This was an emotional one for me. This was only my second 10k, but my first run in my city! I became a runner when I lived in Delaware so I've been looking forward to running The District since I moved home almost 2 years ago. I was SUPER nervous about this run. I have never run a race without a buddy to at least do the warm up with, but this one I ended up doing alone because of the crazy logistics it took to get downtown early Sunday morning. My husband, mom and daughter went with me to the National Harbor the night before to pick up my bib and awesome MCM 10k shirt which is now my favorite long sleeve shirt!
Sunday morning came early, and I am NOT a morning person. Alarm went off at 5:30 and I groggily got myself dressed and ready catch the Metro with the rest of the runners leaving from Branch Ave. We got into DC at 7:15 and walked to the Mall. After waiting to hit the port-o-potty for 45 minutes (forget a warm up run) the gun went off and the run began right at 8am.
The physical part of the run was great. I am actually pretty proud of how I did considering this is only my second 10k and the first one I was 9 weeks pregnant. My time was 1:11:29. I'm definitely not the fastest, but my goal was to get in under 1:15 so I game in pretty strong based on my goal.
Although the incredible views of the Capital, The Washington Monument and the Pentagon were breathtaking especially since they weren't obstructed by traffic, the most motivating and memorable view were the Marines. From the para athletes running or biking the 10k or marathon, to the families wearing shirts of lost loved ones who died defending our country, the presence of the Marines was apparent and strong. So strong, it gave strength to every one of us running.
The finish line was hard to see. In fact, I was getting nervous because I didn't have much left by the beginning of that 6th mile but something told me to reserve a little for the end because I felt a challenge was ahead. Boy was I glad I did. The finish line was a direct incline from 110 onto the ramp into Rosslyn. I needed something extra to help me push through. My family wasn't able to get that close to the finish so I was struggling... then came the Marines. They were there with their hands out to high five every runner on that final hill. I reached out to fist bump or high five every one of them, because I needed their strength to transfer to me, and it absolutely did. I crossed the finish line and a female Marine placed a medal over my neck for finishing. She saluted me and took a selfie with me, and my mission was accomplished.
Incredible journey, right? Who's with me next year??
Here's the course elevation. Look at the finish line hill!!!