Eva has been running with Girls On The Run at school and their short season ended today with a 5K race at the National Arboretum. This was not an ideal day on many levels but Eva was still excited and it was going to be her longest distance to run ever! The cold and the rain did not deter her and the extra hour of sleep from going back to standard time made it easier to get up and out the door.I'd never been to the Arboretum before and anticipated all kinds of navigation problems since I get lost whenever I drive to that part of the city. There were some mishaps along the way but we arrived with 45 minutes to stand around in the rain (PLENTY of time!). I've never been to the National Arboretum but I will go back some time on a nicer day now that I know where it is. Getting there involves driving through a yucky industrial area and then all of a sudden, you are in this oasis of nature! I bet it is beautiful at azalea time. There were girls from Eva's school there (this year's school and last year's school) and it was fun to meet her coaches. Eva ran a GREAT race. Even with the rain, there were beautiful trees to look at and rolling hills. Eva enjoyed using those downhills to see how many people she could pass. She took a couple of walk breaks in the second half of the race but she finished so strong! I am so proud of her! We crossed the finish line at 9:40. Somehow I did not look at my watch as we crossed the start line. It was definitely after 9:02 but not much after. Hopefully chip times will be posted tonight but I am not optimistic since this wasn't the most organized race I've ever attended. Maybe it is a new event or it's just too small to cover the basics or maybe the things I am used to on long races just don't make sense for a 5K, I am not sure. The porta-potties were way past the start line and no one knew they were there until after the race started and it was too late. Fortunately the Arboretum restrooms were nearby and it was possible to warm our hands under the hand dryers in there. Also, there was no way to tell how far we'd run: there were little markers to be sure you took the right road for the course but there were no distance markers at all. I thought they'd at least have a sign at each mile. This made it difficult for Eva to know whether her pace was too fast or not. I guess I should have looked at the course map so I would know some of the landmarks...Lesson learned there! There was no water after the race or if there was, we couldn't find it. Eva really really wanted some! Then we couldn't get out of the Arboretum because runners were still crossing along the only road that led to the gate. Getting home was an exercise in frustration and stress as I was running on the memory of fumes of gas and had forgotten my purse! I was dreading that I might be stranded somewhere and have to call Bill or other roadside assistance for a gallon of gas! However, all's well that ends well! We did not run out of gas and Eva had a great race and is ready to do another one one. We came home to Halloween candy, a messy house and some hot chocolate! And I will plan a trip to the Arboretum in the spring for a picnic.