Overall, it was a total blast, and I finished much faster than I thought I would, particularly since I’d bailed on many of the long training runs that are expected for marathons.
The first few miles were just packed with people, so I kind of nestled in and just waited for the thinning out. That happened right in Mystic’s work neighborhood, around mile 4-5, as we ran though Georgetown. I sped up and tried to do my best Christopher Walken impression, asking people for “more cowbell.” (Lotsa folks bring them to bang as runners go by)
Rock Creek parkway was most of miles 6-9, and that was a little boring, so I used the time to figure out why my pace was so far ahead of what I thought it should be. I hit the 10 mile mark as we came into downtown D.C., which was a total party atmosphere. That covered roughly from miles 10-15. The half-marathon point was pretty exciting for me, because it was astronomically ahead of where I thought I’d be, and I wasn’t winded or tired.
We headed into Hains Point for miles 16-20 (which is where someone unfortunately died), and I passed more than a few runners who had stopped to stretch our cramps, barf, or otherwise quit.
I unfortunately then made the decision to stop and pee just prior to mile 20. This was a mistake. I lost 3-4 minutes at a port-a-john, and took off at a tear to make up the time afterwards. That definitely caused me to stiffen up by mile 23, which was my last decent split time. At that point, I made my way through Crystal City, past the Pentagon, and up to the Iwo Jima memorial. Unfortunately, I was running a lot slower, and was in way more pain. I finished well ahead of my goal, but was cursing myself for the potty break.