Wow…. So much to say. Where to begin?! This past weekend, my friend Sherri & I traveled to DC for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. We entered the lottery last year on a whim, never thinking we’d get in. On December 12 (what would’ve been my dad’s 82nd birthday), we found out we got in. I knew it had to be a good sign.
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve only done one other half marathon, with a finish time of 2:07:58. I was super conservative during that run (stopping at every bathroom), so I kinda wanted to redeem myself and drop that to a solid 2 hours. I was kinda nervous though, because all of the training, coupled with last Saturdays 20 mile run, I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel. I battled some soreness all week, so I figured I’d just make it a fun run.
We headed out early Saturday morning.
I have a ton of pictures, so I decided to collage a few so I don’t blow up the blog paparazzi style. The drive went really fast, and before we knew it we were at our hotel, Hilton Arlington. My friend Angie totally hooked us up with the reservations and even got us booked on the Executive floor! She even got us brunch vouchers. She was running the race also, her first half so we dropped our luggage off and headed straight to the packet pickup.
We took the Metro down to Georgetown and found a hugeeee line for pickup.
Luckily the ginormous line moved pretty swiftly- we only waited about 20 minutes. We also found the wall in Georgetown that had all the runners names on it and saw mine pretty easy. We were super hungry so Angie suggested we eat at Serendipity. This really deserves its own picture, Oreo frozen hot chocolate:
The food was ok, but that frozen hot chocolate stole the show. After we ate, we went to the place I couldn’t wait to see: the White House.
I admit it, I’m a huge history nerd. It was so cool seeing all monuments. I loved the Lincoln & Jefferson Memorial, Executive Office Building (Pictured above). DC is an awesome city because you only have to walk a few blocks to find history all around. Ok, nerding out over. For now. Ha!
We did venture back to the expo, where they had a Nuun sample bar, Bare Minerals makeovers, and you could see if you won a free pair of Nike shoes
We didn’t win to be honest, I was disappointed in the expo. Aside from a couple vendors, there was really nothing there. Not a ton of samples, no free swag, no 13.1 stickers even. I know this was a first half more many, so that was a big miss in my opinion. The expo was full of cool digital displays but overall kinda boring.
By the time we got back to the hotel it was around 8, so we went our separate ways. I got back to the room and laid all my stuff out so I’d be ready for the 5am wake up call when I made a horrifying discovery: I forgot to pack a sports bra!
Of all the races I’ve done I have NEVER forgotten something as important as that. of course I started freaking out. Everything around me was closing, and not being too familiar with the area didn’t help. Luckily Sherri had an extra one. It was a little big, but way better than nothing, I was so grateful.
I slept alright for me for a race eve, and it was time to head over to the start before you knew it.
The race started right in front of the Capital, which made my inner nerd happy. Hearing the star spangled banner while looking at it gave me chills. They had a moment of silence for those affected by Boston, and you could’ve heard a pin drop. It was really cool. Angie and I had both signed up for the 9:00-9:59 corral and said we’d run together. We were both nervous for different reasons, this being her first half, and me running so much that I wasn’t sure a PR was in the cards.
The race started right on time and I felt really good. Our first mile was 7:45. Whoa. Maybe we need to slow down? Which we did, but we maintained a pace in the 8′s and both felt good so we kept it going. The course was awesome! We ran by bands, Chinese parades, and tons of people cheering. We also ran by a lot of monuments, which kept it interesting. It also helped that Angie pointed out what they were, that helped distract me! Ha!
I took a gu around the 10k mark and was still feeling pretty good so we kept our pace. I saw Nate at mile 10, which gave me an extra boost. At that point, we had a 5k to go so we decided to rock it out. I knew 2 hours was in my grasp, and maybe a little under that. Around mile 11, Angie ran to the medical tent because she needed Vaseline (chafing problems). I took off by myself and even though I was feeling a little tired (ok, a lot tired), I thought of my dad and pushed it to the finish.
Official time- 1:51:07!!!!!!! Almost 17 minutes faster than my first half. Could not believe it! I definitely knew I was going to be sore but it was so worth it!
I actually felt fast, like a contender in the speed category during this race. It was awesome!!! Angie was about 40 seconds behind me. What an amazing time for a first half! Sherri also killed it with an awesome PR of 13 minutes from her last, at 2:08! Welcome back, PR city. And hello, Tiffany finisher necklace!
Going to finish this recap in the next blog, blogging on the phone during the drive home only works so long. Toodles for now!