After I passed Cat and Craig, I was really feeling high. I was sort of amazed at how long that feeling carried me. The other awesome part was now I was running on familiar territory. Bob and I had run this part of the course and so I knew what to expect.
As I rounded the corner to head past the Kennedy Center, again, the crowd support was AMAZING. I am not sure if I really realized this and the next time I do not want to volunteer at a race, I will remember that the spectators make a world of difference. I tried to safely pass through the food station - as I mentioned yesterday, orange peels ALL OVER THE ROAD and it was dangerous. The only positive here was that the air smelled great... refreshing.
And as I approached the small bridge, just after mile marker 11 - our planned meeting place, I saw Bob. I got giddy because I knew it would be just like a long run now. And Bob did exactly what I needed him to do. He pulled in behind me and started to watch my form so he could suggestion some improvements. The funny thing is that I forgot I had asked him to do that and kept wondering where we was. Seconds later, he pulled up beside me and the beautiful 10+ miles with him began.
He was wearing a coat, long sleeve shirt, tights, and gloves. He looked over dressed to me, but he had been standing around waiting for me for a long time. I asked if he was hot and he said, no. He did lose the gloves pretty early. And Bob was also a witness to the fuel station fiasco of the sports beans. I actually ran on the grass at this point because it was safer than the street with the bean bags in it.
I asked Bob to tell me a story and he did. I think that first two miles with him flew by. I was telling hm about the first part of the race like it was the best thing ever. We were running in Hains Point. On a run prior to the race, this was sort of a boring flat area, but it was beautiful that morning. The breeze and scenery made it all worth it. We passed a couple that had shirts that read: "Just" and "Married" written on them. Can you imagine getting married on a Saturday and running the next day? Wow. Overall, we passed 3 couples with this on their shirts and one that was "chasing" his finance. Cute. And since it was flat, it gave my legs a little break. The first 9 of the race had some big hills.
We started to run pass the Jefferson Memorial and the crowd support picked up. Reading the signs kept my mind off of the race. One read: "Stop reading this and run" and my most favorite of the WHOLE race (besides my signs) was "Just a 20 mile warm up for a 10K" - too funny.
The next couple of miles are kind of blurry. I remember telling Bob at around 16 miles that I was STARVING. I mean starving like I wanted to eat a whole pizza. The Gu was giving me energy but not filling the tummy. It was growling. I did not like this feeling.
Again, I love this shot, especially since Bob made it in it. And I was just so happy to see them.
The next part of the course was probably the most emotional part for me. I knew Lyle and the kids were not going to meet me at all on the course. But on Saturday, he started to ask me more and more questions and was studying a map. Since Lyle works with Congress, I felt that if he were to surprise me, it would be along this area. So as we rounded the Washington Monument and headed on the National Mall, I was distracted looking for Lyle and the kids. I did not share this with Bob and I am sure he was wondering what was going on. I just kept thinking, if Lyle had tracked out there and they missed me, it would be just devastating for the kids. I saw many families. I saw many kids that held signs, "Run faster mommy" or "My mommy is a marathoner". I got a little teary-eyed and tried to either wave or high-five these kids. As we approached the US Capital building... this is where I just KNEW Lyle and the kids would be. Bob asked me to pose for a Capital shot of me running that he took on his cell phone (not sure if it turned out since I never stopped running). We rounded the Capital to head back down towards the Washington Monument and I. Never. Saw. Them.
It took me a couple of miles to recover from that disappointment and it volleyed between "did I miss them?" and "I cannot believe they did not come out". I am not sure if Bob could tell, but some pictures that the "professionals" snapped of me at this point, I can see it. In my form. In my face.
By mile 18, I started to feel a little fatigued. My upper part of my body was feeling great. My legs were not in pain, just starting to feel the miles. The crowd support here was awesome too. And without knowing, my friend G and her husband and two boys were along this part cheering me on. They never saw me, nor I them, but knowing that they spent an hour there... waiting for me. SO SWEET! A lot of kids along this point were wearing their Halloween costumes. They all just looked adorable.
By 19, I knew that I was going to beat the bridge.... where ever that darn bridge was....