The first, the last, the only marathon recap. By Avi
Before the race started, there was already troubles. I get to the race site, and bag check is ridiculous, they have busses and busses lined up for us to check bags in, by alphabetical order. So as you can imagine the Z bus, had not line. The further you went toward the top of the alphabet, the longer the line for gear check got. This is also where there was a bank of 15 or so porta potties, and people were freaking out, because we all thought that was it for the start line. I finally get to my gear check, and my friend Steve was waiting for me, he was a volunteer and requested to be on my baggage check to wish my luck. (I also found out later that 30% of the volunteers didn’t show up, and that is why baggage check seemed under staffed)
After gear check, I head toward my coral, where I am supposed to find jess. I have been calling her, but she didn’t hear it because of the noise, I can’t find her, and I need to pee. Luckily each coral has a bank of 6 porta potties. I wait in our coral, and I see Rachel, I tell her I can’t find Jess, and to look for her as I am almost to the front of the line. While I am in the porta potty, Jess screams Avi, Rachel hears her and they find each other. I get out see Rachel then see Jess, and give her the biggest hug. (reunited and it feel so good) We talk, Jess is freaking out cause she forgot everything, they Rachels seem calm, and Anna just can’t stop smiling :p
The race starts and they are letting each Coral go one at a time, genius. As we are about to cross the start line, I look at my Garmin to hit start and see it say. Power Save in 0. Luckily I already had satellites so I get it up and running a few steps into the race. Honestly, the weather is perfect, and despite a few drops in the late miles, there was no rain. We all freaked out for nothing. Start the race off, and we are going really strong. Jess’ husband, the ultimate spousal support, carries a bunch of extra snack bars I brought, to help lighten my load as I drop my faithful running jack on the side of the road at mile 3.
Overall, the first half of the race was relatively smooth, we kept a relatively steady pace, as far as I could tell, and I even survived running up the hill at mile 6.5, I have never successfully ran up that hill. However, we kept passing some of my favorite brunch spots in the city, and I definitely kinda wish we could have stopped for some hash browns.
Jess, Anna, and I found Emily at the 11 mile water stop, and of course the put some extra pep in our step, Anna especially, in fact she wiped out just after finding Emily. But we helped pick Anna up, and she was still smiling from ear to ear, and had a perfect braid in her hair.
We plodded on just fine, but I was starting to have some serious nipple chaffing. Luckily for me, and all the spectators, I had brought a chap stick with me, in case I needed it for my lips. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. I asked Emily and Jess not to judge me, and lifted up my shirt and use the chap stick on my right nipple.
At 12.5 miles Jess stopped to use a porta potty, pretty sure she was holding it since the start, and I decided this would be a good time for my first walk break. Of course, this is when Erin (delarunnergirl) catches up to us, the second I start walking. (talk about worst nightmares right) I don’t know if it was stopping to walk, or what but just a little beyond this things started to go downhill fast. We had hit the half marathon marker in 2 hours and 30 minutes. The rest of the race took an additional 3 hours and 10 minutes. Right after we started running again, my right buttock started to seize. I kept it to myself for about a mile or so, but I just couldn’t keep pushing. Luckily Emily had brought Advil with her, and well that helped. Honestly, I don’t remember much from when the pain started until we got to the guy playing music in the tunnel. Looking at the map that was around mile 15.2, I honestly had so much pain, that I don’t think I was even talking to Emily and Jess. My ass and my calves hurt with every step, I know we probably walked more than I would have liked during this point, but thinking back on it, I really don’t remember it at all.
After Mr. Incredible, the dude playing music in the tunnel, we were up near my old office, I remember thinking it was fitting because Steve, the friend from earlier, was going to be at mile 18 working the water stop. We ran along the Anacostia, and go to mile 18, definitely better than running hanes point btw, and got to Steve at mile 18, Steve joined my for about .25 miles and Jess and Emily went on ahead. I ran with Steve, who was wearing jeans and vibrams, but it was on an out and back so I knew Jess and Emily would be able to find me again. Emily split back with me on the back, and Jess kept going for another quick pit stop.
This was followed by probably the worst part of the run, first we have to run over a draw bridge, that is made of medal grating, super uncomfortable. Then we are in the middle of nowhere Anacostia, and have 0 fan support, nothing. This is also about when my knee starts to really bother me. We are at the point that I am running further than I ever have, and my knee is letting me know it doesn’t appreciate it. This is also right before the incident.
At mile 21.5, and we are approaching the 3 and quarter mile lollipop loop. We see this guy putting cones across the course. As we approach he is telling people that they have missed the cutoff and we have to skip the loop and turn right. Jess panicked and went. I was super impressed with her speed, and I completely understand the panic. I try to take the more rational route of talking to the guy. I exclaim to him that this is my first full marathon, he kinda gives me this look like sorry bud your sol. And Emily and I say eff it and run the loop anyway. We picked up the pace, I was determined to catch up to the group that had made the cutoff, and I am driven by anger for this dude. How dare you try to take this away from me! Emily and I fume about it and I refuse to stop running until I get beyond his view.
Which takes us beyond the 23 mile marker. From here, it is mostly rolling hills, and all I remember is Emily and the knee pain until we cross over Pennsylvania avenue. After that I just remember having some amusing conversations like. “You know we can out run you, we be running all the time!” a cop telling it was the last hill, then some dude on a stoop promising his hill is actually the last hill.
Emily was really such a trooper at this point, I feel like I am falling apart and she is there trying to keep it together. Without Emily and Jess, I would have never made it this far, they both convinced me not to drop down to the half days before the race. And now Emily was there mentally pushing me to the finish line, and at one point back in the 16-17 mile area, she was literally pushing me toward the finish line.
And even though my knee hurt with every uphill step I took, I knew I had to run up the final hill toward the finish line. Emily split off to find Jess just before the finish, and I kept pushing.
There are two really great things about being a late finisher, One every photographer is taking your picture, two it is really easy to find your loved ones in the thinned out crowds. I see Adria as I come around the last turn, and as far as I could tell my face lit up. I finished I got my medal, and the rest is history.
- seeamandarun said: So proud of you!!
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- yogawarriornyc said: Great recap!! Congratulations again :)
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- missmarisol said: Way to go!
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- laurworksandwonders said: So proud of you. Way to stick it to that guy!
- keepgoinggreen said: Way to go buddy!!!
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- cupcakeconditioning said: So great, Avi!
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- fitterisbetter said: So freakin proud of you!
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- turtleseyeview said: Congratulations Avi!! It sounds like it was hard fought, but you did it. Hope you are feeling pretty good now and recover well.
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- pascal73 said: Jeez! Well done to you! But what a strange thing about the cut…..Here’s the cut when you aren’t within 3 hours halfway.
- runslikeapenguin said: didn’t know that about volunteers! also, I think at least 4 people told me “THIS IS THE LAST HILL” at 4 different hills, and they were all wrong
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- sabbyrunsatl said: I’m glad you ran the loop anyway. Also, what the hell? That’s an early cut-off for a marathon! What about the people who walk it? Great race report!
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- lizlivinglife said: This is so awesome! I’m so proud of you!!!
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- thisfearlesslife said: congrats, avi!
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- easybeinggreene said: So so proud of you! And you don’t ever have to do it again!
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- lifeofjazzie said: Yayyy congrats!!! You did great!
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