On Sunday, November 13th, 2011, two days after our wedding, we ran our first race as husband and wife! Running has become a big part of both of our lives, so we knew we wanted to include a race in our wedding weekend festivities. We heard about the Veterans Day 10K in DC and thought it would be perfect.
Kevin had never raced a 10K before, and I had only done one back in 2007 while I was in college (my time was 56:50). I knew we could do much better than that now, but we weren’t very concerned with speed for this race. We just wanted to have fun, and we knew it might be rough after two days of wedding partying.
We decided to make special shirts for the occasion. We bought plain t-shirts and ironed on letters to make ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ on the front, and ‘Just Married’ on the back. I thought they were super cute! We woke up early on Sunday in our hotel room (we stayed there all weekend for free – thanks to SpringHill Suites Woodbridge!), got dressed, and left for the race.
We stopped to pick up my cousin and his girlfriend who were in town for the wedding. They wanted to do some sightseeing in DC before flying back to Oregon later that evening, so we took them up there. It worked out perfectly because the race started in West Potomac Park, right by the monuments and the National Mall.
We parked easily and walked to the start. It was a beautiful walk along the water and the temperature was great- not too cold and not windy like our wedding day was!
When we got to the park we quickly picked up our race stuff, including an awesome long sleeved black technical shirt. They also had tons of food- coffee, bagels, energy bars, bananas, and more. I was impressed! There were a lot of people there, and many of them congratulated us and told us they loved our shirts.
It wasn’t too long before they started calling us to line up at the start. As we waited for the gun Kevin and I started talking about how we felt good and wanted to run hard. We set a goal to run the 6.2 miles in less than 50 minutes. I wasn’t sure if we could do it, but I wanted to try. So much for taking it easy 🙂
We started running and it was pretty crowded at first, so our first mile felt kind of slow [8:42]. The course was basically a big lollipop that went out, did a little loop, then went back to the start. The crowd thinned out a bit and we picked up our speed. The next mile was faster [8:14] and I knew we could pick it up more. We were feeling great!
Every mile we ran was faster than the last, and before we knew it we were in the loop getting ready to head back to the park. Kevin’s sister Kara and her fiance Brandon had texted us to let us know that they had come to the race and were there at the finish line waiting for us. We were excited because they had never come to one of our races before.
Unfortunately the photographers didn’t get any shots of us running together, even with our cute shirts on! It was funny to pass people and hear them say “awww” when they read the back of our shirts. We kept joking around to each other saying, “Yeah, that’s right, we just got married 2 days ago AND we’re passing them” 🙂 What can I say? We are competitive!
At the end we were pushing hard. I realized there was a chance we could make it under 50 minutes and we REALLY wanted it!
We heard Kara and Brandon screaming our names and holding up signs for us, and we ran through the finish line in 49:59! We made it (barely)!
Here are our mile splits:
- Mile 1 – 8:42
- Mile 2 – 8:14
- Mile 3 – 8:05
- Mile 4 – 7:52
- Mile 5 – 7:45
- Mile 6 – 7:33
- Mile 6.2 – 1:48
- Finish Time – 49:59 (8:03 average pace)
I couldn’t believe we made our time goal by only one second! And how about those negative splits??? Kevin and I couldn’t believe how good we felt. It definitely wasn’t effortless, but it felt good to push hard and run fast. There were so many fast runners there too, which was really inspiring. The first male finished in 30:23 and the first female ran it in 33:04! THAT’S SO FAST!
We found Kara and Brandon right away and took a picture with one of the signs they made for us.
Then we got a bagel and hung around to listen to the awards. Afterwards we all went to Georgetown Cupcake to celebrate. It was our first time and it was absolutely delicious!
Kara and Brandon left to go back to Woodbridge, and we stuck around DC for a while to do more touristy things and take my cousin and his girlfriend to the airport.
We also took pictures at the WW2 Memorial, with our original states of birth – Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and our new home- Virginia!
It was a wonderful day with my husband and a great way to end our wedding weekend!