Today was a beautiful day. I’m super excited to get this Navy Air Force Half Marathon Recap done to share with y’all! The weather was gorgeous, I felt good and everything was just hitting on all cylinders. I had been waiting for this race for months and it did not disappoint. I don’t usually recap expos and stuff like that so I won’t spend too much time on this one but to say it was a hot mess. It took about 45 minutes to get my race bib because lines were crazy. It was not awesome. I was underwhelmed with the level of (dis)organization at the expo, but don’t let that discourage you from running this race.
The course is pretty standard issue for a DC race. We started near the Washington monument (as you can see below in the picture with my colleague Meghan) and it was a bit chilly so I kept my throwaway shirt on until we started moving. The course winds around towards the Lincoln monument and crosses the Memorial Bridge at about mile 1.5. We then ran past the back side of Lincoln towards Georgetown. We followed Rock Creek Parkway up a few miles until the turn around. Then you come back the way you ran up and head over to Haines Point for the last few miles. Relatively flat with a small hill around mile 6.5 and another tiny hill at the finish (not even really a hill but feels a bit like one at mile 13!).
You know I like to recap by miles so, here we go!
Miles 1 -3: The start was incredibly congested and people were not in their appropriate line up spots so the first couple miles were slower than I wanted them to be but I wasn’t too worried. I just keep moving and knew it would clear out soon. You can tell that it did clear up significantly by mile 3, which was great. Even though I had a TON of buddies running this race, I was running solo pretty much the whole way. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing — I was able to just focus on my race, which I wanted to do. 9:44, 9:42, 9:21
Miles 4-6: At this point we were running up Rock Creek Parkway, which is an area I am extremely familiar with and spent a lot of time training over there during my last cycle of marathon training. The familiarity helped deal with the tiny, gradual incline as we headed up the Parkway towards the turn around. 9:29, 9:19, 9:36
Miles 7-9: At this point, I knew I wasn’t going to go sub-2 but also knew that I could hit 2:05 if I kept pushing. I tried to just hold pace in the 9:20s and that seemed to work. K was at mile 8.5 briefly, so that was fun. The course doesn’t have a lot of spectator support so if that is something you need, be aware. 9:21, 9:21, 9:27
Miles 10-13.1: This final stretch is mostly on Haines Point which can be a real mental battle. I don’t love Haines Point, but I’ve run it enough that I am very familiar with it and I go into races knowing that it’s flat and pretty boring and am prepared for that. I really thought I was pushing it that final mile, but looking at my times, it’s clear I was pretty done. I definitely left it all out there on the course! 9:28, 9:33, 9:31, 9:52
With Julie from Diving Into the Gene Pool.
Mar (from Mar on the Run) and I!
Julie’s sister Kristen (and Kristen’s adorable baby boy), Caitlin, Julie and I.
The swag. Love the shirt and the medal!
Oh – so what was my official time? 2:05:49 This was a 15 minute PR for me and I am so proud. I worked really hard in this training cycle and I saw results. I will talk more about what’s next for me soon but overall, I feel like a total rockstar. I know I gave this race everything I had and I’m really proud of myself. It can sometimes feel uncomfortable to say that (like I’m bragging when I’m not) but the truth is, I’m proud.
Did you race this weekend? Tell me about it!