Nike Women’s DC Half – Recap 2

Part 1 of my recap can be found here.

 

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.

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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!)

 

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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!

 

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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 :)

 

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Pros of this race:

Umm the Tiffany’s necklace?!!

Women’s race

Close drive to DC for us

Hotel within walking distance to race

Flat course

Great tracking for family/spectators

Cute Nike race clothing/gear

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Cons:

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!

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Nike Women’s DC Half – Recap 1

Nike Women’s DC Half Marathon – Recap: Part 1

Woo hoo!  I feel on top of the world after the race last weekend!!  I didn’t write about my last long run leading up to the race, so here it is…

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Since Easter weekend was busy, I knew I wouldn’t want to squeeze 12 miles in before an early Saturday church rehearsal (I played trumpet for two services). I switched my long runs and did 12 miles two weeks out from the race and 8 miles one weekend before the race. Maybe it was because I felt rushed that morning, but I flew through my 8 miles with no walking breaks, up some hills and at almost race pace. I was thrilled! I knew 9:09 was the magic number for my race in order to go just under two hours. (I PR-ed the year before at Nike with a 1:59:56). My goal was to beat that, even just by a bit.

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The weekend of the race was my Mom’s Birthday, and my parents drove to DC with us to watch the race. We had Thai takeout Friday night (my new obsession) and had an awesome red velvet cake.

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Our baby couldn’t come with us for the race, so she had her first sleepover without us at her babysitter’s house. I was so sad to leave her, but she did a great job (she’s only 5 months old!) and had fun without us.

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The family that watched her sent me tons of pictures over the weekend, so I felt better knowing she was okay!

When we left Saturday morning, the goal was to get to the Nike Georgetown store right away. This race is set up a little differently, with an “expo” tent that doesn’t have much there and packet pick up tent. The big Nike store is close and has all the gear. And when I say gear, Nike knows what they’re doing. Sooooo much cute clothing and gear!

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They released some of their gear online ahead of time, and I knew I wanted the “Tiffany blue” half zip pullover. I ran into the store and got it right away. I was afraid of items getting sold out, but they had plenty. I also picked up 2 (!) tank tops with the race logos and a white hat. All of the participants names were outside the store again with the “We Run DC” logo.

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After the crowded store, we walked down to the pick up tent and expo. Packet pickup was easy and quick. I got my bib, race shirt, pace band (8:00-8:59 I felt like such a big deal LOL) and some extras.  The expo was crowded and had a NUUN station along with just a few other sponsors. Not a lot of sponsors for this race since it is Nike and Team in Training. I LOVED the electronic board that showed your name with an inspirational saying. It knew you were in the tent when you walked in because of your bib# that has the tracking chip.

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That night we all went out to eat (Colby and I along with my parents, Amy and her husband, daughter and friend).  We had a great time relaxing and eating. Amy and I ran the race last year, but her daughter Maddie and friend Livvy were running it for the first time. We were soooooo excited.

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When we got back to the hotel, I laid out all my race gear and clothes. I had planned on a Lululemon outfit and bought clothes with a birthday gift card. When I saw they had a Tiffany blue running skirt, I about died. I didn’t go with my usual pink! I had a black tank picked out to wear with it, but wore the one black tank I bought at the Nike store that day because the logo matched perfectly. I loved that Nike had race tank tops because I feel like it’s always t shirts at races. I slept a little bit that night and got up the next morning for the big day!

Part 2 of recap to come soon!  :)

Getting Ready For DC

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Things have been busy the past few weeks.  I’m so ready for summer and nice weather!  A few weeks ago, I was supposed to run 10 miles on the weekend to prepare for the Nike Women’s Half in DC – April 27.  It rained all weekend, so I ran after work on a Monday with Amy.  Looking back at the stats now, it doesn’t look that bad – but it was a bad run for me.  I had high hopes of really pushing my pace and I got so tired.  The wind didn’t help and it is tough doing a long run in the afternoon.  After that 10 miler, I was having a hard time feeling motivated for the race.  Since I PR-ed last year, I really want to again on the same course.

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I started feeling better the next week and had a few good short runs.  The one above made me really happy.  Negative splits after school and it was windy.

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This past weekend, I decided to change my training schedule.  I ran my 12 miler a week early, so I can back down this weekend with 8.  I want to go to the race with fresh legs and I’m going to have a hard time fitting in any long run this weekend with Easter.  I’m still teaching BODYPUMP over the next two weeks, so I need to take it easy.  My gym isn’t launching BODYPUMP 89 until May 28, but I have it memorized and ready to go.  I listened to the music two full times while I ran my 12 miler and did the choreography in my head.  That will make any long run go a little faster!  I really like 89 and the music has grown on me so much.

Besides all of that…

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Baby Bella got her first hair cut!!  She did great job and weighed in at 4 lbs at the vet this past weekend.  She is almost 5 months old (20 weeks today).

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She can finally jump up and down off the couch and chairs.  I about had a heart attack when I looked over and saw her laying on the top of the couch like a cat!! We are so scared of her falling/jumping off the sides or back of the couch so we always keep our eyes on her!!  You can see her playpen in the “piano” room.  She has taken over our house! :)

IMG_2588She LOVES the warmer weather and we spent so much time outside this past weekend.  It was 80 degrees on Sunday!  She loves laying in the grass with a good stick :)

 

9 Miler and Graduation

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I ran my 9 mile long run this morning with Amy!  It went very well and I had a goal to not walk and keep my splits under 9:30.  I just missed my goal with a 9:31 mile 2, but was so happy my average pace was 9:25.  I was tired, but I haven’t done a long run like this in a long time. I was happy to pretty much reach my goal even while I talked to Amy the whole time.

Next weekend I have 10 miles and I want my splits to be under 9:25 and hopefully have a faster overall pace.  If I can gradually increase the speed of my long runs a little bit, I will feel better about race day! It is coming up soon! April 27!

 

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Today was Bella’s last day of puppy school at Pet Smart!  She even got to wear a little graduation cap for a picture! She is getting a little shaggy, so we are hoping to get her first hair cut in a few weeks.  We need it to warm up!!