In April, I ran my 5th half marathon - the Nike Women's Half in Washington, DC. Here is my long overdue recap!
M and I drove up to DC on Friday night and headed to the "Expotique" on Saturday morning. I feel a little bad saying it, but my reaction to the expotique was "ugh." First, it was on the water in Georgetown - highly inconvenient to get to. Second, the expo seemed to be geared towards girls who happened to be running, not runners who were majority female. The booths seemed to mostly have hair and makeup stuff - not running stuff! And, because it was a Nike race, there wasn't really any running gear - just signs directing you towards the Nike store a few blocks away. I guess this just demonstrates that I am not a huge fan of "women's races."
Saturday was a busy day. We had the puppy with us, and lots of people to go see. Also, Isis has some difficulty sleeping in new places, so we really didn't sleep much on Friday night. We did manage to carb load a decent amount with Sabrina and Mike, who we stayed with on Saturday night. Saturday, Isis was even WORSE about sleeping, despite having a full afternoon of playing with her new friends, Titus and Frankie (Sabrina and Mike's dogs). Thanks to the puppy, I probably slept less than 5 hours pre-race. Ugh.
|Isis wants to play, Titus wants to sleep|
|Frankis is slightly more willing to play with Isis|
Despite being extremely tired, we made it into the city in plenty of time. The setup was great: the bathrooms and pre race hydration (water and Nuun) was available right when we got off the metro, which was only about 1/2 a block from the corrals. We got a pre-race ADPi photo, which I was super excited about, and then warmed up with some jogging and stretching. When it got closer to start time, we tried to head into the corral... but it was full! What the heck? There were easily over 100 people standing at the corral entrance unable to get in. So, we basically had to stand on the sidewalk and wait for everyone in front of us to start before we snuck in the back of the corral.
|Pre-Race ADPi Photo!|
|With 3 Duke ADPis I advise!|
Given how crowded the corral was, you can imagine that the first mile was crowded - but not so terrible. Shortly into mile 1, we headed into the E Street tunnel. In theory, it was kind of fun that we ran through the tunnel... but in practice, it. was. AWFUL. It was so hot and sweaty and disgusting - packed with thousands of runners - I literally felt nauseous while I was in there. On top of that, there were two musical groups playing drums, which echoed like CRAZY in the tunnel. I'm sure plenty of people thought that was a cool effect, but it just made the hot sweaty mess even worse for me.
Despite jogging to warm up and attempting to stretch, my calves felt tight almost immediately. Then, by 1.5 miles in, my RIGHT anterior tib started hurting. SERIOUSLY? Because, people, it was my LEFT anterior tib that was injured, and that I had been rehabbing for about a month. AND NOW MY LEFT HURTS? Damn. Knowing it would probably just hurt worse and worse until I stopped to walk, I took the first water break as my cue to walk/stretch, and Marissa said goodbye.
|No idea how I managed to smile for the camera all morning.|
Luckily, somewhere around mile 4 or 5 the pain started fading and I was able to get some decent miles in. I don't have much to comment about on the actual race for the first 5 miles. The first 10 miles are nearly identical to the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, and I love that course... so no complaints there. One thing I didn't like: they had Nuun and water instead of Gatorade at the aid stations. I know Nuun is great for you, but it's kind of fizzy and does not sit well with my stomach DURING runs. So I had to stick to water, but that also meant I was taking in significantly fewer calories than I usually would during a race.
Somewhere around mile 7 or 8, the bottoms of my feet started hurting... kind of like they do after a full day of walking. You know when your feet are really wrinkly from being in the pool for too long? And then it kind of hurts to walk on them? That's exactly how I felt. Which made me think - are my feet sweating so much that my socks are soaking wet? Gross. Also, I'm wearing Brooks socks that I thought were made for running, so why is this happening to me? SIGH. The only thing that helped me push through was that the bottoms of my feet hurt equally running and walking... so I figured, might as well run and get it over with sooner, right?
|Sabrina's husband is a fantastic photographer|
Although I was totally prepared for having 3ish miles to go after Hains Point, it still hit me hard when I got to the end of it. The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler ends about 1/4-1/2 mile after Hains Point so I FELT like I should be almsot done. But I wasn't. Womp. Womp. I was really struggling with my hate spiral, when somewhere around mile 10 I spotted one of my sorority sisters Justine! Justine is a few years younger than me and was there supporting one of the girls from her class, but had been watching for other ADPis. It was SO great to see her - she actually jogged with me for 5ish minutes before turning back to watch for other sisters. RACE SPECTATORS: BEST IDEA EVER. Having someone jog with me for a few minutes to help my morale was amazing.
|Excited to see my cheering contingent|
|Let's be real, this is the REAL reason I kept going.|
I knew so many people who ran this race, so we had a pretty big post-race meet-up party.
|fake cousin Katie, Sabrina, Marissa, Kimmy, and I - all finished!|
|MIL and husband, #1 fans of my running|
|Diamond Sister love - Karilee cheered for us both!|
|My dad and I!|
|Showered, in matching finishers shirts & Tiffany necklace's. BBQ Time.|