This half was the final piece of my Cupcake Virtual Marathon.
Short story: It wasn’t my best half, but it wasn’t my worst. I finished in 2:13 and didn’t throw up.
Long story: I got up at 3:30 am to get ready to be picked up at 5am. I’m not a morning person, so I was less than thrilled by this plan. Virginia decided to have one more dance with winter (more on that later), so I dressed in running tights, a tank top, a long sleeve shirt, and a windbreaker (with a throw away sweatshirt on the top.) I was still cold at the start line.
We drove to the DC Armory and spent as long as we could inside. Finally, after one last stop at the indoor bathroom (which really was only better than a porta potty because it had lighting. Yes, it was that gross), we headed to the start corral. I was WAY back in Corral 8. Fortunately, that was also the start place for the 4:20 marathon, so I got to meet Laura from Absolut(ly) Fit. It was fun to finally meet her.
I started with a friend who was doing the full, so I started slow (as planned). It took us 20 minutes to get to the start line, but I wasn’t in a hurry. At mile 1, we both realized a porta potty stop was needed. Thankfully, there was no line and I felt SOO much better. At about mile 2, we hit some nice downhills, so I left my friend and sped up. This was all great until mile 5. At that point, I realized I hadn’t eaten since 4:00am and it was after 8:00. I took a Gu and then the hills started. I’m a DC area girl, so I know hills, but OMG these hills sucked. I just kept going. I danced to music, slapped hands, yelled, and just kept running. My stomach was pretty pissed about the Gu, so I wasn’t going fast, but I just tried to maintain a good attitude.
After mile 8, the big hills finally ended. For the next 4 miles, it was a mix of ups and downs. I kept thinking I needed to dig deep and push hard and, well, I just couldn’t find that gear. Finally, I got to the last mile. My quads were shot and I was running on empty (I was afraid to eat another Gu), but I picked it up as much as I could. This was the only mile where I saw some 8s as the actual pace on my garmin. As we headed around the last corner, I started sprinting and I’m pretty sure I passed about 30 people. I crossed the finish line and couldn’t decide if I was going to throw up or pass out. ;o)
It took a bit to get out of the Finish area and I made one last stop at the nasty bathrooms and then metroed home. It took me more than an hour to get home and I was freezing by then, so it’s pretty safe to say I won’t be doing this race again. All in all, despite all the logistics, I ran hard and I’m happy with what I did. I trained to finish and I finished strong.
Next up? Building my minimalist shoe running miles. Right now I’m totally in a honeymoon time with my Merrell Pace Gloves and I plan to ride that as long as it lasts.
21 thoughts on “National Half Marathon report”
nice job! congrats. Ryan and I went to a minimalist shoe clinic yesterday, I thought of you. Take care!
Love the sepia action, girl! Heh.Congratulations on completing your Cupcake Marathon!
DC has some rough hills … I hear ya. I could never run a race there so you are already way outta me league!
Congrats, great deal on the sweatshirt!
Great job! Some days we can dig deep – some times we just have to keep chugging along. Great job!
So great to meet you as well :)Congrats on the finishing sprint! I was so wiped out that I just continued my pace for the end. I figured it also made me look more confident since I was pacing, even though I had sent my pace group ahead at that point! Tricky tricky.Hope you are all warmed up now! You're right about that being a long and COLD Metro ride home… I just did not warm up until I got a shower.
Congrats on a strong finish!
Congrats on a strong, solid race!
It sounds like you finished strong! It seems like a lot of people were unhappy with some of the race logistics. That's too bad, since it seems like it has so much potential. Nice job completing the Cupcake Marathon!
yeah, this race is a bit of a logistical nightmare! congrats on your race! those hills were rough!
Many have commented on the poor logistics of this race – too bad!Congrats on a strong finish!
Looks like I just missed seeing you! We were in the same corral and finished within a minute of each other, and I was keeping an eye out for you, too. It was my first race in DC, and I loved the neighborhoods and running in such a beautiful city, but the race itself was not well organized. I had to wait at many of the aid stations, no mile markers, no metro until 6am. I had a fun time, but I don't think I will be running it again.
it's amazing that in a super flat city, you can have such a tough race course. congrats on finishing the half strong!
totally agree with the hills! I remembered that course as being so flat. Ugh! Glad you made it through
Congrats on the strong finish and surviving the hills! My quads are definitely feeling them today.
Congrats on the half! I love your mini-report "not my best, not my worst, 2:31 and I didn't throw up" – LOL!
Nice run! 2:13, I think rocks!!! As I am hopping for a 2:15 finish this weekend @ my half!
Congrats on the double whammy – cupcake marathon + national half! The weather could definitely cooperate… It is not supposed to be high of 45 here in SC in March!
Congrats! I am embarking on my first half this weekend, so its inspiring to read about others recently completed races.
Great race!! I also ran this race. Too bad we didn't meet up!! Next time 🙂