Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend Report: Cousin Time and St. Patrick's Day 8K

This weekend was all about the cousins. LLC lives here, and she and I hang out all the time, but now Heather is visiting from Arizona, completing the trinity of third generation representation of our family, and ensuring that from her home in California, Grammy Jean is soooo psyched right now. There’s no need to get into my family’s socio-geographic stuff, but let’s just say that three cousins (daughters of three sisters), independently hanging out, has never happened before. 

Heather is spring break-ing in DC for the week and arrived Friday night. We kicked things off big with a walking night tour of the monuments (myself as the fun-fact-full tour guide). 

We started Saturday with a morning movie in Georgetown. The Lorax was super-silly and actually really good! We then lunched at the Museum of the American Indian Cafe. We split an “Indian Taco,” which is Navajo fry bread (omg yum) topped with buffalo chili and taco toppings, as well as a “Plate of Many Colors,” i.e. sides of mashed parsnips, wild rice and watercress salad, three bean salad, and red cabbage slaw. 

None of us is actually interested in seeing that museum, so after lunch we moseyed on over to the National Gallery. We saw the new Picasso's Drawings Exhibit (very good). The Chester Dale Exhibit has finally been disassembled, and its art redistributed throughout the museum. This means they’ve re-done the impressionist wing – my favorite! 

By late afternoon I was pretty tired, and not sure if I wanted to walk up the stairs to the Modern Art Wing Tower, but we did it anyways and the Mel Bochner exhibit  of thesaurus-inspired colorful art was totally worth it. 

After such a big day we spent the evening couching (it’s a verb), in preparation for our race -- the St. Patrick's Day 8K -- the next morning…

St. Patrick's Day 8K - Race Report

Ok, so here’s the thing, when I’m preparing for a race, I don’t even try to hide the crazy. My unnecessary worry and anxiety was probably tangible Saturday night, but luckily we’re all family and they can’t really hold it against me. But because I freak out in advance, by the time Sunday morning rolls around I have everything planned to the minute and am ready to just get on with the actual racing part.  

The race was big, over six thousand entrants, but incredibly well-managed! The start wasn’t over-crowded at all, and I met up with my team just before the “go.”

I’m happy with how it went. I ran pretty evenly, and accomplished my goal from way back in November of running under 33 minutes. My only "issue" is that I finished and felt totally fine. I felt tired while running (as in, I was definitely trying hard), but once I crossed the line it felt like no big deal. The good news is that means I can run faster, the bad news is that I don’t like having anything left at the end of a race. 
My splits were:
  • Mile: 6:20
  • 5K 19:50
  • Net time: 31:51
  • Gun time: 31:54 (that's 5:25 pace)
  • Then team time - GO CAPITAL AREA RUNNERS!!!

Racing out of the way, we headed to our next DC activity: brunch.

We went to Ted’s Bulletin on the Hill, the place with the most amazing breakfast combination ever: pancakes and eggs and hash browns. The food, once we got to that part was delicious. The two hour wait, however, was not so good. I recommend getting a reservation, but know that you need to make it like 2 weeks in advance. Heather and LLC split the Caramel Macchiato Milkshake (possibly the best milkshake flavor ever), and we all split a homemade strawberry pop-tart. YUM! 

Well-fueled, we walked over to the Botanical Gardens to see the Orchids Exhibit. I spent a lot of time at various flower shows, exhibits, nursery’s, etc. as a child and hated it, so I give myself some serious adult-points for voluntarily go to and enjoying an orchid show! 

The day was clear and the weather was gorgeous, so post-flowers we stopped by the Post Office Tower to get a sweeping view of all of DC.

Then we were exhausted, and aggressively couched for the rest of the evening. What a weekend!!!