Just jotting down what happened in the race. This is a raw capture a better race report will follow.
The race began on an uphill that I didn't feel due to the adrenaline of starting the race. I had a lot of frustration with the paces of the others I was corralled with and the tension of the first 30 minutes until the Key Bridge was palpable. Around Key Bridge I felt the group loosen up a bit. I think I felt great going up the Reservoir Road hill and when we crested the hill I started to act up for the crowd whooping and slapping hands.
I ran through Georgetown feeding off of the energy of the crowd. I flew through the gauntlet that funneled us towards the Kennedy Center and Tidal Basin. I think the first signs of fatigue started to show going down Hains Point. I walked through water station at the half marathon point. It was then I broke contact with the 3:30 pace group. I gave a good chase for another mile and a half, but I broke then. I took a bathroom pit stop and resumed chase, but at 30 seconds a mile slower a pace. Then the cramps began. From mile 16 on I started having hamstring cramps that caused me to stop and walk every other quarter mile.
The Fourteenth Street bridge was littered with bodies. Many people had to stretch out cramps or walk. Some sat on the side and in the middle of the road, others were slumped again median barriers. Overall, this bridge is when the negative splitters caught and began to lap those who like me "blew up" in the latter miles.
I was in full retreat going back to the finish point. I powered through cramps that I walked from before, but I couldn't fight the pain any longer and walked again within a half mile of the finish line. The cruelest thing of all was the sharp 65 foot vertical climb over the last .2 mile of the course. I got it together enough to pretend to run the last of it out, but the hill made me feel I was moving in slow motion.
The clock read 3:56 (my chip adjusted time was 3:54:48). I had struggled to PR (personal record) by about 4 minutes. I planned to get 3:45 at minimum and thought 3:22 was within reach in training. I was exactly on pace through the half marathon point. I got through half at 1:44:14. It was a tale of two half marathons the first an ideal one for my goal that I didn't think took everything out of me and a second where I struggled mightily to fall off pace by almost 30 minutes.
I don't want to be a bummer. I PR'd. I conquered some mighty hills, but I want to do more. I will be looking for some answers. I am not finished running marathons.