Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nike Women's Half Marathon DC 2013

What a great time!  Such an enjoyable weekend!  It was my first girl's weekend in longer than I can remember.  And it was my first destination race.  And it was wonderful!!!

My friends Sally and Stephanie came to pick me up at 11:00am.  It took me a few minutes to be able to leave.  It felt weird to be leaving - just me and no one else.  I honestly can't remember the last time that happened.

Anyway, we drove straight to Georgetown and luckily found a place to park not too far from packet pick up.  Then we went to Starbucks to use the restroom and stood in line for like 20 minutes.  That wasn't so fun.  Then we went to stand in line to pick up our packets.  OMG.  This was the line.  And that arrow is pointing to the tent where you got your packets.

It was a very intimidating line.  We thought we would be there forever!  But, it actually moved pretty fast.  The crazy line gave us a first impression of disorganization and chaos.  But, honestly, once inside, I realized it was actually quite organized.  And, pretty impressive considering they had to set up a tent on a small amount of space, to hand out 15,000 race packets in an already crowded Georgetown!

Then we went to find food.  We found a cute little Italian place and ordered brunch, at 3pm.  I have to say that the scrambled eggs were delicious!  I know that sounds strange, but they had white or black truffle oil, I can't remember which.  And they were the best I've ever had.  And that's saying a lot since they didn't even have cheese on them!  And of course, the drinks were delicious, too.

Then we went shopping in Georgetown.  So fun!  The Athleta store was great.  And I got a new shirt and skirt to wear for the race.  Exciting stuff!

After going several places, we headed back to the car so we could check in at the hotel and get ready for dinner.  It was so fun to see so many people walking around carrying race packets.

Dinner was great.  I stayed up longer than I wanted blogging.  But, after I wrote almost all of my post, something happened and my fingers hit the exact combination of keys that deleted the whole thing.  Ugh!  I hate it when that happens!  Must remember to hit "save" more often.

Anyway, 5am came pretty quickly.  But, it wasn't that hard to wake up, really.  I was pretty excited for the race.  I took pictures of the three of us and texted them to Tom so he would know what we were wearing so he could look for us during the race.

Sally and me

Me and Stephanie
We met everyone in the lobby at 5:45am and walked to the start, just a few blocks away.  During dinner the night before Niki said that she packed "that awful Frostbite shirt" to wear in the morning.  Since it's colder in the morning, a lot of people wear something crappy that you don't care about to keep warm, and then when you don't need it anymore, you just toss it.  I said, "I packed my Frostbite shirt, too!"

Me and Niki - Great minds think alike!

Katherine, Wendy, me, Niki, Mary Curtis and Anna

Then we checked in our bags - so I couldn't take anymore pictures.  Next time, I'm going to figure out a way to keep it with me.  Just before we went to go get in the starting line - I looked up and saw Tom's face!  I don't know how in the world he found us!  My friends said that he installed some sort of tracking device on me when I wasn't looking.  He was on his mountain bike so he could ride from spot to spot to find me.  And since he was there well before 7am (the start time) he obviously woke up very early to drive up.  I think he said he left before 4am.  On his birthday!  He is something!  Love him!

Here is a picture of the start that I found on line.  Pennsylvania Avenue, pretty awesome, huh?

 I think the race was very well organized.  Clearly most of the 15,000 runners were women (with a few men) so they had some nice touches - like a red carpet at the start.  You can't see it in the photo, but it was pretty cool.  The only thing that we didn't like was that there were no wave starts.  I do think it would have been way better if they had wave starts with having to qualify for the faster waves.  It would have made the first few miles a lot less congested.  It was so crowded and you had to do a lot of weaving all across the road to find pockets of space.  

The start and finish were the same place.  So, here's a shot of it as people were finishing.  

Here's a picture of me near the end of the race (11 mile mark).  We came up 9th Street and took a right on Pennsylvania Avenue.  The finish was at 11th and Pennsylvania.  So, when you turned, you knew the start was right there, but you had to run away from it.  Ugh!  

I felt really good for the first six miles.  And I was running with Mary Curtis and Katherine.  But, after six miles, I started to get tired, and I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain that pace to the finish.  I was running faster than I thought I could considering the lack of training time.

My personal record for a half marathon is a 1:58, ran in 2009.  Back when we registered for this run, my goal was to beat that.  But, after the winter I had, I had to re-group and change my goal.  I decided to just have fun and not worry about it.  And I did!  But, I still ended up with a better time than I thought I would have.

Here were my splits...
Mile 1:    9:56 (it was so crowded!)
Mile 2:    9:38
Mile 3:    9:33
Mile 4:    8:57
Mile 5:    9:09
Mile 6:    8:54
Mile 7:    9:18
Mile 8:    9:15
Mile 9:    9:19
Mile 10:  9:00
Mile 11: 10:39 (my hardest and slowest mile)
Mile 12:  8:23 (my fastest mile!)
Mile 13:  9:29

My finish time was 2:04, with an overall average pace of 9:20.  I know that's slow for some people, but I am SO happy with that!  I haven't done any speed work in months.  And my training was inconsistent at best.  Just imagine what I could do if I could be consistent!  One day...

Tom said it was the easiest race to spectate.  He rode his bike and by mile 4, I had seen him 3 times!

After the race, I found Mary Curtis and Katherine (they finished just a few minutes ahead of me).  We got our finisher shirts and our Tiffany necklaces.  Men in tuxedos carry trays of the Tiffany boxes and hand them to you as you go through.  Since I didn't have my phone, I couldn't get any photos.  So I found this one online...

Then I went to our designated meeting place and found Tom, Sally and Stephanie.

Then I found Niki and Wendy.

Then we walked back to the hotel to shower and change for brunch.  Here's the necklace...

Of course I love it.  And will wear it proudly.

Then we headed on over to Marvin for brunch.  We didn't realize how far a walk it was.  And I wanted to quit.  It was well over a mile.  And it took us a solid 30 minutes to walk there.  My legs were tired and sore.  But, it was worth it.  It was a great time.

Sally, Katherine, Stephanie, Mary Curtis, Me, Niki, Wendy and Anna
It really was a fabulous time.  I loved every second of it.  Tom drove home and found this in our yard.

This is the same thing that my friends Heather and Niki did for my 40th.  Heather gave me the idea to do it for Tom.  And I thought the pigs were a perfect match since he likes to barbecue so much. he loved it!  Thanks, Heather!

So, that was the weekend.  Such fun!  Tom did a great job selecting a great hotel, and great restaurants.  I hope we get to do it again next year!

Much love,
Christy xo


Susan said...

It looks like a fabulous time!!! Tom sure seems like a great guy. Especially to do all that to support you on his big day. It says a lot. Happy Birthday to Tom!

I would almost consider taking up running for the Tiffany's necklace. LOL. Okay, maybe not. It's very nice they gave them. Sounds like great memories were made. I'm glad you've had some good health to enjoy.

Robin said...

How cool Christy! You are so much faster than me, I'm totally jealous! I ran a 5K tonight for a challenge at my gym and averaged about 12:15 a mile, so I would die to run faster than 10min/miles!!
Glad you had such a good time, you deserve it!