Nike Women’s DC Half Review-Part II

The first part of my review can be found here.

 

Picture 6

 

The race course was AMAZING for someone like me that loves to run FLAT courses!  There was so much to look at along the race, I really didn’t need any music.  This was the first race I ran by myself without an iPod and it was kinda refreshing.  I’ve been doing a bunch of my training runs without music, so I was used to it.  I started out running faster than expected, but that is normal for a race.  So when I was in the 8′s for my pace, I didn’t get too excited.  The only downfall of the race was some Garmin-drama… but what race isn’t complete without a little drama from the watch we all depend on so much?? (Well, I do!)

We went under a large highway tunnel (I think during the first mile) and everyone lost satellite reception on their GPS watches.  The tunnel was dark and pretty long, so I took off my sunglasses.  There was someone on a drum set and it was LOUD… too loud for me, especially when we had to run right past him.  When I got out of the tunnel, I saw the satellite message on my Garmin, slightly freaked out and then knew my first mile would be off.  It beeped at 8:08 soon after the tunnel.  Then I realized it was about 0.14 mile off from the mile markers.  It wasn’t a huge deal after that.

Picture 7

 

After I hit the first mile marker, I realized I was running just under a 9 min mile pace.  I figured if I felt comfortable, I should just keep up my pace.  After I hit the second mile marker right around 18 minutes, I tried to hit the third at 27.  When I did, I made the decision to try to hit 9:00 minute miles at every mile marker.  Since my Garmin was a little off, I tried to just use it for the pace and do my 9 times tables in my head when I hit the mile markers.  I started getting really excited around mile 4 or 5 when I was still holding this and felt fantastic.  This is not how I was running for my long training runs. I was struggling to hold 9:30s before!  I do think doing some mid-week speed work on the treadmill helped me a lot… and wearing my walmart super-tight, old lady compression socks to bed all the time helped too!

Around mile 9 I looked behind me and saw the pacer holding the 2:00 finish sign and I started thinking.  I picked it up just slightly to get a little more ahead of the pacer.  I had a lot of time to think without music! This was also the first race where I read all the spectators signs and noticed everything around me.  It was refreshing!

Around 9.5 miles, I started feeling the first signs of tired legs.  I turned around and saw the 2:00 pacer group getting closer to me.  My 10th mile was a little slower and I just couldn’t pick it up at that point.  The pacer group passed me and I tried to not get upset.  I knew I was still going to have my best race time, because my last half was a 2:07!  I thought, maybe I’ll get a 2:02! That would be wayyyyyyyyyyyy better than anything I ever expected for this race!

IMG_1301

Well, wouldn’t you know it but around mile 11 or 12 we got near the finish and it was an out and back.  Just before that, I had stopped at a water station and gotten my 3rd cup of water.  I only took water because I knew I wouldn’t be a fan of the Nuun and didn’t want to upset my stomach at all.  The other two water stations (There were a ton but I skipped most of them) I just slowed down a bit for second while I gulped what I could.  At the station near 11, I stopped to a fast walk and probably walked about 20 seconds and I finished the whole cup of water.  Soon after that, I ran past a large group of spectators and heard Colby yell my name.  I knew I could pick it up for the end, but didn’t want to fall apart too close to the end.  When I had a mile left, I started looking at my Garmin and realized I was still really close to going under 2:00!  I picked up the pace and started regretting that last water station.

Picture 9

The last stretch of the race was deceivingly long, but I just kept pushing and hoping I could keep that clock in the 1-hour range!  I looked over to my left and past the standing spectators was Colby running!  I motioned over to him 2 with my fingers to say under two hours!!  He just pointed to the finish and I knew I had to pick it up!!  He was really worried about not finding me at the finish line, so I knew he was just trying to keep track of me.  I crossed the multiple mats and clicked my Garmin after the last one.  It was 2 seconds longer than my official time of 1:59:56!!!!! I COULDN’T BELIVE IT!!! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could go under 2 hours for this race!  I had even said to Colby before that I didn’t know if I could ever go under 2 hours.  I was on cloud 9 and my stomach was great! I didn’t throw up at the finish line like my last race!! (full marathon last spring… throwing up Gatorade everywhere… nasty)

IMG_1276

I picked up that blue Tiffanys box from all the guys at the end and was practically jumping for joy.  Colby was still following me on the outside of the race area until the fence ended.  There was lots of bananas, bagels, Luna bars, etc and we even got a big Tiffanys bag to put our stuff in!  In the finishers area, there was a tent to buy even more finishers gear… so I got in line with Amy and Colby.  Amy did 1:56!! She is so fast :)

I ended up getting a finishers sweatshirt and put on my necklace in line.  We also got Tiffany blue finishers t shirts that were really cute.

IMG_1300

They had areas where you could take your picture, so Amy and I had a short photo session.  I think both of our eyes are closed in this picture, but hey! We were tired!  There were also hair and makeup stands from the sponsor companies, but I was super salty and in need of a shower!

collagerundc

Silver finishers necklace at the top of my collage :)  Overall, great race!  Besides running my best time, it really rejuvenated my love for running.  The course was FLAT, the weather was perfect, it was a BIG exciting race and super girly.  I will most definitely enter to race again next year!  Although I don’t have any plans for upcoming races yet, I think I will be focusing on shorter/faster runs this summer!  In the past I’ve been so obsessed with mileage I think it will be a nice change to shorten things up and try to work on this speed that I might be gaining!

I also have BIG fitness news coming up soon!!  I have a different kind of goal that I made a quick decision to go for last week.  Can you guess what it is by looking at my Exercise Log??   :)    :)    :)

IT…Oh No!

Picture 6

So another windy cold day for a long run this weekend.  I actually waited until 1:00 PM to run my 9 miles yesterday.  I must have been overly confident from my awesome 4 miler on Thursday because these were 9 tough miles.  Around 4.5 miles, I was struck with right knee IT band pain.  It came out of no where!  I stopped my Garmin and stretched along the side of the road.  A mile later, it was back.  The rest of my run was a stop, stretch and go and I was pretty unhappy.  I did make it to 9 miles, but stopped the watch a little early while I continued to walk at the end.

IT Band Plan…

stretchitband

This week…

  • Foam Rolling and stick-massage thinger as much as possible
  • Les Mills “Flow” (BodyFlow) 20 minute DVD
  • YogaDownload.com “Yoga for Runners”  (video below)
  • Extra “off” day
  • Ibuprofen

 

I think this flared up because I HAVEN’T STRETCHED AT ALL in the past few weeks!  I’ve been really lazy about it and thought I was fine.  Nope!  With all this BodyPump along with a Half Marathon plan, I really need to stretch or else I’m going to hurt myself.

So after a modified BodyPump workout at home (no squats or lunges) I did the 20 minute Flow DVD and it is awesome.  All hip openers and IT stretches so I need to make this a part of my weekly routine!

 

pizza

PS I made homemade pizza tonight and it was delicious.   :)

 

Week 7 – Half Marathon Training

Here are my workouts for the week so far…

Monday: 3 miles on TM

Tuesday: 4 miles on TM and BodyPump class (1 hour)

Wednesday: off

Thursday: 4 AWESOME miles outside today!

Friday: I plan to do BodyPump at home

Saturday: I plan to run 9 miles

Sunday: I plan to do BodyPump/CXWORX at home

 

NWMplan

I’m FINALLY starting to feel good about my running!  I pretty much took a major break after last Spring’s marathon.  I really just started running multiple times a week on a regular basis again in January.  I’m finally starting to run a little faster and felt AMAZING on this afternoon’s 4 miler with Amy!

Picture 4

 

 

I was actually talking and running today!  I felt like I could have ran another mile around a 9:00 min. pace and I was so happy.  Amy and I are SICK of this weather!  Colby and I hate how windy it has been this winter. I barely have any skin left on my face and have been running on the treadmill on the super windy days.  It was really windy during our 2nd mile today, but I was still happy to have a 9:13 and pick the pace back up for the rest of the run.   :)

 

Shoe Return

asics

 

Remember my cute pink Asics I was so excited about? Well, they didn’t work out so well.  I didn’t run much in them, but when I did I ached in my calves and inner ankles. No fun.  I haven’t been running much since I couldn’t work out much with the flu, but now I am back and motivated.

Since Road Runner Sports has a 90 day love em or return em guarantee, I knew I had to take them back.  I’m guessing there just wasn’t enough stability support, since the employees told me it was a little less than my normal Brooks Adrenalines.  I asked what they do with the shoes returned (mine probably had 10+ miles on them) and they said they get offered to employees first.  Then they end up at expos or donated to the military.

shoes

 

I got my new Brooks Adrenalines and they feel good.  I guess I should just stick with what works!  We took the drive down to the store on Friday after school and it took about an hour and a half.

food

 

There is a Houlihans close by so we ate there for dinner. I LOVE Houlihans, but the closest one is about 45 minutes away.  I started with their Tuscan salad (my favorite) and also had their veggie burger with chickpeas and black beans.  So good!

Winter Running Plan

 

I haven’t kept up so well with my pre- half marathon training plan due to the flu, but I guess that is why it’s a pre-training plan!  This week is week 5, so I’m hoping to pick it back up.  The problem is… I’ve just been enjoying group classes so much!!! I love my BodyPump, CXWORX, and BodyFlow so much! Since I had today off, I was able to take a morning CXWORX and BodyFlow class back to back! I also did the full 60 minutes of this Saturday and had SUCH SORE MUSCLES…

dvdOWWWWWWWWWWW! My obliques hurt soooo good the next day!!! I HIGHLY recommend this dvd, but it is VERY hard!! I warned you!