I felt so lucky and blessed that Daniella, Danielle, and I were all selected from the lottery. I hoped and prayed that we could all do this together. We decided we would splurge on our hotel, nice and close to the race and the White House. We shared a hotel room with Allie, Ryan, and Leilannie.
Allie and Ryan's amazing dad volunteered his car, Sadie, to drive down to DC. So on Friday we met at my house at 5 am and we headed down to DC. It was a smooth ride and everyone was excited despite the fact that we were all pretty tired. We arrived in DC in the early afternoon. We parked our car then walked a mile or 2 to the expo. I was especially impressed by the expo because there were so many things to do, try, eat, and see but no pressure to buy anything! All of the shopping took place in the Nike store, just a couple block away. We got our hair done, free samples of Luna bars and nuun, Daniella got her running analyzed to see what shoes would be best for her, and more! I surprisingly bought nothing at the Nike store. We didn't see a perfect Tiffany blue shirt for our outfits so we decided to wear the race shirt which they encouraged us to wear. Friday was so fun, we got to the hotel, got to relax, enjoy our expo goodies, Danielle and I had a pre-race brew, and then the whole group got dinner together. The dinner was great and on Saturday we decided to go to bed early and sleep in. We went back and forth about Nike's early morning shake out run but it was probably best we decided to rest. We all slept in pretty late, I woke up a few times but thankfully got back to sleep each time.
On Saturday morning we got ready fast and Danielle and I made it to the #runnerslove meet up! I couldn't imagine missing a #runnerslove meet up. Kristy and Meg sure know how to choose the locations. They chose a local cupcake shop called Sprinkles. I got a dark chocolate cupcake, it was beyond delicious! And Danielle got the peanut butter and red velvet cupcakes. I got to try a bite of each of hers and they were also both amazing! We were crowding the store so we moved the #runnerslove meet up to a little garden. It was the perfect backdrop for a photo shoot...so of course, that is what we did! After the meet up, we met up with the girls for brunch and a tour of the city. Daniella knows the city and the monuments well so we followed her lead and had the most amazing day in the city. We stopped for photos, ice cream, and shopping and overall had a wonderful time! We even made it to the museum that showcases the first lady dresses! As a future first lady hopeful, it was very cool to see that display. Saturday evening, we found a little local pub, The Laughing Man Tavern, for dinner. I give the restaurant two thumbs up! Danielle, Daniella, and I met Nickki out and we enjoyed dinner, laughs, and great sorority and race stories before heading back to our hotels. We knew the earlier morning would sneak up on us.
Race day was finally here! Knowing I was about to run 13.1 made my stomach a little queazy, I know I didn't run enough between the Middletown Half and DC but I also knew I would do anything to get over that finish line for the little blue box. I switched corral bracelets with Leilannie and headed to the back to start with Meg and Kristy. I wasn't looking for a PR and conveniently at mile 1 we decided we'd take selfies in front of every single monument. We had a blast! Kristy had to stop for a bathroom break but she is a sprinter and Meg and I are steady runners so we kept going knowing she would catch up with us...and she did! Twice! That girl has skills! I was so excited when we hit the chocolate mile at mile 12! Yes, this race had a chocolate mile! There were people every few feet handing out chocolate truffles! I ate two chocolate truffles, one of each flavor, and it was awesome! I probably would have had another if I thought there would be another water stop. The last water stop was at mile 11, so I showed self control and pushed forward to the finish line. Meg and I thought we'd make the 3 hour goal but we just missed it. No regrets, whether I finished in 2 hours, 3 hours, or 10 hours I had earned that Tiffany necklace which can now be seen worn around my neck everyday.
So overall, I would absolutely do this race again! I actually hope to do it every year or every other year. I was very impressed with Nike, their signage was better than any race I had ever been too. I love that the race bling is functional. Basically, I'm obsessed! I took a sip of the Nike Koolaid and now I think I am hooked.
"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles." -Jim Cahill
13.1 miles and 8 amazing friends were part of this weekends journey (Daniella, Danielle, Leilannie, Allie, Ryan, Meg, Kristy, and Nickki)