The Up Before the Sun Tour

This post is to be read in conjunction with Carly’s posts regarding the GW Parkway Classic 10-miler, volunteering for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run and the National Half Marathon Relay.

Week One: The National Half Marathon Relay

March 26 saw Carly and I up before the sun to run the middle section of the National Half Marathon Relay – 5 miles (or so we were told – I think it ended up being approximately 4.6 miles).    For this race, we joined a group of fellow bloggers who were looking to form a couple of teams.

We met up with our new friends who turned out to be totally awesome people.  For example, Joy, who is very arty, made the teams medal hooks!  As you can see here, we’re all pretty jazzed!

Medal Hooks provided by @Always_Joy (photo credit Sana @

The race itself was alright, I think, considering that Carly had a terrible run.  The highlight was a toss-up between:

  • The Howard University student high-five line of 30 people
  • Carly puking in a trash can on North Capitol Street
  • Getting to the finish line and seeing the team with medals!

Hard to choose, but the Highlight of the Race is:

Me with Carly, Sana, Joy, Joanna and Amanda and our medals! (photo credit Amanda @

Week Two: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run volunteering

So Carly and I, in our infinite wisdom, decided to skip the CBF 10 mile run lottery in favor of volunteering, which earned us an automatic entry into next year’s CBF 10 mile run.  Awesome.  Seriously.

Something we forgot, however, was that this might entail being up before the sun to organize bananas.  Not so awesome.  We volunteered on Saturday at the packet pickup, and I have never seen so many fit people before in my life.  Also: hot guys.  Also-Also: I will be volunteering for packet pickup next year, too.

The CBF 10 mile run was on Sunday, April 3.  Carly and I arrived at the Washington Monument at 6am, and searched and searched for the volunteer tent.  It may have been that it was 6am and we hadn’t had coffee yet, or it may have been that the volunteer tent was hidden away.

Our assignment:  Organize Bananas.  Let’s see if you can tell which pile is Susannah’s and which pile is Carly’s.

Be careful how you answer this. (photo credit Carly)

I also met a new friend this week – Tiffany.  Luckily, she runs my speed, so I look forward to running with her on more Pacer’s Fun Runs.

Week Three: GW Parkway Classic

Point: Per her post, Carly had trouble putting her experience at the GW Parkway Classic into words.

Counterpoint:  Here are the words I would assign to this race – early, cold, good run, met goal, slightly terrifying.

This being week three of the Up Before the Sun Tour, 5am felt a lot earlier than it did the past two weeks.  A LOT earlier.  I also misjudged the weather report, thinking, “Oh hey, the high is going to be nearly 70 degrees!”  Of course, the high is NOT at 6:30am.  Nope.  So, it was a little chillier than I expected waiting for the race to begin.  Thank goodness for Pacer’s pre-race goodies: coffee, bagels, bananas and space blankets!

Being spacey in our space blankets! (photo credit Carly)

The run itself started out a little too fast (10:35 pace).  I tend to do this in races and outside in general, due to what I call the Excited Puppy Syndrome.  EPS can hit you hard.  But, I felt good.  I felt good even as we slowed down a little in miles 2, 3 and 4.

But then, the slightly terrifying part: Carly got a slight pain in her chest.  I repeat: A Pain In Her Chest.  I was freaked out a little, not going to lie.  I kept asking her – “Are you okay? Do you want to stop? Hey, look , medics, let’s talk to them, yeah?”  But, by mile 6 she said it was okay, and the pain was gone.

So, we were moving once again!  Carly said at one point that we might be able to make our sub 2 hour goal even with the slowdowns and chest pains.  That sounded good to me, but since I have yet to figure out how to use my Garmin, Carly is my pacer.  I was just following along with her speed.  Until I saw the finish line, and that damn clock.  I knew from Carly we’d started about 2 minutes after the gun.  I didn’t know our start time exactly, so after doing one check to make sure Carly was okay, I took off.  I thought to myself, “I need to cross before that clock turns 2:02:00, and I can be sure I’m under 2 hours.”

Crossing the finish line!

Goal met: 1:59:17.  New PR.

All done! Oh, man, look how pink I am... (photo credit Carly)

xoxo, Suze

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2 Responses to The Up Before the Sun Tour

  1. I feel like it is no coincidence that my two most sickly runs happened during the 5 a.m. trifecta. Seriously, this super sickly stuff has to end. Thank you so much for sticking by me during those two races where I’m sure you heard the words “puke” and “chest pain” more than you cared to.

    Also, I think you really should have pointed out that your 10 Miler PR was a 25 minute PR. I mean, people should be cheering and applauding for you like WHOA. In case anyone was wondering just how epic you are – the answer is totally.

    • SuzyQ says:

      Thanks! Yeah, that 25 minute PR courtesy of *actually training* and you being an awesome running buddy (even if you freak me out sometimes).

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