Today was a great day to run a half marathon. The rain stayed away and the wind was nonexistent. The course, however, was much hillier than I expected. A total of 30,000 runners participated in both the half and full marathon. Of that, just shy of 20,000 made up the half marathon race. It took me 34 minutes just to get to the start since it was a timed start by corrals. My first six miles were exactly as I planned. While I was always surrounded by runners, I had room to run. Just before the seven mile mark a hill that honestly must have been at least a quarter mile long or more came in to view. It was a game changer, recovering from it was tough and it also was the beginning of a five mile stretch of rolling hills. The down hills were fun, I let it go. The up hills – well not so much. I crossed the finish line at 2:25:11 – ten minutes past my goal time. (Not to mention at 13.37 miles according to my GPS…)
I did not set a personal best – but I had fun, ran well, and had my fourth best half marathon time out of 13. My friend ran well, she set a personal best and placed fifth woman overall. I am so proud of her and her accomplishments. It was a tough course and a large, competitive field. We went over my mile split times with average heart rates and she is going to adjust my training program for the half marathon I will be running in May.
This afternoon we walked the National Mall and got close up to the four landmarks I photographed yesterday. The closer I got to the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the White House, and climbing the stairs to enter the Lincoln Memorial I was taken by how big these structures are and how small I am. I was one of 30,000 runners today. Big numbers and I made up .003% of the crowd – a small amount. Despite my size, my experiences today were huge. I accomplished a difficult task running a hard course. The history behind this city is amazing and a thrill to take in. I may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but what I was able to take from today was huge.