May 2, 2013

Just Another Nike Women's Half DC Recap Part 2

Here's to the actual Nike Women's Half Marathon race! Part 1 recap is here if you missed!

The race started at 7 AM and as always I was got into the 7:30-8:59 corral with 15 minutes to spare. I was really anxious and slept really crappy, getting only about 5 hours of sleep including me waking up in a panic in the middle of the night. I was also nervous because I was kind of in the front and had lots of room in my corral. Oh yeah and I started flipping out because I was right next to the stage where OMG Shalane Flanagan was. 

She is my running idol, and I just read the issue of Runner's World  with her and Kara Goucher on the cover so it was a big deal.  They had Shalane and Joan Benoit Samuelson there for a moment of silence for Boston.  Both of them were "jogging" the 13.1 miles. You know, just an easy run, haha. I saw Shalane at one point around mile 4, and it totally pushed me. 


My legs had been really tight from cross-training all week and even though I did my best to foamroll and stretch all week but it didn't seem to help much race day. My goal was to run sub 1:40, or a 7:30 pace. The run itself was pretty basic though I had never run through a tunnel so that was really fun, minus how it messed up my Garmin satellites so my pace and distance seemed a little inaccurate.  

I thought Nike did a great job having water and Nuun about every 2 miles with lots of volunteers.  The course was mostly flat, which is nice, but I was a little disappointed that most of it was like the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler which I had just run.  It actually got a little boring, especially that stretch around Mile 8, that is completely straight.  There were no on course photographers for me to try to smile at which I thought was pretty lame of Nike, especially with the hefty registration fee. 

This race was also the first time I had to stop and use a port a potty during a race. It was mostly my anxiety and nerves, but thank goodness I didn't have to wait for one to be open.  Around Mile 8 or so I found a 7:30 pacer (I didn't know Nike was having pacers?) so to keep pushing myself during my hardest miles 8-10, I kept up with the pace group.  This race was a really mental one for me where I had to push out all the negative thoughts saying my legs were too tight and that I wasn't good enough.  

There were a lot of great spectators and signs that Nike had placed along the course for motivation which helped me focus. The 7:30 pacer was really great at motivating his group and during the final stretch he said to just push with all you've got as he called out how many km were left.  

Eventually the finish line was in sight, but it seemed like it took forever to get there. WHY?!  My legs were so tight  that I just had to keep fighting to reach my goal.  I was so focused on that last stretch that I didn't even hear my friends screaming my name.  

As soon as I high-fived Shalane at the finish line I burst into tears as emotions poured over me. I ran for Boston. I ran for those who can't anymore. I ran for me.  I didn't know what my exact time was because my Garmin got messed up with the tunnel, but I thought I had reached my goal because I was way ahead of the pacer at the end.  

I looked sweet, rocked my run, and had gotten a shiny new PR along with that shiny Tiffany's necklace all on a crappy night's sleep.  

Front of shirt: "Fast Girls Have Good Times"
Back of shirt: "Your pace or mine?"

After the race I got my little blue box from an ROTC man in a tuxedo, picked up my finisher tee, and found my friends.  I was still all worked up because crossing that finish is like nothing else.  My boyfriend found out my time to be 1:39:49

Like my shirt said, fast girls have good times ;) 

Post-race there wasn't much going on, but I did get my makeup done at the Bare Minerals tent which was some nice post-race pampering. When I got on the little stage to get my photo taken with the screen behind it, this girl congratulated me and said that I was her pacer and ran a really great race. That made me feel awesome that I was pushing someone else to run their best! Soon after I  had a fabulous brunch at Founding Farmers. 

Overall I liked the race swag, the water stops, and the organization.  It's really expensive so I don't know if I'd run it again. 

Later on Nike had the official results which showed I was overall 284/15,000 women and 67th in my division. So I felt like a beast for the rest of the day until the next when I felt anxious and self-doubting again. 


Have you ever run a Nike Women's race?


  1. Congrats on a great race and awesome time! First time I had to use portopotty during a race was my first marathon (in DC actually), it was totally just nerves!

    Awesome outfit and race and PR.... you rock!

  2. AWESOME job at this race!!! Sometimes I find that my best runs (or races) are sans garmins. They add unnecessary pressure and the worry wears you down. I'd run fast for a tiffany necklace too. Love the shirt!

  3. Reading your 2013 race recap makes me all the more excited for 2014!