General Discussion Race Reports! » Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Arlington, Virginia
United States
Pacers Running Stores
60F / 16C
Total Time = 2h 10m 37s
Overall Rank = 567/851
Age Group = W40-44
Age Group Rank = 35/90
Pre-race routine:

We flew down to Maryland Friday night to spend the weekend with my sister. Dinner Friday was spent on her back deck catching up. Saturday, I had to pick up the race packet at the Pacer's Running Store - simple! Once I had the packet, we spent the afternoon at a Washington National's baseball game (my husband is a huge baseball fan - and I haven't been to a professional baseball game since we moved from California 10 years ago). It was a crystal clear day - a bit windy...but very enjoyable. Saturday night, we went out for a nice Italian dinner.

Got to bed around 10:30 (after I packed and repacked my backpack, organized and re-organized my clothes and generally spun around). The race was scheduled to start at 8am. My sister lives about 35 minutes (driving) or 45 minutes on the Metro from the race site. The earliest Metro train didn't leave until 7a - which was a little too close for my comfort, so we decided to drive. My sister and her family are not morning people - so it was just me and Matt. The alarm went off at 6:15 - we were out the door by 6:40. Drove right into town (I love my Droid...the integrated GPS is totally worth it!) and started to look for parking. I had a scone in the car (all that my sister had at home that was portable) around 7am.

We drove into a parking garage around 7:20 and realized very quickly that we couldn't park there and started to drive out...the outbound gate was closed, the inbound gate (which was open when we drove in) was closed and we were stuck! We called the contact number on the wall next to the parking gate hoping they would be able to push a button remotely to let us out...but no luck. They had to send someone over to let us out. At this point - it is 7:25 and I am starting to get wound up.

Matt tells me to go ahead to the race start, he will wait to get the car out and find me later (after the race has started). I start following the crowd of people all walking in the same direction dressed in running clothes. As I am walking - I see a Starbucks and think, "I'd much rather use the bathroom in a Starbucks than a port-a-potty at the race site." Good thought - but not too original...the line was 5 deep when I got there and 15 deep by the time I was done. All in all - a good decision.

I walked over to the starting area - it is windy (it was windy all weekend) and in the shade...I'm dressed in Maine spring weather gear (a t-shirt and skort) and many people around me are dressed for a blizzard (leggings, two to three layers on the top, gloves, etc.). Made me laugh. Spend the next 20 minutes in the lobby of a nearby building out of the wind stretching out. 5 minutes before race time, I walk out to the start line.
Event warmup:

Keep in mind - to this point in my life, the biggest running race I have participated in had about 75 participants, and the biggest tri I have participated in had about 300 participants. This is MUCH bigger. It is a combination 1/2 marathon and 10K (the 10K runners do one loop, the 1/2 runners do two) with over 3000 people. Holy cow!

The gun goes off and we shuffle to the start. Once I pass the timing mat, I start my watch and continue to shuffle for another 1/4 mile or so until things start to loosen up a bit.
  • 2h 10m 37s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 58s  min/mile

They closed off some major roads and thoroughfares - which made for a very nice run. We ran out to the Pentagon, got water/gels (if you wanted), back down the Potomac and wound back through Arlington. It wasn't too windy on the first lap - but definitely got windy for the second lap. I had decided that I would take it slow on the first lap and kick it up a bit for the second lap - and I did in my head...but looking at my split times, looks like that didn't work out quite like I had planned.

I ran the entire route, only walking the water stops (because I still can't figure out how to run, drink, breathe and not slop water on myself at the same time. First comes walking and chewing gum...then I can improve on the water stops). About 5 miles in, we passed a bunch of honeysuckle - it was beautiful and smelled wonderful. I just kept trying to take it all many people, so many different stories that got them to the starting line. I tried really hard to thank the volunteers as well - they did a great job.

As I was getting close to the start of the second loop - I finally saw Matt - he got a couple of pictures and it reminded me of how lucky I am to be able to participate in this. Around the turn around, and back out on the course. Just as I am starting the second loop - the overall winner is bolting into town. That was inspiring. Then I saw the guy running the whole race while juggling - he was still behind me...I decided to keep it that way.

The mile markers were not set up at any regular interval (there were about 5 total mile markers out on the course...), so I was never positive of my pace, but I knew I was going at a pretty steady rate. Once I hit the 11 mile marker, the headwind started. 2 miles to go and a headwind. Blergh. Ahh...but it is fairly flat. I could see the finish line! Matt was right off to the right cheering me on and as I turned the corner to cross the timing mat, my sister walked up! What great timing. I actually choked up a bit as I was very near the end...I am so proud of myself for starting on this journey and what I have been able to accomplish.

When I signed up for this race, I had put an estimated finish time of 2:30...the official chip time was 2:10...I am so psyched!
What would you do differently?:

Figure out the chafing issue I have with my underarms. Coated with body glide, still have major chafe marks. It was so bad at the end of the race, I took my shirt off and just wore my sweatshirt. It doesn't seem to matter if I'm wearing a t-shirt with sleeves, a tank top...
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the line, grabbed a water and some flowers (for all the moms!). Matt and my sister found me and gave me hugs. We stood around for a bit chatting - then I realized I needed to keep moving or I wouldn't be able to move much. Went back to the scene of the crime (the Starbucks where I used the bathroom), got an iced coffee and walked the 1/2 mile uphill to where the car was parked. I have never been so happy to sit down!

A friend of mine lost a friend of his recently...I ran this race thinking of the lost life. He was a special person and will be missed. Thinking of you David.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Wind. Otherwise - not much. I ran as best I could and surpassed my expectations.

Event comments:

Very nicely done. Really a treat for someone from out of town. Lots of help on the course, wide running routes, lots of water stations. I would do this again.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-01-18 12:00 AM
02:10:37 | 13.1 miles | 09m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 35/90
Overall: 587/851
Performance: Good
2 loops - first loop time 1:03
Course: Very gentle small inclines and declines (steepest hill was an exit ramp)
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-05-10 9:22 AM

User image

Midcoast Maine
Subject: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon

2010-05-10 11:16 AM
in reply to: #2848160

User image

Subject: RE: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon
Great race Jennifer.  I just can't say it enough.  What a testament to all the hard work you've put in!
2010-05-10 11:23 AM
in reply to: #2848160

User image

Subject: RE: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon
Great race and great report!
Way to go on an awesome run. 
2010-05-10 11:36 AM
in reply to: #2848160

User image

Orange, CA
Subject: RE: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon
Congratulations on a fantastic race! You are such an inspiration and I'm so happy you had a great day. Awesome!
2010-05-10 2:08 PM
in reply to: #2848160

User image

West Grove, PA
Subject: RE: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon

What an awesome & inspiring race (& report).  You worked and trained so hard for this race... enjoy your accomplishment!  And enjoy a couple rest days before you start cranking up the training volume again!  Congratulations!

2010-05-10 7:55 PM
in reply to: #2848160

User image

Syracuse, NY
Subject: RE: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon
Congratulations on a great race.  Sounds like it was a great experience.  Good for you.

2010-05-11 12:03 PM
in reply to: #2848160

User image

New user

Subject: RE: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon
Nice job!  I probably missed you at the Starbucks!  Some wind, huh? I'm still very sore!  Lots of pounding for one day - congratulations on your first half-marathon!

2010-05-11 9:24 PM
in reply to: #2848160

User image

Subject: RE: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon
Congratulations!!  Great race and an uplifting race report Jennifer!  You surpassed your goals and definitely deserved these results from all the hard work that you have been putting in. 

Fantastic job!
2010-05-11 9:51 PM
in reply to: #2848160

User image

Subject: RE: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon
It is AWESOME when you beat your goal time!!! I wish I did that some times!!!  ;-)  Under 10 minute miles...great job on that pace!   It was nice to think of your friends friend (David) during the race...races and workouts are SO much more intensive and satisfying when they become SPIRITUAL!
2010-05-12 9:05 PM
in reply to: #2848160

User image

Subject: RE: Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon


General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon Rss Feed