Well, folks, I’m pleased to report that the Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon is done and I made it! As I wrote about, I was in Tampa until Saturday afternoon working my organization’s annual conference. It was filled with late nights and (very) early mornings and I knew I’d be tired. In addition, I was quite nervous because I woke up Saturday morning and my right calf was extremely tight. I stretched all day but after flying home Saturday afternoon, my calf was still tight.
For a variety of reasons, I didn’t go to bed nearly as early as I wanted to and was pretty nervous about the whole race. I just told myself that all I had to do was finish. I didn’t care how long it took me or what my time was – I cared about crossing that finish line and getting my Tiffany necklace. When I woke up, I rubbed some icyhot on my calf, hoping to at least numb the pain. I ate a tiny bit of yogurt, drank some water and headed off to the start. The weather was perfect and it was pretty awesome to see 15,000 women ready to run.
As I settled in to a good pace, I realized that my left calf was quite sore. Go figure. This was pretty early in the race, so I just tried to ignore it and focus on the scenery and my music. There were water stations every 2 miles, which was fantastic. I never felt like I was dehydrated (which was a problem in last year’s Rock and Roll 1/2), which is a great thing. Then came mile 6. All of a sudden my music stopped playing. I was in disbelief. How in the world could I finish 7.1 miles with no music, when I can barely run 3 miles without my playlist? It was seriously demoralizing and I wondered how it would affect the rest of the race. I spent a lot of time praying and eavesdropping on others’ conversations 🙂 While it wasn’t nearly as horrible as I thought it would be, I won’t be ditching my playlist anytime soon.
Another great thing about this race is that the course mirrored the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, which meant I got a great preview of the run a few weeks ago. I think that really helped me during miles 6-9, on Haines Point. This is a pretty dull stretch of the race, even though it’s pretty. It was really tough for me a few weeks ago, but on Sunday I was prepared for how I’d feel and it wasn’t that tough. I will add that mile 10 took us up a short hill, that caused a lot of runners to walk. I kept running, but my pace definitely dropped here. What really caused a little consternation for me was that before I even saw mile 12, my GPS said I’d finished 13 miles. This isn’t uncommon – GPS technology used for races is often much more high tech then the technology used by your phone. But it was jarring to hear that my workout was finished, when it absolutely wasn’t. After all was said and done, my GPS said I’d run 14.76 miles. So it was over a mile off — more than usual, but not too ridiculous.
As I mentioned, I just wanted to finish this race. I knew that after the week I had, it would be tough to get a great time. Imagine my surprise, when I saw that my average time was 10:23 minutes per mile. I have no idea how that happened, but I’ll take it.
Next up: Capitol Hill Classic 10k on May 19. See you there!