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National Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Washington, Washington, D.C.
United States
The Greater Washington Sports Alliance
Total Time = 2h 07m 47s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up and had breakfast, then took the Metro to Stadium-Armory. Got there a little earlier than expected and so spent 15 minutes huddling for warmth around one of the huge portable spotlights. Stood in line for the porto-potties, ran for about 10 minutes and stretched, then headed back to the porto-potty line. Hit the starting line right before the National Anthem and took a gel.
  • 2h 07m 47s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 45s  min/mile

I was surprised by how hilly this course actually was -- I've lived here three years and always think of DC as being really flat. I guess the hills don't seem as steep when you're just walking around town, and I do most of my training on running paths, not throughout the city.

I went into this race planning to do around a 2:15. My previous personal best was a 2:10, but I'm coming back from a knee injury so planned to take it conservatively. I felt really good for the first three miles and so decided to pick it up a bit.

I think the hills really started in earnest around the 5-mile point. The worst was running through the tunnel under Dupont Circle and then up the Columbia Road legs were burning by the time I got to the top of the hill! But still, I felt good. It helped to pass Fleet Feet and see familiar running store faces right after that hill. When I crossed the mat at the 10k point in under an hour, I started thinking that I could actually set a PR.

The hills continued, and by this point we were running straight into the sun and I was longing for my sunglasses, which were sitting merrily on my kitchen table and not on my face where they belonged. Miles 7-9 were tough but manageable.

I felt like miles 9-11 were almost completely downhill. I made really good time through this segment of the race, and felt really strong. I'm glad I carried a little flask of water in my pocket, as it seemed they started to run out of water (or cups?) near the end. I at least had enough to take my gels.

Right before mile 11, I saw a huge sign with my name on it tacked to a telephone pole, and then I saw my friend Chuck! He lives in the neighborhood but I never thought he would get out of bed that early to watch runners. He ran on the sidewalk alongside me for about four blocks and we chatted, which boosted my spirits even further. At that point I realized that barring any unforeseen circumstances, I was definitely going to set a PR.

The last two miles were really rough. I felt like the entire way was uphill and my legs were starting to feel really spent. I did enjoy running up H St. NE and seeing a lot of my favorite places -- the Pug, Granville Moore's, Sticky Rice, Palace of Wonders...I think this race does a good job of highlighting DC and its neighborhoods rather than just the monuments. As soon as I turned the corner and saw the finish line, I started sprinting, and finished much faster than expected, in 2:07:47.

This race was a great one for me, and a HUGE self-esteem boost. I hurt my knee last October and spent three months completely sidelined from running (and heels -- turns out sneakers look pretty terrible with work clothes). Once I was finally cleared to run again, it was frustrating to feel so slow and like I was starting all over again. This finally made me feel like my old self.

Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed my medal and space blanket, and a lovely volunteer took my chip off my shoe (that's seriously SO nice -- I can't count how many times I've nearly fallen on my face trying to untie my shoes right after a race). Then I ran into a massive roadblock of runners waiting for the food table, which was way too close to the finish chute. Drank a Powerade and ate half of the densest bagel I've ever had (no joke, was like a chewy brick) while watching the first marathoners come in. Stretched a little and walked to the Metro to head for home.

Last updated: 2008-07-07 12:00 AM
02:07:47 | 13.1 miles | 09m 45s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
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Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
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Race evaluation [1-5]

2009-03-21 6:31 PM

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Washington, DC
Subject: National Half Marathon

2009-03-22 8:15 AM
in reply to: #2032161

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Subject: RE: National Half Marathon
Great job on the PR!!!!
2009-03-22 10:33 AM
in reply to: #2032161

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: National Half Marathon
Great job!  Awesome PR!  Yes, the bagels and pretzels were a little chewy. :-)
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