Hey everyone! I had the best weekend ever visiting my best friend in DC! I’m tired so this is going to be a picture-heavy post!
We started out our day early at the National Zoo! I’d never been there which is silly since it’s free! My husband was super interested in going to the bird house (I hate birds but I ended up really liking it in there!) and of course the rest of us were dying to see Bao Bao, the baby panda! My friend and her fiancé have been there a bunch of times trying to see her, but she’s always either sleeping or hanging out in the back room so it’s a pretty rare occurrence. We were so excited to see that she was out! She was all about climbing on the rocks and eating bamboo which was so adorable! If you want to see what she’s doing right now, check out the National Zoo Panda Cam here!
Since it was 60 degrees we decided it was perfect weather for an afternoon hike! We drove out to Great Falls National Park in Virginia and had an awesome picnic lunch. We then checked out the falls and hiked for a few hours. It was so nice being outside in the warm sun! I seriously missed hiking – I can usually do it in the winter but with all the snow this year and my lack of snowshoes I haven’t been able to do it since November!
We finished off our day with dinner and a long walk around DC at night. The White House and the Washington Monument are so pretty!
Our day started bright and early (extra early since it was daylight savings time!) for my first ever DC race: the St. Patrick’s Day 8k! The starting line was super close to their apartment and I was so excited when I saw that the view from the start line included the capitol building! Of course I have no pictures from the race because I’m the worst blogger ever, but it’s only because I was so focused on getting a PR. There were 4700 runners in the race and the pre-race atmosphere was pretty awesome. We ran towards the capitol for a mile, had some random turns to add milage, and then ran back along the front of the capitol with fabulous views of the National Mall and the Washington Monument in the distance. We then ran around downtown DC for a few miles before running back in front of the capitol and back down to the finish. Right at the end they had us loop down a block and do a U-turn just to add extra milage, which was so frustrating when you’re so close to the finish! I pushed myself really hard during this race and was feeling pretty tired and nauseous by the end, so I was really excited to see a PR of 49:04 at the finish line! My last official 5 mile race time back in December was 55:14, and my virtual 8k in January was 49:17 so it was an official PR either way! I’m loving these shorter distances now – I feel like I can push myself and run as fast as I want to since I don’t have to conserve my energy for hours!
After chowing down on some bagels and watching really cute kids do irish dancing I started to realize that it was kind of cold out, so we walked back to their apartment to shower before heading over to Shake Shack! They partnered with the hosts of the race to give every runner a free beverage! This could mean beer, wine, soda, or of corse MILKSHAKES! Their chocolate peanut butter milkshake is the best thing ever!
We spent the afternoon being tourists on the National Mall. It was windy and colder than Saturday, but I loved being outside! I also loved checking out my absolute favorite monument – the Lincoln Memorial!
I miss my BFF already and I wish I had enough time left on the east coast to visit again soon! I may try to sneak down there for a day or two during cherry blossom time! I loved getting to run in a new city and thought that was the best part of the weekend. Even though I’ve been to DC many times I never get sick of seeing all the monuments and political buildings, so getting to run past many of them on my run was pretty cool! If you’re looking for a spring race, try to find one in a nearby city so that you can mix up your routine a bit and make things interesting! Extra points if it’s flat like DC!
What is your favorite place to run? Have your run in any cool cities? Are you as obsessed with Bao Bao as I am?