My Washington DC Adventure

by Matt on November 1, 2010

I went to Washington DC to run a marathon…

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But sadly, my knee had other plans.

Sunday marked my first DNF (did not finish) of my running career. Even though I have only been running for three years, I still call it a career. Trust me, I am not finished; far from it actually. This is only the beginning.

It was probably one of the hardest decisions I have made in quite a long time. In the back of my mind, I knew that I could probably finish the race, but I kept weighing the risks.

Is it worth it screw myself up for a long time?

There are other races to run and workouts to complete. Popping my knee out of it’s socket is not exactly going to help me get back to running faster.

I just need some time to heal. Things are progressing, slowly that is, but they are progressing in the right direction. I can actually feel my knee getting a little better each day, but it still has some tightness. The foam roller has been my savior these past few weeks.

I like to think that I made the right decision, but it kills me not to know if I could have finished. I trained for this race with everything that I had deep down in side of me. It was really quite a let down not being able to finish what I had started 16 weeks ago.

Even though I did not finish the mission I set out to complete (I feel like a massive failure BTW), I did have a great time trekking around Washington DC with my family.

Believe it or not, our trip started at:

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Priorities people. Priorities.

I know this is a sin, but I have never set foot inside of a Trader Joe’s before last weekend! I got some goodies that you will see quite soon ;)

We saw the White House…

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President Obama actually invited me in and I gave him some tips on running the country. Trust me, I am an expert in all things ;)

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I guess I am only half human?

LOL. Never trust a man on the street to take a picture ;)

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Aren’t Bama-dad and Bama-mom cute?

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I have to get around right?

I bought these puppies at the Expo on Friday night. I was “hesitant”, so I scored 20% off. What a deal!

I sense barefoot running in my near future…

Moving on…

We saw the Supreme Court…

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We saw the Capitol Building…

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We saw the Treasury Building…

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And I ate one of the best meals of my life…

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Me and

Sadly, that pretty much sums up my trip to Washington DC. I left on Friday afternoon and came back Sunday afternoon, so I didn’t have a whole lot of time there. I would like to go back in the near future so I can see the entire city. There is so much to do there!

Who wants to go back with me?

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

November 1, 2010 at 8:41 PM

So sorry about the race! I know it’s hard, but listening to your body is the right thing to do. Try not to beat yourself up, as you said, your running career has just begun. You’ll have hundreds of more opportunities to finish and post some really awesome race times!
And I would seriously go back to DC with you :) I love that city!
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Thanks! That really means a lot :)

So when are you free to go to DC?

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November 1, 2010 at 8:46 PM

I’d go! My friend just got back from a weekend there too and is trying to convince me to go next time hahah. Bummer that you didn’t race but it sounds like it was a good trip regardless.

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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Next time you go, give me a holla and I will go too ;)

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November 1, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Ooh! Ooh! Pick me for your next DC adventure! There are so many awesome restaurants there–I bet you would love Restaurant Nora. It was the first certified organic restaurant in the US!
Can’t wait to see your TJ’s goodies!
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:03 AM

I actually really wanted to go there, but I didn’t think my family would really dig it. I had to compromise and pick somewhere we would all enjoy…

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November 1, 2010 at 8:55 PM

oh I really am so sorry to hear about the DNF. But as you said – this is just the beginning – and I am sure there will be plenty of other races!
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Thanks Lisa :)

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November 1, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Don’t be too hard on yourself, and in no way should you feel like a massive failure. You can always learn something from the experience, and it will make you better and stronger for the next time. Just take some time to get your knee better. There will always be future races, so keep your chin up!

By the way, your trip sounded awesome. And I never would have recognized Art Smith! Last time I saw him he was judging on Iron Chef America and was not nearly that skinny! You meal at his restaurant looked incredible.

Thank for sharing your journey, and all the best to you!
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Thanks!

I didn’t recognize him at first either. He looks great!

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November 1, 2010 at 9:00 PM

I think knowing when to quit a race is the mark of a mature runner. For you, it’s more than just the experience of running..you’re in it for the long haul, and you know that there will be plenty of other races. Hope that your knee feels better soon!
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Thanks Em :)

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November 1, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Sorry about your knee, Matt. It takes a lot of courage to stop running before things get worse and your body will thank you later for your smart decision. Glad you still got to explore the city with your family though. There will be plenty of marathons down the road.
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Thanks!

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November 1, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Hang in there and I hope you heal 100% soon!

Everyone looks super cool in the shades :D
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:06 AM

We dress to impress ;)

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November 1, 2010 at 9:51 PM

First major boo: Sorry we didn’t get to meet up!! It was a packed weekend…I can’t believe we were so close, however.

Second major boo: Gah, the race! I can’t imagine what it would be like to train like you do and then not be able to race. However, it’s probably better in the long run, like you said. I ran Boston with my bum IT band and ended up having to take two months off of running compliments of terribly sore foot. (Which wasn’t broken? I don’t believe it…) Better to be back to running soon and get into another marathon than fight through it and hurt yourself even more. Big things are in store for you, I know it.
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Damn two months? How did you live?

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November 1, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Oh bummer! I’m so sorry about your knee! Don’t be so hard on yourself though, and definitely don’t think of it as a failure. You definitely did the right thing. There is no sense in running through the pain and injuring your knee even more!
Yay for Trader Joe’s! When I lived in AZ, I went there all of the time. Unfortunately, we don’t have one in Denver, and I totally miss it!
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:08 AM

We don’t have one here either! When I graduate, moving near a TJ’s is a requirement ;)

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November 1, 2010 at 11:05 PM

I’d go with you! Especially if trips to Art & Soul and Trader Joe’s are involved. :)

I’m sorry to hear of your DNF, but I think it’s even more important that you listened to your body and acknowledged that it wasn’t worth it to injure yourself in pursuit of a single race. You have so many more races in you, Matt. Like you said, it’s just the beginning, and it’s a testament to your wisdom that you are able to realize that. You definitely made the right call, even if it was the tougher call. Be proud of yourself and keep your chin up! Enjoy your TJ’s goodies too…can’t wait to see what you bought. :)
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Thanks Lindsay!

The next time I go to DC, I will let you tag along ;)

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November 1, 2010 at 11:10 PM

So sorry to hear that you had to bag a race you prepared so diligently for. I admire your ability to listen to your body. You played it smart and safe, and it WILL pay off. Good luck.
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Thanks! That means a lot!

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IdaNo Gravatar November 1, 2010 at 11:24 PM

You did the right thing! Like you said, you have a running career, and playing it smart now will mean years to come of strong running.

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November 2, 2010 at 6:41 AM

Wow, what a hard decision to make! Good for you for making the smart decision, can’t say I would do the same.
And, you’re right about DC. There’s so much to see that it’s hard to get it all in in a weekend!
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM

You have no idea how hard it was to do the right thing. I actually have no idea how it happened! Normally I am really stupid ;)

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November 2, 2010 at 7:44 AM

I’m sorry to hear about the DNF. I saw your tweets and even though you’re definitely allowed to be disappointed, remember that saving your knee allows you to run for longer and to complete way more races in the future. I had a pretty serious knee injury in high school, and it still gives me trouble, but taking it easy ensures that you can run for most of your life. Glad you still had fun in DC!!
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:12 AM

What injury did you have?

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November 2, 2010 at 7:54 AM

Ugh…so sorry to hear about your knee! I know it’s hard to see it now, but you did the right thing by not running. You have the rest of your life to run and race. It’s important to heal up that knee first! :D

I went to DC once when I was really small, and I would love to go back someday. So many awesome things to see! :D
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November 2, 2010 at 8:43 AM

I know a DNF is hard, but you’ll only get better from your decision to not overtax your knee. Good luck with the foam rolling, and we’re all quite supportive of you :) Hang in there man!

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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Thanks man!

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November 2, 2010 at 9:24 AM

You managed to get a ton of great stuff in! I love the museums. Such a beautiful city.
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:14 AM

I am not a museum person… I would rather “visit” the restaurants ;)

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November 2, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Sorry about your DNF! But it is absolutely better to drop out than make an injury worse. And maybe I am bias but you should definitely make another trip to DC :)
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

You live there right? I should have asked for a place to stay ;)

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November 2, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Sorry about the DNF. I did the same thing at the Pitt Marathon last year…is it really worth it to hurt myself? NO. There are other marathons, but I only have one body.

Annnnd WELCOME to the wonderful world of VFF running. I love it. It should really help your knees too. Even if I only run in them once a week, I notice that my long runs don’t bother my joints as much. They are GREAT (said like Tony the Tiger)!

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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

I just ran a whole mile in them today :) I have a feeling that they are going to be awesome!

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Janetha G - meals & movesNo Gravatar November 2, 2010 at 10:31 AM

I like your priorities!! Sight seeing looked like a blast, your parents are so cute.

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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I will tell them that you said that ;)

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November 2, 2010 at 12:41 PM

I don’t think you should be so hard on yourself. You gave it as much as you can without hurting yourself in the long run. If anything, this should give you more motivation to kick the D.C. Marathon booty next year (or next race)!

D.C. is a fabulous place!
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:17 AM

I am already running it next year! Redemption ;)

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November 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM

If there was a like button as there is on Facebook, I would click on that!

“LIKE”

:)
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November 2, 2010 at 4:26 PM

So sorry about your DNF :( I know that must’ve been an extremely tough and heartbreaking decision, after training for something for so long. But it sounds like you made the right choice. There’s this quote my coach used to say (don’t know where it’s from originally): “would you rather run today, or for the rest of your life?” Meaning sometimes we have to let goal of our current goals to make sure that we don’t do something that could mess up our running forever (or at least for a long time). I’m glad to hear that your knee seems to be healing and I think your body will thank you for your decision. There will be other races!! And I, for one, will be excited to read those recaps :)
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Thanks for that quote :)

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Bama MamaNo Gravatar November 2, 2010 at 6:37 PM

You are not a massive failure, and yes, we are cute.

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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM

A lot of people think so!

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November 2, 2010 at 7:45 PM

I know you’re not feeling your best right now, but you really did do the right thing. That is far from failing. Sometimes the best decisions are the hardest to make. I’m glad you were still able to see some sights and enjoy your family in DC.
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MattNo Gravatar November 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Thanks Becky :)

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November 8, 2010 at 7:02 PM

I’m so sorry to hear about the race, but you will be running for years and your body is probably writing you a massive thank you note right now! I’m actually going to DC all of next week for work! Want to tag along? :)
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