Today was my first full day back from the nations capital. Back to work and back to training. I can't say that I won't miss DC, but it's always nice to be back home. A little vacation at the beginning of Spring is always nice and seeing the District during full cherry blossom bloom is amazing.
The race went better than I could have ever imagined. I had a pretty solid goal for myself going into the marathon and I accomplished that goal easily. The SunTrust National Marathon took place in Washington, DC on March 29. The day started out fairly chilly, somewhere around 32 degrees, and never made it very far above 40. That kind of weather is just fine with me, that was the stuff I'd been training in, all be it at a lower relative humidity. I went out a little slower than I wanted to, but it didn't take long for me to find my rhythm. By the third mile I was sitting right where I wanted to be and I could take in some scenery as I cruised along with 1,300 other marathoners and almost 3,000 half marathoners. I found the course to be a bit hillier than expected; however at over 4,000 feet lower elevation I could handle anything the course would throw my way. By the halfway point I was running right on pace to achieve the 3:30 goal that I had set for myself.
The half marathon was where I met up with a young man from Staten Island, NY. We ran side-by-side for the next seven miles. It was great being in the company of another athlete, we pushed each other along. Finally, we hit a breezy stretch along the Potomac and I just kept pushing until I was on my own again. With less than a 10K to go I let the thought slip into to my mind; there is a wall out here and I am going to hit it. For the next three miles I kept my eyes peeled for the wall and repeated my mantra, "keep smiling". By the time I was to the last 5K I figured it was too late to hit the wall and so I just as well go for it. I had stuck to my nutrition plan all day, I didn't have any significant pains, and when the final hill to the finish line came. I gave it everything I had left. I finished in 3:21:25, running the second half less than a minute slower than the first. I am truly pleased with my performance.
I was even more excited with my wife, who went 3:54 and met her goal of going under four hours. All of the competitors were incredible and I have nothing but the utmost respect for each one of them. I will definitely run another marathon, the word "Boston" has even crept into my vocabulary lately. I know that I can do it, a lot more time and a bit more focus and I can qualify. For the time being, I am going to focus my energy on triathlons. We'll see, maybe next year I will give the marathon thing another go.