Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Race Report for the DC RnR Half Marathon

I know I promised a race report last week, but I lost track of time and now it's another week!

I don't want to let another day pass before doing a full report.

My race report probably should start at the end of my first half marathon on November 19, 2010. After I finished my first half, I vowed to never do another one. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 10 miles, but felt the last 3.1 miles were totally unnecessary. I think I hated those last few miles because the smart race directors made them into a maze. So it was run a few yards, turn, etc. I still vividly remember my annoyance and anger that day!

Anyway, let's fast forward to this year. My friend is doing 4 half marathons this year. When she mentioned doing the half in DC, I jumped on the idea. I love DC!! I also wanted to have a girl's weekend more than run a half marathon. However, I am sucker for punishment, so I decided to go for the half.

I registered in August or September, so it took forever to get to March. Lots of time to ponder and wonder about how I would do. Thankfully, the time went by really fast, so not much time to freak myself out. I got through training relatively unscathed. I missed a few long runs due to the weather, but felt great fitness wise when I towed the start line.

Ok, enough of the background, let's get to race weekend...

The week leading up the race, I chose to do a lot of work to the new house--so I was in PAIN by the wednesday before the race. I was also physically tired. I took thursday and friday off and that helped me. I think being so busy the week before helped with pre-race jitters. I didn't get REALLY nervous until the night before the race. My friend was over the top with excitment...I was over the top with nerves.

Many thoughts ran through my head--can I do this again? Will I beat my time? Will I zonk out? Will I hit a wall? What happens after 10 miles? So many thoughts.

Finally, at some point during the night, I told myself, "Nichelle, you are running the half marathon, it will be ok....shut up"...sometime after those declarations, I went to sleep.

I woke up at 5:00AM to meet my other friends in the lobby to head to the race.

We got to the race super early, but it was actually good because we weren't rushing to the start or anything. We were able to use the restrooms--eww to the portapotties and mosey our way to the start.

The race started at 8AM, I didn't cross the start until 8:37. Right before crossing the start, I got a big wave of emotion and anxiety. My stomach turned a bit, but before I could even acknowledge it, I was crossing the start and I was running my second half marathon.

My friend and I had discussed race strategies. My plan was to stay with her and just let her carry us to the finish. She is a bit faster than me, but it wouldn't have been hard to focus and stay with her. However, right after I crossed the start, I decided to run my own race and lagged behind her. I am glad I made this decision. I struggle a lot with negative mental thoughts, so running my own race kept me in MY head, and not on struggling to keep up with another person.

I really wanted to remember something special for each mile, but I can't. The miles went by so fast and are a blur.

Here is what I remember:

Mile 1 is always the toughest.
Mile 2-4 were relatively easy.
Mile 4 was the White House. I love the White House. As I was passing it, I was imagining the first family eating breakfast, or the kids going to practices, etc. It was nice to think about. I was also excited to see that trees no longer hide the house. The last time I went to the WH, trees hid the whole house.
Miles 4-8 were straight uphill. What a bitch!! I also remember crossing the 10K line and thinking, "Man, I wish this was a 10k!"
Miles 8-12 were MORE hills. WTF?
Miles 12-13.4 (yes, 13.4!) went by really fast. I remember bargaining with myself. I told myself if I finished, I was NOT going to do a marathon. I actually thought about what I'd do if I got into NYC. (I decided to sell my entry LOL) I think that mile went by so fast because I was just writing off running.

When I crossed the finish, I actually almost started crying. I didn't even cry at my first half marathon (I think I was too angry to express any other emotion, LOL).

Do any other runners get amnesia? I swear, when I am writing this, I can remember the run. But I can't remember anything negative about it. The hills were big and steep, but I never once got angry at them. I just took them one by one.

Since the half, I've had time to think about my running. I feel like I am in such a zone.

I have signed up for three races!

10K on 4/28

5 or 10K on 5/5 (day after my 30th bday!)


I WILL do a marathon in Novemeber (I am not sure if will be NYC or San Antonio).

Happy Running!!

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