Last week I embarked on marathon number 6 in my journey to run across America. THis was probably the most important and personal race I have and maybe ever will run. I partnered with Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Team for Cures and in exchange for fundraising for them I got a free entry into any endurance event that they are a part of. I chose the Rock and Roll Marathon in Washington DC for two reasons. First, I had never been there before and it was on my bucket list. Secondly, one of my best friends lives there and it was a reason to visit her.
Starting in January I decided to run this race and for two months fundraised and promised I would raise at least $1,000 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, a cause so important to my mother. I raised a total of $1,100 and I want to thank everyone who donated. This cause, as I have mentioned before in my last post was so important to my mother and a huge support system to her during her battle with the disease.
I arrived in DC on Thursday and after a long day of traveling I just went straight to the hotel had some dinner and of course ( if you know me ) did a light small run in the hotel gym. Friday afternoon after exploring on my own in the morning I met up with my friend who left her husband to take care of the kids and came to spend a couple days with me in the city.
My friend and I rode the metro to the race expo to get our race bib and get the final details of the race. She was going to run the 5K and meet me at the finish line of the marathon.
Saturday morning came and it was about 30 degrees outside. I had my Team for Cures shirt on and wore it proudly.
The race started at the national mall and we ran past the Lincoln memorial and the Washington monument among other landmarks. I started out strong at about a 9:30 mile and felt great. I was on mile 3 when for some reason my emotions came out and I began crying and running. I was running for my mom, running for other cancer patients and running to one day find a cure for this horrific disease. Everything I do now I always ask myself , will she be proud of me? I told myself I couldn’t cry the whole time so I got my self together and kept going. Mile 6 was a steep hill and I hated the person that decided that would be a good spot in the race to add a hill. I guess it was better earlier while our legs were still fresh. I was on a roll and in my zone with my music and my thoughts until about mile 16 when another smaller hill came, it was smaller yes but longer. I told myself “ok every hill you run up theres a down hill” well the last 10 miles were full of these smaller but longer uphills and it seemed the downhills were smaller but shorter. Im sure I just imagined it because my legs were hurting and my pace slowed down. The weather was cold. I don’t think it warmed up at all. I forgot my pair of throw away gloves so the night before the race my friend and I walked to the store next to the hotel to find a pair of gloves. I mean its winter in DC they still have to have winter articles out right? WRONG!! They didn’t have gloves but they had fluffy socks for 50 cents… so I bought some and they became my sock gloves. Honestly, they saved my butt. My hands got sweaty with them on while i was running but when I took them off it didn’t take long for my hands to start getting so cold they began to hurt .
The scenery was awesome but I didn’t stop to get pics when I was running. Here is one of the sunrise before the race.
I was on a mission and not going to stop til it was done.. or so i thought. The one yucky part of running long distances is when you are at mile 17 and all those cups of water and gatorade that you drink at the water stops catches up to you. For those wondering, most races have a ton of porta potties along the route.
I was on mile 23 and I was starting to hit the wall. I was taking more walk breaks and my muscle in my quad starting getting tight and I could feel it with every movement. I texted my friend that i wanted “coffee and french fries” . She was waiting for me as I got the the last turn heading to the finish line, and I couldnt have been happier to see her.
My chip time read just under 4:30 but the clock time was just under 5 hours. The clock starts when the first wave of runners crosses the start line and ends when the 6 hour time limit is up. I was wave 4 so I crossed the start line and started running about 20 mins after the first group which is why the two times are different. I was not happy with my time, I really wanted to run it in sub 4 hours but ultimately Im just glad I finished. I ran 26.2 miles in honor of my mom, to make her proud, and to continue her fight.
After the race, we went to more museums. Anyone who has run long distances knows that once you finish the race, if you sit down you wont get up. So we just kept going and we went on a night time bus tour to see the monuments
I know that DC is not a state technically, but it still counts to me in my journey to run a marathon in every state, and because this race has a special important meaning to me DC will always now have a special place in my heart.
I know I made her proud. I know I honored her memory. It doesn’t help miss her any less. I miss her so much every day and like i said, everything I do in my life now I ask myself ” will she be proud of me “.. the answer this time was YES!
I don’t know what my next marathon is going to be , probably something in the summer but I will be sure to share it with you all
Oh, and I got my french fries