t even try to get into the Finisher’s Village, I knew I could talk to Lauren to see what was really in there. I also didn’t try to get in line for the step and repeat sign that said “I Finished!”
After finding them, Paige went to brunch and Kathleen, Lauren and I head back to DuPont to go to Shake Shack to meet up with more of Kathleen’s friends and Brandon and his wife. Kathleen loves this place and they’re opening one in Chicago soon so I was excited to try it out.
I got the Washington monu-mint concrete, fries, and single shack burger.
Brandon then offered to drive us back to the hotel to get our checked bags and to let us use his shower before we head back to the airport, and drive us to the airport! What a guy! We also then got a mini driving tour of DC, since we mainly spent much of our time in Georgetown. So, I got to see a part of the Martin Luther King Monument. But, definitely need to take a trip out of DC again soon, and for enjoyment this time!
At the airport, I wanted to cry once I saw the people waiting-there was a HUGE group of 8th graders that were on a trip and were on my plane ride back. I knew right away, this trip wouldn’t be a quite one, and I knew my seat sucked already-I got the last row by the bathroom. There was also a little bit of a delay, but once again, once I got on the plane, I pretty much passed out.
Before I got on the plane, I remember to put on my new compression sleeves! I probably looked funny, but who cares. I heard people like to wear them on plane rides to avoid swelling.
Then, we landed, got home, and it was back to reality. I had homework to worry about and work in the AM!
Overall, this was a great first half marathon experience. I can’t wait to do another one, although I’m sure I’ll be disappointed since Nike sure knows how to throw them, but regardless, I have a few more I like to do before I tackle a marathon and a sprint triathlon! And, of course, I would love to do the San Fransico one (even with those hills!) and if they ever do it at another location, I will be there! Even if a friend wants to run it for the first time, I’ll be there, even if it’s a location I’ve been to before! I can’t turn down another Nike experience and a Tiffany’s necklace 🙂