Number 14 was a complete success!
Two Hours . Nine Seconds. The elusive sub 2 hour is still out there, but it’s a PR none the less I learned a lot about my running ability this past weekend and I also had a complete blast!
My dad came down for the weekend and I was really happy to have him here for the race too.
We headed to Georgetown on Saturday for packet pickup and the expotique. My favorite part of the NWM is that they have a huge board with the names of all the runners. Dad was a little overwhelmed at trying to pick my name out of 15,000 names, but we did it! Team work makes the dream work
It was such a beautiful weekend for packet pick up and I could tell it was going to be a great weekend for a race too!
They open up the waterfront in Georgetown for the expotique and both years I barely waited in line to get my bib and other pre-race goodies. Amazing job Nike!
Wouldn’t you say that’s one awesome cheer sign? Dad was really excited to cart that around race morning! Thanks Luna for such a fun project!
Other items included a huge interactive map of the race course. It was little different than last year in one good way – no huge circle in front of the capital to run around at the end. It was mentally just too much last year. Thinking back to it, I felt like I sang “this is the circle that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends, some people starting running it not knowing where it ends and they’ll just keep on running it forever…” yeah, runner problems…
This ended up being my race day mantra – you’ll see why!
After going to the expotique, dad and I headed to Mount Vernon for the day. More on that visit to come. It deserves it’s own post!
I know that after all the bad press for bib numbers posted on social media after the Boston Marathon I probably shouldn’t have done it, but at this point I was just too excited! Tank, capris, Mizuno Wave Riders, Hammer Gel (Apple Cinnamon), Feetures socks, Zooma Headsweats Hat, and Ultimate Direction race belt. It was time to get some sleep!
Race morning was perfect. It was a cool 49 degrees and I was pumped! I definitely run better in cooler weather. My top 3 races were done when it was either below 50 or rainy – weird I know! We took the metro in and Dad took my jacket and I told him I’d see him in about 2 hours!
It was time to run!! Just like last year Shalane Flanagan started us off. It was her shake out run from Boston (brush yo’ shoulda off Shalane).
The first part of the course – about the first 5 miles – took us past the capital, the Washington monument, the Lincoln memorial, and the Kennedy center. It was flying by. I started in a corral that was about 30 seconds per mile faster than I typically guess I can run. So when I hit the 6 mile marker and I was running between an 8:15 – 8:50 mile on overage, I was freaking out a bit.
But when I checked in, my legs felt strong, I was uncomfortable, but not to the point it warranted a slow down. So I went with it! At about mile 7, I saw the 2 hour pace group and trailed them till about mile 11. It was great to draft off of someone, and these girls were doing a great job. After the 11 mile marker water stop, I knew that if I tried to catch up again, I would blow my legs.
So I just went with how I felt and kept chugging. I really thought I was going to hit a sub 2 hour this time around… It was 1 hour 51 minutes when I hit the 12 mile marker. That’s when I just hit a wall of some sort.
I just couldn’t get my legs to turn over any faster, and all I could think about was stopping. But I kept saying “You can and you will – you can and you will”. I think my downfall was that I thought I had made the last turn so I sped up, but it was only the 2nd to last turn. UGGGHHHH!! C’mon! Then there were was a fake finish line before the real finish line, so I sped up again…again UGGHHH!! C’mon!!
So I burnt up before I should have.
Lesson learned. Make sure you know where you are before you start your kick.
Either way, the little blue Tiffany’s box was earned. A 20 second PR with a terrible training season (stomach flu and bronchitis be damned…), I learned that I’m capable of running faster. I am capable of being a better runner. So I thank every girl in that first corral for being a HUGE motivator for me. I loved running alongside you!
It may be easier to just buy yourself a Tiffany’s necklace, but where’s the pride in that!?!?!
If you’ve never ran a Nike Women’s race before, I definitely recommend it. The race support, organization, and complete feel of a girls weekend makes it so much fun! Next year I want to run it for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!
So what’s next?
Pittsburgh Half Marathon in T minus 5 days! Yes, I’m crazy, but I’m only half (13.1) crazy
Have you ever surprised yourself with your ability during a race?