This weekend will be one for the books. It was a fantastic girls weekend that I am so glad I was a part of! Fair warning, I’m sure this will be a long recap, since it will be more than just the race.
Kim and I met up with Beth at 63rd and 3rd, so we could take the crosstown bus (my first time on a bus in NYC) over to the west side to meet up with Jen and Abby. We packed into Abby’s car and left for DC around 9am.
The backseat posse.
We arrived at our hotel a little after 1pm and immediately headed to the expo. It was a great space for the expo, unlike the NYC Half expo, which was a disaster. It was nice and open and it had a lot of great vendors.
Abby and I also spotted Nicole, who is part of the Oiselle Team. We saw her spike bag and thought she may be part of the team, so we approached her and we were indeed, correct. We chatted for a bit and grabbed a quick picture.
From the expo, we ventured to find beer and food. We found a place that looked decent, but honestly I have no idea what the name of it was. We all shared a plate of sub-par nachos and a few of us shared a pitcher of Fat Tire beer. And we also went to see the White House, which was fun because I’ve never seen it before.
We chilled at the hotel for a couple hours before eating dinner at this restaurant called, Zaytinya. It was a Mediterranean place that served small plates, so we all stuffed our faces with a variety of dishes that included falafel, mini jumbo crabcakes, brussell sprouts, roasted cauliflower, and endless baskets of the BEST PITA IN THE WORLD. Seriously, this stuff was amazing.
I have no idea how many of these I ate, but they smelled and tasted like the best bread I will ever eat. We went to bed with full stomachs and woke up around 6am to get ready for the race.
I was colder than I expected, so I ended up borrowing Abby’s Lux Layer, which was amazing! I don’t have this and was so happy to try it out since everyone raves about it. I have to buy one, for sure!
I dressed all in orange, including my nails!
We got to the start around 7:05, we took a few pictures and headed to our respective corrals. I was in the blue corral, but I think I was placed incorrectly because I found myself behind the 9:30 pace group. I was worried I was going to get stuck, especially since it was so crowded and I was planning on running 8:30s, not 9:30s!
The race started on time, but like I said, it was SO CROWDED. It never really spread out much, the first mile was definitely the worst, and I felt confined and held back almost the entire race. This is my only complaint about the race.
I was hoping to start out around 8:40/8:45 and work my way down with a negative split. The first 5 miles flew by! The plan was also to run somewhat conservative until mile 7 and then race the last 3, but that didn’t happen. Instead of racing the last 3, I just held on and kept it as strong and ran as fast as I could.
The first 6 miles were a perfect progression run!
Mile 1: 8:55
Mile 2: 8:37
Mile 3: 8:31
Mile 4: 8:29
Mile 5: 8:26
Mile 6: 8:14
I know I’m getting faster overall because I saw a 7:xx on my watch several times and 1) I didn’t freak out, and 2) it didn’t feel like I was going that fast. I had fantasies of having my last 2 miles start with 7s, but alas that did not happen.
I took a Gu at mile 4, just because I felt like I was going to need it. I drank like 2 cups of water and 1 cup of gatorade along the course, but I skipped the last 3 stations because I just wanted to keep going and get the race over with as fast as possible.
Mile 7: 8:21
Mile 8: 8:26
Mile 9: 8:21
Mile 10: 8:30
Official Time: 1:25:37
Avg. Pace: 8:34
3 min. 26 sec. PR!
I also set a new 10k PR during the race! Although, I’m not surprised, my half marathon PR pace is faster than my 10k PR pace, it’s kind of crazy. I need to update that thing and learn how to race a 10k!
Abby was out there cheering for us, I saw her 3 times along the way! She was an excellent cheerleader 🙂 I also spotted Emily around mile 5 and at the top of the hill at the very end. She screamed for me and I literally started sprinting because of her, so thanks for the mental shove! Thankfully there was a little downhill into the finish line.
The course was really great, I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately it wasn’t full of Cherry Blossoms, it’s hard to hit that peak weekend of blooming, but it was a flat course that had a lot of great views and I really enjoyed it. It got pretty windy along the water for a couple miles in the middle, that was also a bit rough, but it was a beautiful day, so I really can’t complain too much.
I’m really happy with my time, but a small part of me feels like I could’ve done better if it wasn’t so crowded (especially in that first mile), but there’s really nothing you can do about that. I felt great and ran strong, what else could I have asked for? My legs were nowhere near “fresh” going into this race, so I am happy that I was able to push and run 8:30s on fatigued legs for 10 miles. That’s progress right there!
We met up with a group of women from the Oiselle Team at Open City, where we chatted and ate brunch. It was so nice meeting everyone and to put faces to names. They were a group of fast runners and many of us had PRs, so it was nice to celebrate with them.