Wow, so much to tell! First and most importantly, I had a great run, I took 5 minutes off my old half marathon time. It was hard, but totally worth it, especially for a Tiffany's necklace. That's great motivation for any girl. We started bright and early, not wanting to get stuck like we did with the ten miler we left at 0530 for the metro, and arrived at the race start at 0600. So with an hour to waste I hung out met up with my friend AL and her husband and eventually got down to race clothes (because it was really chilly and I didn't want to take my coat off until the last possible second.
That turned out not to be the best idea, the corrals were PACKED! We couldn't even get in! There were a really unpleasant volunteer not letting anyone else through the 2' gap in the fence. The worst part of that is the volunteer shirts were not especially... notable, grey with lettering down the side, I had no idea, I just assumed she was some angry woman on a power trip. Once the race officially started all the runners were able to push into the corral and start the walk up to the start line.
And we were off! Well sort of. I had the warning ahead of time from Nikki that the NIke marathon series brings out a lot of Team in Training, who run in packs and stop to walk a lot. The first two miles or so were spent running around people who had stopped who I was actually faster than, I don't get that experience a lot being on the slow side myself, so I was ecstatic! A little annoyed with the people who stop with no warning, but I felt like a speed demon.
I saw my friend Maura and her husband in mile two and I was SUPER excited to have people cheering for me.
Didn't see anyone for a while after that, we headed up past the Lincoln Memorial, then across Memorial Bridge, I made friends with a TNT runner and chatted with her for a half mile or so. Next it was up Rock Creek Parkway past the Kennedy Center, there were some awesome drummers, but I was too focused on not slipping on shot blocks that people had dropped on the ground to take a picture. We had a turn around and then down to Hains Point (pretty much the same route as the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler). At mile 6 I stopped and had half my energy chews, kept chugging along and then we hit the motivational signs.
There were lots of great sayings then one sign that basically said "If you don't make the 9 mile point by 9 am you're getting on a bus and not finishing." I think that's motivation of another sort.
Saw Maura and the hubby again in mile 10 and gave out some big sweaty hugs, and looked like a total idiot some more.
Back through the tunnel under the mall, which I've never run before so that was a fun new experience. They had more drummers set up, this time I took a picture.
Coming out of the tunnel was the mile 11 marker, which is when my "just two more miles" chant to myself started. I saw Nikki right around the mile 12 marker, and she got a big sweaty hug as well as a picture of me looking like a spaz going in for the hug.
After I saw her we crossed in front of the Capitol Building Reflecting Pool and I noticed that I didn't have music any more, AAAHHHH!!! Queue panic. I tried in vain to get it working again by stopping and starting iTunes, but short of turning off my phone I really had no idea how to get it working. I figured I could handle one mile without music so I sucked it up and kept going. Right after the 20K point I thought I wasn't going to make my goal time because the timer at that point looked like I had already missed it (I wasn't paying attention to the official time as I crossed the start line). Thank goodness for Nikki once again. She ran over, told me I was on pace to beat my PR by 5 minutes and to keep on pushing myself. So I did!
I know I'm in better shape than the first one because not only did I beat my time, I didn't feel like I was going to die afterwards. We didn't stick around for the boutique because the line was tremendously long! So I just grabbed my Tiffany's, ate a banana, chugged a bottle of water, and started searching for my running buddy. We met back up at bag check and took off. I could not deal with that stressful crowd for one minute more.
The bow was so pretty I didn't want to undo it.
Very proud of my box.
The necklace, I was a wee bit nervous about the design, but I really really like it and I wore it the rest of the day.
Celebratory bottomless mimosas with brunch. A great way to finish a race.
Went up and got my race packet, ran into a tree biking back from Georgetown, carbo loaded at Pacifico Cantina, race clothes are laid out, energy chews are ready to go, now I just need to fall asleep. My neighbors throwing a hootenanny aren't helping with that.
Five more training miles over. What's crazy is between yesterday and today we ran the half marathon, I just hope I can run as fast on Sunday as I have the past two days, that will be a PR for sure!
Took a new route today which had us running up Capitol Hill at the beginning instead of in the last mile. We also ran through Yards Park (which is looking awesome) and the stadium. As we ran by I heard the horn which means there was a home run. Maybe the Nats can salvage this week with a few wins after that sweep, headed to the game tomorrow so I hope so.
Now to study for my final, can't procrastinate with running anymore.
I can't believe the race is this weekend, and I can't believe I took a week off of running. I really can't believe that today's 8 miles went so well! I'm still anxious about Sunday, but seeing the times I was getting today, I'm feeling much better.
Tried to run Hains Point, but it was closed for some reason, so we headed around the tidal basin and raced a storm home.
Only 2 more weeks until the Nike Women's Half. So excited for Tiffany's!!
Today's run was rough, the hardest part was finishing the run with Capitol Hill. We ran down the mall, which was super busy, then headed down the Mount Vernon trail. I don't know what it is that trail, but every time I've gone down that trail there are an exorbitant number of tandem bicycles. Today alone there were 4.
My feet wanted to fall off by the end, but frozen yogurt made it better. Followed by sushi.
So happy that this weather is so amazing, maybe more sunscreen next time.
It's summer! Overnight it went from 60s to 80s and I'm not complaining. Already have the windows off the Jeep. I am ready for some warm weather.
This heat wave made those darn cherry blossoms finally bloom! So we headed that way for our four mile run. Had to go through a neighborhood that's a little shady. But we made it, and so did EVERYONE ELSE!
It was crazy packed so we walked around and took some pictures then avoided the mall for the run home. Got some great pictures, but going to see the tidal basin all bloomed was a bucket list item and I don't need to go back and fight the crowds again tomorrow.
I think I really like the ten mile distance, this was my third time doing it. First the Army Ten Miler in Iraq and then again a year later in DC (can't wait for this year's!).
My best time was when I was deployed. I did it in 1:49:49, not so well on the second one when I was recovering from a cold, and today 1:56:53. I was happy to be under two hours and I'm feeling good about getting a PR in the Nike women's half in two weeks.
Pictures from before during and after, got a shot of some of the few trees that were in bloom.