On the morning of the race, I woke up around 5:00 and ate a bagel with PB and a banana. The weather was supposed to be perfect, which meant it would be cool when we walked to the start. I wore a cotton long sleeve t shirt over my race tank so I didn’t freeze. Everyone met in the lobby at 6:15 and we walked to the start. It was less then a half a mile to the start from our hotel, which was great. We even got to pass the White House! As soon as we got close to the race, we knew it was going to be tough to get to our corral. All four of us (me, Amy, her daughter and her friend) were in the same 8:00-8:59 corral group. It was the second one, so we had to get to the front. Nike had the corrals labeled on big signs, but the challenge was actually getting in there.
We said our goodbyes to the family and pushed our way in by the 6:50 cut off time. Shalane Flanagan was there again and was standing on a high stage near the start line. When the race started, we were so close to the front that we began 36 seconds after the gun. Amy’s daughter took off ahead of us, but the three of us stuck together for a while. Our families could track us with Nike’s “track my run” and they saw exact times for each 5K split. I stayed with Amy for the first 5K, and we hit the mat at 27:45. I knew I was banking some time and that I would make myself slow down after that. I told Amy I was going to aim for 9:00 min miles after that, so she went ahead to try to keep her pace below that. (And she did…she is awesome!)
Since we ran through a tunnel twice, my Garmin times are slightly off and final distance.
Each of my 5K splits got a little slower, and I think this was because of two things. Number 1, I should have hydrated. I barely drank anything the morning of the race and I took NO water or nutrition during the race. I was tempted to grab a cup of water at a station, but they were crowded and I didn’t want to stop. This was my FIRST HALF MARATHON WITH NO WALKING!! Last year I walked about 30 seconds at a water station.
The other reason I think I slowed down during the race is because it is so flat. From about miles 8-12 it is flat. Like a tiny gradual incline that makes you feel like you’re on a treadmill. I was dying for a hill so I could go downhill! It happened around 12 and I really picked up my pace!
I finished the race strong and knew I had gone as hard as I could that day. I met both of my goals… to be under 2 hours and to beat my PR! 1:59:52 :) 4 seconds faster than last year!! There is also a tent at the end of the race of “finisher’s gear” so I had to pick up another half zip and t shirt :)
Pros of this race:
Umm the Tiffany’s necklace?!!
Close drive to DC for us
Hotel within walking distance to race
Great tracking for family/spectators
Cute Nike race clothing/gear
Running through a tunnel at the start and end of the race that messes up your Garmin GPS
Course is too flat near the end
Very difficult to get into the race – lottery system
I LOVE this race and will probably enter every year to try to get in and get that TIFFANYS NECKLACE!