Thanks to a good friend HH we were able to stay near the Foggy Bottom metro stop the night before the race. Pre-race food was in Georgetown where there were more cops there than the rest of the town combined. Georgetown basketball was playing their final 4 game and lost (woohoo!). So, 7am today we headed out the door to the race. The weather was perfect singlet and shorts weather as it was overcast and about 50.
This year marked the first year of wave starts. Unlike the nonsense in NYC, it was a seeded </a>wave/corral start. So it actually was a pretty good thing as even though there were some stragglers it was not anywhere near the chaos of the Gridiron Classic! My goal for this race was to try to strive for around 8:10-8:15 pace as it was what I maintained on Wednesday with relative ease at speed. Mile 1 I clocked in at 7:58 which was faster than I wanted to hit the pavement. I felt fine but this was not in my plan. Mile 2 came in at 8:10 which was right on the money and still felt great. A majority of the race I spent watching the runners on the other side and enjoying the scenery. It's a great course and it's not often I get to enjoy it like this! I was able to bark at EV and PM:-p I finally fell into my zone around mile 4 and the miles just peeled off again. Once I hit mile 7, I felt like it was time to push a little more to see how the legs would respond. I was able to crank out a 7:59, 7:56 and 7:43 to finish in 1:21:15. Oh and yes, the cherry blossoms are fantastic and beautiful as advertised! This year I didn't have to worry about trying to search them out like two years ago when I saw one lonely tree.
I'm really happy with the final 3 miles as my legs are finally starting to respond. I was a bit more prepared for this race but not where I want to be in 6 months. Hopefully in 6 months I'll be maintaining around this pace for 26.2;)
Post race fooding was at Fuddruckers:-D This time I avoided the deadly milkshakes. I switched it for a cookie instead!
So what's next? Vienna Marathon RELAY is in 4 weeks and after that I have no true race plan until the mini 10K in June. Racing is not happening until I'm ready.
I'm staying down here in DC through tomorrow for work and then it's Passover time! And to those of you that say "oh matzah is great"...Try eating it for a full week:-p