Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Race Recap: Nike Women's DC Half Marathon

Don't miss my recap of the Expotique.

Nike Women's DC Half Marathon
April 27, 2014

State: #16 (Washington, DC)
Lifetime: #45

The morning of this race did not go well for me.  I got up my standard 2 hours before the race, but as soon as I woke up, my stomach did not feel great.  I ate my standard breakfast and got ready hoping the stomach would settle.  I had always planned on racing this so I knew I'd be nervous, but had no idea if the stomach was nerves or not.  It felt a little better by the time we had to go.

Our hotel was only 2 blocks from the start line which was amazing.  We meet the girls downstairs about 30 minutes before the start and headed over together.

Photo courtesy of Abby
The walk was short and simple.  Megan and I were in the same corral so once we got to the start, we all separated and headed to our respective corrals.  My stomach was still not feeling great and I was starting to worry.  Megan asked me what my plan was (since I wasn't feeling great) and I said "To start running and hope I feel better".  I figure I have no idea how I'll feel on race day so I should learn how to deal with it.

The race started promptly and off we went.  It was cool to run towards the Capital building as it started.  Once I started running, my stomach immediately felt better.  The stomach pains must have been nerves, but I definitely had never felt that before.  I'm glad it went away though!

The plan was to start at 8:30 and then pick up to 8:20s.  I was so focused on my pace that I unfortunately didn't take in a lot of the sites.  From what I do remember it was really pretty.

It's mostly flat, which worked in my favor.  Once we left downtown there were not as many spectators but those that were out where pretty great.  The lack of spectators didn't actually bother me because when there are no people I can dial into my head and really be in the zone without distractions.

There is a section in the middle that goes around a park and was really great.  It was on the water so it got a good breeze and was wide enough that I was able to run the pace I wanted.  After the island, we headed back into downtown to the finish.

I stayed in the 8:30 range (some slightly higher, some slightly lower) until about mile 8 when I really started to pick it up.

When I was in the park and passed mile 10, I started doing some mental math.  I knew my PR was just under a 1:52 and realized that based on my pace through 10 miles, I would most likely PR.  I picked up the pace a little more because I really wanted that PR.  The last 4 miles were my fastest so that made me happy - I really like negative splitting!

{Sidenote: My splits from the race (on my watch) are kinda screwy because near the beginning/end (it's a circle) you go through a big tunnel and I lost GPS tracking.  I tried to manually split it at the marker, but it still got all screwed up.}

After the tunnel there was only about a mile left and I was giving it all I could.  My legs were burning but I kept pushing.  As I made the final turn to the finish, I realized I was really close being sub-1:50.  I was really pushing it because I wanted to know that I had left it all out there.

Crossing the finish line felt amazing.  I looked at my watch and knew I hadn't broken 1:50 (so close!), but I had still PR'd so I was SUPER happy.  My PR had been back from 2010 so I was so happy to have a new one!

After finishing, I made my way through the finish area.  First we got a cute water bottle (filled - loved that they were being green and using reusable bottles), a bag of food and then the best part: the Tiffany's necklace!

The necklace is a big sell for this race and it did not disappoint.  I really loved the design this year.  I posed with the nice kid (jailbait) for a photo opp and made my way to the finishers merch.  They also had a finishers area with changing stations, charging stations, stretching areas, etc.  I did merch first and then made my way back to that.  It was really nice to sit and stretch for a while (and I ran into Nadia so it was nice to hang with her!).

Originally I hadn't planned on buying any finishers merch, but after PR'ing, I could not resist!  The shirt was really cute.  #ihaveaproblem

Overall, I really loved this race.  The course is pretty and flat.  I never felt over crowded and was able to run the race I wanted.  The finishers necklace was gorgeous and well worth the entry fee.  This is my third Nike Women's Race and I have to say they really do know how to put on a good show.  The merchandise is always pretty, the race is well organized and of course - the Tiffany necklace!

Plus, new PR!!!

Official: 13.1, 1:50:01, 8:23 pace
Garmin: 13.31, 1:50:02, 8:16 pace


See?  A little screwy...

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