Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two Races

I was on my feet most of the weekend. I don't think my legs have been this sore since the first week of high school soccer practice.

Saturday I woke up early to head out to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure with my friends and coworkers Kasey and Betty. The plan was to run the whole thing and I was all for it, even though I'm not much of a runner and both of them are marathon champs. I think I would have been able to do it if Kasey and I hadn't met Betty at her apartment before the race and then ran most of the way to the starting line on the National Mall -- 3 miles away.

The outside temperature at 8 a.m. in D.C. was already near 80 degrees and HUMID. I was drenched by the time we got there. All those mornings I had spent running on a treadmill in an air conditioned gym didn't help me prepare at all. We asked some random guy near the starting line to take this photo and I think I was still trying to catch my breath because look miserable.

From left to right, me, Kasey and Betty at the starting line.

The three of us snuck up towards the front of the line together and I started off running strong, but lost my two marathon running friends pretty quickly after that. I alternated between power walking and running it, mostly power walking. 5K may not seem like much, but if you're not used to the conditions, it can really take it toll on you. I stopped twice to help women suffering from heat exhaustion get off the road and get help. It was brutal out there.

Even though I wasn't doing this race for time, I still finished in 46 minutes, which I felt pretty good about. What I was so much more aware of was why I and everyone else was doing this: for our loved ones. Over 50,000 people showed up to participate and almost every one of them were wearing signs that said "In memory of my mom, my aunt, my sister, my grandma," or "Fighting for Lisa," "Celebrating my survival: 5 years!" Seeing all of people together sharing the same struggle was a little emotional, especially since it's a struggle women in my family have faced as well. I feel proud to have been a part of it.

Today was a completely different kind of race, again in D.C. Tad and I were house sitting for the weekend out in the sticks of MoCo so once again, we got up early this morning, drove back to our apartment, unloaded, hopped on the metro and headed to Woodley Park where we met Daozhing and Ruth for brunch at Open City.

Open City is an incredible coffeehouse and diner, famous for their eggs dishes. The wait for a table on a Sunday morning can take over an hour but it's so worth it. My mouth is watering just thinking about the applewood bacon scramble right now. Dao is leaving on Tuesday to head to South Africa for a few weeks for the World Cup so this was our sort of good bye get together. It only took a month for us to coordinate our busy schedules but it was nice to catch up with good friends and wish her well.

Full and protein-powered, Tad and I headed down to Freedom Plaza to meet another group of friends to participate in the annual Washington Post Hunt.

Crowd gathering at Freedom Plaza.

It's a logic puzzle scavenger hunt around the downtown area, sort of like a Da Vinci Code type thing, where you have to hunt for clues and solve brain teasers in hopes of taking home the grand prize: $2,000. The person or team that solves it the fastest wins and people take it very seriously. We saw hundreds of people with D.C. guide books, GPS equipment, coordinated t-shirts, people running straight into traffic -- it was nuts!

Tad staring intensely at the list of clues.

Stu and Lizette figuring out which direction we should take next.

And the puzzles are hard! Here's an example of one. First, you had to find where these feet were located on a map in the special WaPo Hunt edition of their magazine.

If you count them, the total was 555.5 feet, which you then had to remember is how tall the Washington Monument is. So then you went to the monument, and you also happened to remember that you had seen an illustration of a guy with a pink umbrella standing at the monument in the magazine. Then you had to notice that he was wearing a t-shirt with the number 74 on the back of it, which then corresponded with a piece of a clue in the magazine as to where the final solution was. I'm just going to stop myself here because I know I've already lost you.

I've been told that if you manage to solve two out of the five pieces (and each piece has several parts) then you're doing pretty well. Between Stu, Lizette, Anthony, Beth, Tad and I, we solved three, but obviously weren't quick enough to get the grand prize. Still, at least we know what to expect next year.

After all this running around this weekend it was nice to come home tonight to catch up on blogging and just not move for a while before I hit the ground running for Monday.


Simone said...

gahhhh i wanted to do that treasure hunt!! missed it again!!! next year...

Jess said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun with both of your races this weekend! Running in the heat and humidity is miserable. I was dying this weekend during my runs.

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