Finally after a long two days in Washington DC, it was time for the big race!!
After packing up our room on Saturday night (we couldn’t get a late check out, so we had to check out when we left for the race), we set our alarms for 4 am! The metro opened up at 5 am and the race was starting at 7 am. We didn’t know how crazy it was going to be, so we were planning to get to the metro around 5-5:15 am.
We all leapt out of bed at 4 am and slowly got dressed, ate some food and drank some energy drinks before heading to the metro.
The metro was not too crowded and when we got out at our stop, there were tons of advertisements for the race. Sadly, I knew my phone battery was going to be low if I got pictures, so there are not too many pictures throughout this post… sorry!
We checked our bags at gear check, went to the port o potties and headed to our corrals around 6:30am. There were only 5 corrals for a race of 15,000 people. That is not enough. When we got to our corrals it wasn’t so crowded but by the time the race started it was awful!
I crossed the start line about 14 minutes in the race and was immediately stopped by WALKERS! Are you kidding me?! I literally yelled at them as I was running away while they were taking selfies and walking towards the Capitol building. I’m a huge advocate for walking, but if you are going to start the
race walking having the decency to start in the back of the corral then. 33% of this race had first time half marathoners so maybe they don’t understand, but I was still upset with them.
The first few miles were very congested! Narrow paths and too many people made it hard to get in a really good groove.
After the second walk stop (some of the water stops were only on side of the street and the volunteers were pouring the drinks at the stations instead of having them ready 😦 ), I realized that I had left my fuel (jelly beans) in the hotel! I knew I couldn’t make it 13.1 miles on water alone (the Nuun wasn’t cutting it
for me!!)… but when I started to panic, an orange slice stop appeared! And then a few miles later, Clif Shot gummys appeared! Talk about great timing! There was also a chocolate candy stop, but I skipped it because that was towards the end.
The course had great entertainment and lots of really neat signage! I was entertained pretty much throughout the entire race and just running in beautiful Washington DC was also very fun.
During a race, I always try and spot someone who I’m trying to catch up with and who can “push” me thru a run. This run, I found my “pacer” pretty early. Around mile 3, there was a very tall (probably pushing 7 ft tall) man who was running in the crowds of women. I noticed he was running at a good pace and he was going to be my pacer for the race. I stop at all the water stops and take the water and a minute walking break and he would keep going. I would always fall behind, but then I would always catch up… I was his shadow for this race. At mile 12, I said, “yeah, only 1 mile left!” and he said “you’ve been with me the whole race, so we’re going to finish this together”. When we rounded the corner for the last .5 miles, I took off. I felt bad, but I usually sprint towards the finish. Sadly after I finished, I looked around for my mystery pacer, but I didn’t see him at all (the finish chute was huge). I felt so bad!! He totally pushed me the entire race and I don’t even know his name!
And the time… 2:16:36!! 10:26 pace!!! When I got to mile 12, my Nike Plus App told me I was at 2:02 (the total mileage for the race on my app said 13.3), so I knew I would break 2:20 🙂 I was so excited!!
After I crossed the finish line, my right knee locked up and I headed to the medical tent for some ice. Luckily I was able to get my knee wrapped up pretty quickly in ice and then was able to get in the huge line for the Tiffany necklace!! There were only 10 guys to give out the necklaces.
Thankfully I still had battery in my phone so I told Lauren I was going to the finisher boutique and she found me there. We all got this super cute shirt!
After the race, we met up with my friend Brandon (who was also working a water station during therace… so much fun to know a volunteer at a water stop!), his wife Mitra, a Circle K friend Serena, and a few others at Shake Shack! I went to Shake Shack in New York City a few years ago so when I found out
there was one in DC… I was determined to make my post half race meal there. Brandon tried to talk me out of it, but I would hear nothing of it :). We all loved it and it was a perfect meal!
Once lunch was over, we headed back to the hotel to get our bags, went to Brandon’s place to freshen up and then he took us to the airport. He was a super huge help the entire weekend! I don’t think I’ll be nearly as good of a hostess when he comes in for the Chicago Marathon in October :).
It was a great weekend that went by entirely too quickly! I really hope Nike brings a Women’s Race to Chicago sometime because I’m not sure if I want to face the hills of San Francisco anytime soon.
Next week, we’ll do a pros and cons post of this race. Lots of both for the entire experience but overall a great experience for both of us!! It was great getting to see so many of our friends and spending time together!