Yesterday proved to be another eventful day to cap off the weekend. Rebecca and I took a drive of the National Marathon course. ..thanks to her excellent navigational skills of reading off the turn by turn directions. I've run most of the 1st 13 miles through various training runs, but there are some areas of that part, as well as most of the 2nd 13 miles that I am completely in the dark about. I've been quite impressed with all the helpful maps they have had on their site, like elevation profiles and a detailed course map complete with water/gu stations. There are even a few Red Bull stations complete with the Red Bull Negative Split Challenge for the greatest negative split, but I'm not so sure about Red Bull while running a marathon. Over the past few days, I've been trying to get a better idea of the course. If at all possible I try not to run a course blind. Especially a marathon. Knowing where things are, identifying key landmarks, and getting a feel for the terrain really helps me get through anything. Driving the marathon course was just what I needed to get a better feel for the course. I mean, maps are great, but they only show so much.
Being that this course in almost in my back yard, it would be a shame for me to not know the whole course ahead of time. So, here are a few things I didn't know before driving the course:
- Once past the big climb from Constitution Ave up to Adams Morgan (Miles 4-7), the next 6-8 miles are relatively flat or downhill. There are a few small steep up/down hills, but mostly flat.
- Running down North Capitol St is very scenic, with the big dome of the Capitol Building in clear view.
- The Nationals new stadium is almost finished. Mile 19 goes right past it. I wish I could stop in a grab a beer and some peanuts. I guess I'll have to wait till the Saturday after next, when Rebecca and I are headed to a game in their first weekend afternoon game.
- Miles 20 - 23 are going to very challenging mentally. While running along the picturesque Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is nice, I know very few people are going to be out there cheering on the runners because it is far more isolated than other sections. Its like the National Marathon's version of Haines Point, which is a tough portion of the Marine Corp Marathon. This is going to be a tough part.
- Miles 23 - 25 are going to suck. While there aren't too many hills throughout the middle of the course, miles 23 - 25 look like some tough rolling hills to have to deal with toward the end of the race. Not looking forward to that part.
- Even though I live in DC, I feel very patriotic any time I see the memorials, of which there are tons to pass by throughout the course. I never take it for granted that I live in a truly unique place.
I just want to get through and done with this race. All this holding back because of fear of injury is getting at my core and making me itchy to get moving on this race. I'm counting down the days to get it on!