*I will try my best to keep this a quick and interesting recap as opposed to a 200 page novel.*
**Update, 2 hours later. Whoops, so much for that whole keeping it concise thing. Fail. If you don’t want to hear about the whole weekend, skip to Sunday/Race Day to see how the marathon went.**
After a long, 8.5 hour, drive up with my training buddy (T) we finally made it to our hotel in DC. I must admit I was a bit nervous. Sarah (of MomRunningonEmpty) had been virtually marathon training with me for over 4 months. We texted back and forth constantly and I already felt like she was an amazing friend, but you never know how something will go when you meet in person for the first time. T and I made our way to the hotel room and I could tell right away that Sarah was everything I had hoped. Wow, that sounded super corny, but it is true – she is awesome. We joke that we had the best blind date ever. Seriously who lets someone they have never met stay in their room and run a marathon with them… crazy bloggers, that is who!
We had chosen to stay at the Key Bridge Marriott, which I would recommend to everyone running MCM. It is located in the Rosslyn Neighborhood of Arlington, VA just a short walk over Key Bridge (gorgeous) to Georgetown. The hotel was fabulous because it was only a few blocks from the Metro which meant we could get everywhere easily and, even better, when the metro lines were hundreds and hundreds of people long post race – it was walking distance from the finish. Score!
We headed from the hotel to packet pickup about 4:30ish Friday night. It was my first time with mass transit and the Metro was pretty easy to navigate. If only we didn’t have the craziest Metro Station EVER! You know the stairway to heaven… well Rosslyn has the Metro escalator to hell. I am terrified of heights and was not happy to find that the escalator is one of the longest in the world at over 205 feet! Yikes. The girls tried to quickly walk down, excited to get to the train and the expo, but it freaked me out and I felt like I was going to fall so all weekend they had to wait patiently as I rode down slowly holding on for dear life. I was not going to train for a marathon for 4 months to break my leg on an escalator. Crazy I know – heights and I – we are not buddies.
We finally made it to the expo, not a bad Metro trip once I made it down that evil escalator, and I was shocked at how easy bib pickup was. We walked right up to the Marines (this was our first experience with the amazing Marines who made this weekend so spectacular) and grabbed our bibs at the outdoor tent. No line at all. Then we lined up to have our bags checked, extra security, so we could enter the expo. We grabbed our shirts and stocked up on some cheap fuel and Nuun before heading out. It really wasn’t busy at all, expect for the official MCM Brooks gear line that was RIDICULOUS!!! There was no way I was standing in that line since I already have a million race shirts, plus (let me be real) it was Brooks and not Mizuno and we all know where my allegiance lies.
We heard the expo was nuts at other times so here are some expo tips for you if you run MCM:
– don’t take a bag or purse – then you don’t have to wait in line for it to be checked
– go Friday night – out of towners seemed to go Friday am/Saturday & locals seemed to go Thursday
We then headed back to the hotel and met up with Beka (of RebeccaRoams) and her fiancé Mike. I had talked to Beka before, but never met her either. However, we lucked out because her room was right under ours and we had our own elevator in between. It may have been a staff service elevator, but I tend to ignore those details. My own personal elevator – yes! We walked to a local place and enjoyed a great meal. Beka was even more wonderful that we had all imagined. She is sweet, fun, and hilarious. Total marathon meet up win! We then headed back to the hotel and crashed early so we could play tourist a bit.
I woke up before the other girls and used my iPad to begin planning out our day. I figured out what Metro stop to hop off at for the White House/monuments and how make it to a cupcake place since we had been dreaming about post marathon cupcakes for months and wanted to be prepared. When Sarah and T woke up I filled them in on my plan and they seemed to agree. Once again the Metro ride was super simple, minus said demon escalator, and we arrived at our destination in no time.
We spent the morning casually walking around DC, which I had never ever seen before. We didn’t want to walk too much with the marathon the next day, but it was our only chance to really see everything. We saw so many beautiful buildings plus The White House, Washington Monument (not as grand with its scaffolding), World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam Wall before deciding we had probably walked enough and should be done playing tourist. I had a great time seeing all the sights, which I had only ever seen in movies before. I loved the Lincoln Memorial, but think my favorite was the World War II Memorial because it had such a special connection to the reason why I wanted to run this marathon in particular – my Bobbin.
We ended up eating lunch at Cosi’ where I am pretty sure they make their flatbread out of crushed up Girl Scout cookies and crack rock it is so addictive. I have never been before, but cannot wait until I am in a town that has them again. Sorry Panera, Cosi’ kicks your butt. Beka texted and it turns out she and Mike were a block away so they met up with us and we took the Metro back to the hotel together. We then all headed across the Key Bridge, a beautiful walk that was a bit less than a mile, to get to Georgetown. We stopped at Georgetown Running and while I loved one of their local Run DC shirts they didn’t have any in my size. We then headed to City Sports so one of the girls could see if they had BioFreeze. No luck on the BioFreeze, but I did stalk the new, beautiful Mizuno Wave Prophecy and take creepy, crazy lady pictures all over the store while making all the girls come see how pretty the shoes were. In the end I left with a City Sports Washington long sleeve tee because it was super comfy and on sale for $7 and Sarah left with a pair of Mizuno Wave Creations. Beka and T are already Wave Rider girls – look at me with my own little Mizuno running posse.
(The gorgeous new Wave Prophecy and Sarah’s Wave Creations which look exactly like the ones I ran the Nashville Country Marathon in. Mizuno Love!)
We walked further down the road to Georgetown Cupcake because we heard they were amazing. We had planned to buy three cupcakes each… there was no restraining us – one for right then and two for post marathon. However, apparently all 30,000 marathoners must have had the exact same idea because the line was all the way out the door and down the sidewalk. I have seen shorter lines at Disney – no cupcakes for us. Sadness.
Overall, Georgetown seemed awesome with so many cool places to walk around and explore and I would have loved to walk around and investigate more; however, we realized we’d already walked 6 miles for the day, were trying to take it easy, and had to make it back to the hotel in time for the 4:00 pasta dinner. If I do make it to DC again I will see Georgetown and wait in that crazy cupcake line to see if it is actually worth it. (Who am I kidding… Aren’t cupcakes always worth it?)
Dinner was the prerace pasta buffet with The Little Things for Cancer, a charity Beka and Sarah had both raised money for in order to secure their race bibs. It was conveniently located in our hotel and made figuring out dinner the night before the race super simple. It was fun to talk to other runners and relax a bit. Since the dinner started at 4:00 T, Sarah, and I were back up in the room and in our pjs by 5:30. We all foam rolled, used the stick, stretched, and KT taped up after our day of walking that way we’d be ready for the marathon the next morning. The verdict – Ouch – we all hurt! Those things are like torture devices. As a marathon runner will I ever stop being sore all the time? (Lie and say yes.)
There I was chilling in bed, watching TV, relaxing, and trying not to fall asleep at 6:30. I was full and exhausted, but knew that if I went to bed that early I would be up 9hrs later at 3:30 and T and Sarah would kill me. Then BOOM! Eight o’clock rolls around and we all have a second wind and by nine we are wide awake screaming, laughing, and busting a move to Kanye. I am sure everyone nearby loved us. It was out of control, we could not get ourselves together. Of course, we decided this could not be our fault and that the meatballs from the pasta dinner (the one thing we all had) must have been spiked/drugged. We instantly began to send Beka crazy texts to warn her that the meatballs make you crazy. I am 100% sure she loved receiving these while she was trying to sleep premarathon. We are such a classy group. #donteatthemeatballs #cueuptheKanye #canttakeusanywhere After laughing so hard it hurt and speaking in hashtags enough to make Justin and Jimmy jealous (hilarious video) we were finally in bed a bit before 11 with the alarm set to go off at 5:00 the next morning.
Maybe this picture of my reaction to finding Twizzlers strewn across the sidewalks of DC – NOOOOOOOOOO!!! proves that it may not be the meatballs that makes me a bit wild and over dramatic. I have no inside voice. Maybe I should have been in theater.
***So this turned into a novella, whoops. Be sure to check back in on Thursday or Friday for the final part of my Marine Marathon Weekend Recap, the best part, the marathon itself.***
Have you ever seen the DC sights?
Wait in a out the door and around the block line for cupcakes? Worth it?
Have you ever meet in online buddies in real life?