So the last time I ran this race I looked like this…
It was two years ago, there were bad storms and a tornado watch, I was 37 1/2 weeks pregnant and Kevin was born 4 days later. However, despite those things I still ran this race faster back then [32:45] than I did yesterday [33:19]! Yes, it was a tough one for sure! Here are the details!
As I explained last time, this race takes place in Arlington which is right outside Washington D.C., and near the Pentagon where one of the planes hit on 9/11. Part of the course actually wraps around the Pentagon itself. This race is very much team-based and has an overall feel of unity. There were teams of firefighters, police officers, military, running groups, businesses, and more running in remembrance of those that had been lost on 9/11. Many people run with their groups in formation, holding flags and some even chanting military-style. We were running as part of Team RWB, who had a huge crowd show up!
We had some friends also running this race- James and Chanda and their little girl Leighton who is Kevin’s age. We met them through our birth classes over two years ago and have stayed really close friends. They’re also part of Team RWB.
Kevin is in love with little Leighton, and they had fun chasing each other around the parking lot while we waited for the race’s 6 P.M. start.
My friend Cynthia was also there running with a team of people from her work. She was looking adorable in her “Running for Two” shirt and is more than halfway through her pregnancy!
Eventually after hanging out for a while we were told to make our way to the start. We had been outside for a couple hours at this point and were feeling the effects of the heat. It was in the mid-90s and extremely humid. It was also really crowded which made it feel even hotter! We lined up in the back since we had strollers and then had to wait a while for the race to start. This was interesting with two toddlers who were restless and didn’t want to be restrained in their strollers, especially since we were approaching their normal bedtime! Luckily we distracted them with snacks and they hung in there. After they did all the introductions and remembrance tributes, we were about to start when the announcer said that he needed a medic to the start line because someone had passed out. Yeah, it was that hot!!
Once the person who was sick was safe and taken care of we were off and running at about 6:20. Chanda and I ran with the strollers and our husbands went ahead. Since strollers have to start in the back we were stuck behind everyone and couldn’t move very fast at all, especially during the first mile. At one point our pace was at 13 minutes/mile. Ugh!
- Mile 1 – 10:20
We were able to find some open space during the second mile which helped us pick up the pace a little. But it was difficult to navigate the stroller in the crowds. I had to focus really hard on not running into the backs of people’s shoes or into Chanda’s stroller. We did have a few crash incidents with each other 🙂 On top of that it was tough to breathe due to the humidity. I found myself wishing it would rain!
- Mile 2 – 10:02
Chanda started to feel nauseous during the 3rd mile so we took some walk breaks. She told me to go ahead but I didn’t want to leave her if she was feeling sick. She had already run 9 miles that morning too- she’s such a rockstar! I wasn’t feeling great either myself, but I just kept reminding myself why we were running and the purpose of this race. During one of our walk breaks I texted Kevin that we were having a hard time, and since him and James were finished they came back and grabbed the strollers for us. We were able to run the last half mile or so stroller-free, which felt better- especially when we ran past a fire truck that was spraying water! Ahhhh relief!
- Mile 3 – 11:25 (run/walk)
Finally we saw the finish line and ran through it just as we saw a huge lightning strike!
- Finish Time – 33:19 (10:44 average pace)
It was kind of a crazy scene at the finish line. It was super crowded and we saw a lot of people who needed medical attention because they were either passing out or puking or in bad shape. We got ourselves some water and food (and the guys got beer of course), but didn’t stick around too long because the lightning and thunder was getting worse. We ended up sprinting to the car and got there just as the strong wind and rain started!
Even though this was a tough race for us, it was still a very memorable evening spent with great friends for an amazing cause!
Edited later to add- I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 in the morning before this race 🙂