I’ve been wanting to run this race for over a year now. I heard about it last March when I was on the lookout for more races, but didn’t realize that because of its popularity, the lottery to get a spot is held back in December. Okay, I thought. Next year! So when December rolled around, I was fresh off of my dual-marathons and looking for some spring races. I entered the lottery and luckily got a coveted spot. Hooray!
Then I got pregnant. And my energy levels plummeted. And my training came to a screening halt. And my appetite disappeared. Hmm. Well, I obviously can’t back out of a race… I mean, it’s paid for, I thought. So clearly I’ll still run it, just not that fast. It’ll be fine. Those were my thoughts yesterday as I went to pick up my race “packet” (which only consisted of my bib and my t-shirt: ZERO free schwag). I continued to think that this morning as I got dressed and got myself moving before sunrise and even as I was standing in front of the start line, adrenaline pumping with all the other runners.
It was after all a beautiful day in the Nation’s capital. Blue sky. No clouds. Sun beaming down. A little bit of a chill to the air but not frigid. Let’s do this.
The gun goes off and off we go! The course is unique in comparison to most DC races as it stays almost exclusively around the monuments. Starting by Washington, we head around Lincoln, down the memorial bridge, around Lincoln the other way, past FDR and MLK before heading off towards Jefferson and then back to finish at Washington. Pretty straight forward. Unfortunately, my body was not nearly as into the idea. I tried keep an easy pace but somewhere around mile 4 I started to not feel so hot. Then my stupid shin cramp started happening again. Then I had to pee and wait in a long line. (But a line with a view) At mile 5 I was thinking “really??? Only half way??” I wanted to give up by mile 6. My pace slowed down (which was fine) but I had basically lost any kind of motivation to finish strong. The last few miles I slogged through as best I could. I eventually kicked into a higher gear towards the very end, but even that effort was pretty sad. The finisher’s chute was chaotic and unorganized which didn’t make the accomplishment feel particularly celebratory. Eventually I found some water and the medal tent, where I received my prize.
After taking my finisher’s selfie, I headed home and that’s when the real fun began. It’s not uncommon for me to feel tired post-race but today I was feeling all new levels of exhaustion. I almost fell asleep in the shower. At several points later in the day I felt so light headed I thought I was going to pass out. I kept feeling like my heart was racing even when I was standing still. I was straight OUT OF IT. My guess is a combination of dehydration+low blood sugar cause by the nausea/low appetite, but needless to say I’ve felt not awesome. So, that all being said, I feel like I’ve finally learned my lesson. No more racing during the pregnancy. Other people might be able to handle it. I cannot. So no more. I’m putting myself into temporary retirement. So long running…for now.