Wahoo, Another race in the books! Happy Monday everyone, I hope you had a wonderful weekend! I, myself, am deliriously tired from a weekend full of driving, exploring, and, oh yes, a little bit of running.
I left early Friday morning for DC and managed to squeeze in a little bit of everything – culture, shopping, some tasty restaurants – as well as run the inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon. It was a busy, busy weekend but I had a blast and can’t wait to share with you all the fun. But in the meantime, let’s stick to running shall we?
A bit of a precursor before we begin, I arrived in Georgetown mid afternoon on Friday for packet pick up. There was an expotique set up down the road from Nike Georgetown and I am not kidding you when I say it was a circus. Traffic was a circus, parking was a circus, and the Nike store was a circus.
Tiffany blue shoes that were so sought-after, they are currently being offered on Ebay for over $300. I tried on a pair, but my Brooks reign supreme – sorry Nike.
This was kind of cool though, a mural on the side of the Nike Store made up of all the runner’s names:
Packet pick-up was far more organized and I was in and out in minutes. The expotique was nice enough, but unless I wanted to wait upwards of 45 minutest to get my hair or make-up done, there was little of interest to me.
Nike had the Metro opening early on Sunday so all us race folks could get to the starting line on time. I had no problem getting to the metro station and to the race site but I did have a bit of a problem finding my bag check. I don’t know if it was me but I couldn’t find it anywhere and ended up giving it to a tent not designated for me. No harm done, my bag made it to the proper bag check by the end of the race and all was right with the world.
Alright, enough babble, let’s move on to the recap!
Where: Washington, DC
Date & Time: April 28, 2013, 7:00 AM – One year ago to the day that I ran my very first half marathon. We’ve come a long way, baby.
Weather: A race which I thought was going to be overcast and cold was actually sunny and cool, borderline hot as the day progressed. Started off in the 50’s and was probably around 65 when I finished. But I’m glad it was sunny, it just made the course that much more pretty.
1:57:18, avg pace: 8:43 – Not as well as I would have preferred but considering the circumstances, I can’t say I’m disappointed.
Worst Mile: The first two. The problem with running these big races is there are a lot of people. 15,000 to be exact. 15,000 of your closest friends all trying to get to the same place at the same time and yet all running at different paces. I was in the 9:00-9:59 min/mile pace group (my first mistake) and my first two miles were spent weaving in and out of people and moving slower than I. In fact, my pace for those miles was about at 9:30 – over a minute slower then my pace for the rest of the race.
Best Mile: I hate saying the last mile, but in this case it was. And not just because the end was in sight, but because we ran directly in front of the Capitol Building and seeing thousands of women running, in the sun, at the pinnacle of our nation’s capitol was truly an experience.
Fuel: Banana, half a PowerBar, and one shot block along the course.
How did I feel: Ok. It’s hard to explain but I just didn’t feel 100%. Nothing debilitating, just sluggish.
Best part of the race (besides the finish): Hands down, the course. I’m a big fan of monuments of historical significance and DC is the mecca for those. There is something so humbling about running past such famous structures as the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument in the early morning sun. Ugh, I hope I don’t sound as lame to you guys as I do to myself right now.
Worst part of the race: The bobbing and weaving. Per my GPS, I ended up running 13.59 miles. Almost half a mile longer than the course.
Weirdest thing I saw: Some chick had a fake rubber ass tied to her behind. I don’t really know what it was supposed to be representing, but it definitely made me look twice.
And, bonus, it’s actually kind of cute.
Final Thoughts: I had wanted to try to PR during this race, which was relatively flat and fast, but I knew after the first mile and half that it probably wasn’t going to happen without some serious work on my end. I had a decision to make very early on and that was to decide if I wanted to spend the next 11 miles making up for my lost time during the first two, or if I wanted to take my time and enjoy the course. I chose the latter. Between the bobbing, and weaving, it just didn’t seem worth it to me. And let’s not kid ourselves, running around all the major monument’s in DC isn’t something you can do everyday. And enjoy it I did. I actually even stopped to go the bathroom – something I’ve never done during a race before.
Once I decided to give myself a break and stop being frustrated, I began to enjoy myself. The crowd support was amazing and I really can’t talk enough about how beautiful the course was.
It needs to be noted that this race is not cheap but then again, you are paying for a race that it well run by a company known for doing some pretty awesome things. Yes, you do get that famous blue box given to you by a tuxedo clad gentleman but if you don’t care about that, this may not be the race for you.It was very crowded, but well-organized, and a really fun course. This may have been more fun with a few girlfriends by my side and I have a hard time deciding if I would do it again, especially considering the cost. But, I’m glad I ran it and pretty excited that I have a ‘medal’ I can wear out an about without strange glances.