Last Sunday I ran the Inaugural Nike Women Half Marathon in DC. Nike Women is known for their marathon in San Francisco but this year they decided to try it out in Washington, DC. I picked up Ashley in Baltimore (she took the Bolt Bus from NJ) and we headed to DC. We checked into the Homewood Suites and then headed out to grab a pre-race dinner of pizza and hummus (and a cupcake for me!) from a bistro in Dupont Circle. We also met up with Raymond, Ashley’s brother in law’s brother who was nice enough to pick up our packets for us!
So….unfortunately I do not have a recap on the expo which from pictures looked awesome! Consequences that are risked when not picking up your own packet can also result in having the wrong pace bracelet in your bag. Nike made sure to mention more than once that any changes not made at the expo regarding pacing could not be done the next morning and that I would have to hop into the 10-11:59 pace corral. In any other race, I wouldn’t be upset but in THIS race, I was trying to PR. This was a big race (approximately 15,000 runners) and if you’ve raced a big race before, you know how packed the corrals can be and how slow your first few miles are. I wanted to avoid that by starting in the corral I should have been assigned, the 7:30-8:59 corral. I tried not to stress out though since it was my fault for not being at the expo to see this mistake when it could have been resolved.
Ashley and I got back to our hotel room and laid out our race gear and got ready for bed. It was going to be an early morning!! 5 am wake up calls and I do not mix. And 5am came quickly!
We are not the best at planning and I did not have my banana for breakfast so we left around 6 for the start line hoping to run past a Starbucks or convenience store that would hopefully have bananas. Luckily, I found a food stand on the side of the road that had bananas. SCORE! We then finished our short jog to the start line and checked our bags. There was a Lost and Found/Concerns tent and I checked it out as my last option to change my pace/corral. The guy was extremely nice and handed over my desired pace bracelet and all was great in the world!! What we hadn’t realized was that there wasn’t anyone guarding the corral entrances and I didn’t really need to change my pace bracelet even after Nike made me think that this was going to be a heavily guarded area. Maybe it should have been because after the race started we noticed that runners were definitely not in the right corral. Not to be rude, but if you’re in a 7:30-9:00 pace corral, why are you walking mile 1?
Anyway, we met up with Ashley’s friends in the corral and took some pre-race pictures!
And then the race began and the so did the slow miles. My one (and I think only complaint for this race) was the lack of security when allowing runners into their assigned corrals. The first 3 miles were BRUTAL… and the remaining 10.1 weren’t that great either when it comes to trying to get around people and actually run. At any point in the race, I was having to jump on curbs or grass to get around people. That is one thing my IT band and knees do not like, OBSTACLES! I am not a hurdler, I am a runner.
On the other hand, I LOVED the course. We went past the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and most of the miles were run along the water with Nike-inspiring signs. I, unfortunately, did not take pictures but Ashley did along the course so check these signs out here.
The main issue I had with this race, was me. My stomach did not cooperate from Mile 6 through Monday morning. GI issues suck!! I am going to spare you most of the details but I had to stop 5798475894379x to either go to the bathroom or hope I didn’t already go to the bathroom. And that is where I will end my GI talk. Although I had issues along the course (second half to be exact), I did…..
PR!!! Woot woot! A two and a half minute PR! Below are my splits:
Mile 1– 9:18
Mile 2– 9:10
Mile 3– 8:43
Mile 4– 8:05
Mile 5– 8:29
Mile 6– 8:00
Mile 7– 8:32
Mile 8– 8:40
Mile 9– 8:57
Mile 10– 8:10
Mile 11– 9:19 (through a tunnel and I think my Garmin couldn’t handle it)
Mile 12– 7:48
Mile 13– 8:31
Last .25 (according to my Garmin)- 7:33
After crossing the finish line, at 1:53:35, I got a quick glimpse of Shalane Flanagan before she went back behind some First Aid gates. I was ONE person away from getting a picture with her so instead I took a picture of her from afar (aka 3 feet!!!). She is so tiny!
And then I was given a pretty blue box by a man in a tux. SCORE x2 today. Street vendor banana AND a man in a tuxedo? Where am I?
The food line was not so bad either. Tons of fruit cups, bananas, luna bars, and bagels! I grabbed a fruit cup and devoured a cinnamon raisin bagel while waiting for Ashley to finish. I met up with Ashley and we were both sort of kind of miserable. I was having GI issues and she was also feeling a little off. French Toast and Breakfast Burritos are the cure all for a “bad” race. Ashley headed to brunch while I went back to the hotel to try to lay down and feel better. She was kind enough to bring me back the most delicious french toast I ever had.
All in all, the race was a great one… for someone who wasnt having personal issues. The course was on the flat side and beautiful. The weather was perfect (55-65 from the start to finish) and the crowds were full of energy.
And again, although I did PR, I knew I could have done better. Without the stops, I could have (without a doubt) met my goal of sub 1:50. And because I am stubborn and I am never happy with an outcome I know I could have done better in, I am now running the Long Branch Half Marathon… THIS WEEKEND (Thanks to Jen @ Jen’s Best Life)!!!
Crossing my fingers for a GI issue free half marathon this sunday! Stay tuned for another half marathon recap next week.
Who else ran DC? How did you do? How did you like the race?
Anyone running Long Branch? I hope to see you there!