Last weekend we found ourselves on a 10 hour drive to Virginia for the Marine Corps Access Granted 17.75K. My husband decided earlier this year (really I think he’s toyed with the idea for much longer) that he wants to run a full marathon. Yes, 26.2 MILES! So proud of him! And nervous for him too! But if anyone in the family is going to do it, it will definitely be him. He’s got this in the bag.
To guarantee an entry into the Marine Corps full marathon, he had to first sign up for the 17.75K. It sold out in about 7 minutes. Can you believe it? SEVEN minutes! He got in. So we took off on a Friday morning (2 am!) and drove to Virginia to pick up his race bib and swag. We were in and out of the running store in about 10-15 minutes at the most. Pretty quick I say! Since we got there early and I was itching to go to IKEA, we took off. As tired as we were, we still had energy to go through the whole store and I came home with a brand new cart for my art supplies. Yay me!
We got up super early on race day so he could get ready for the big race. Thankfully the hotel we booked was right across the street from the bus pickup area. We probably could have walked there, but it involved crossing a pretty busy highway, and I wasn’t in the mood to get run over. The buses were pretty swanky ones and we were off. Literally, a 5 minute drive or less from the pick up area. How great is that?
We were dropped off in front of a church that opens every year for the race and allows runners and spectators alike to sit inside away from the cold. And it was FREEZING that morning! 20 something degrees! I really wish I had been running that day so I could warm up! But thankful for the church’s hospitality. Before we knew it, the gun went off and runners sprinted on their way!
So excited to see him take off! The church was kind enough to keep their doors opened for us spectators so I quickly found an end seat and settled down with my book. About an hour or so later I made my way to the finish line and was lucky enough to see him cross the finish line before my phone battery gave up in the cold.
Always make sure your phone is protected against the cold. It WILL drain the battery fast!
Afterwards, we took off for DC! We didn’t realize until we were almost to the garage for the Metro that it also coincided with the “March for Our Lives” event that was taking place in the heart of DC. We hoped that since we left after lunch that the crowds were already dispersing and wouldn’t affect our ability to get into our favorite museums. We lucked out.
Being that close to the Metro helped tremendously. DC is great for getting around by train, Uber, and your feet. We found a quick parking spot on the top deck at the Frankonia/Springfield stop, purchased two Metro cards and hopped on the first available train. Being on the blue line, we were just several stops from the Smithsonian. Hopped out right across from the Museum of Natural History.
It’s free to get in the Smithsonian. How fabulous is that?
If you have a bag, there is a wait as they do have to inspect all bags. And those that were marching, quickly discovered that posters for protests/marches are not allowed inside. You either had to fold them up and put them away, or recycle them in the bins the made available that day.
Once inside we made our way through various exhibits before we decided we may have enough time to go across the street and see the Museum of American History. We stayed until closing time (5 pm) and then quickly walked a few blocks up the street to have dinner at our favorite restaurant: Old Ebbitt Grill. If you are ever in DC and craving a burger, this is the place to be. We love the atmosphere and the food!
Soon after we found ourselves headed back to our car via the Metro. To park at the garage on a Saturday was $2 for the entire day. Riding the Metro cost us about $5.50 each. So we spent a total of $13 to get to the museums, and then the cost of dinner (around $17 each). Talk about cheap!
Stay tuned! We will soon be headed to Disney once again for another fabulous RUNCATION! I’ll post a review and share pics and videos from that trip upon our return!