A huge part of the reason that we chose last weekend to go up to DC was that my sister Emma was running her first half-marathon, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. Even though I’ve run ten halfs (halves?), it still means a lot to me when I have friends and family out on the course and considering it was her first, I thought Emma could use some mid-race support.
Jason and I got up and took the Metro to Smithsonian station. There was a course map online and we found a spot right before Mile 11.
You can’t see it in this picture, but right after here, the runners went into a tunnel that had drummers (and maybe strobe lights) inside. We put on our best spectating faces. That’s Jason’s “Go Emma” fist pump. And what’s up with my neck? Anyway.
Seeing all the runners really made me wish that I was running too. It was the first time I’ve ever been on the sidelines at a big race. Though I’ve done a 5K and a 10K this year, I haven’t run a half-marathon in over a year and while I haven’t really felt like I’ve been missing out on anything, in the moment, I missed the feeling of being one of those runners who was being cheered on.
There’s no real reason that I didn’t sign up for another half-marathon after my last, which was in March of last year. I just felt burnt out. I felt sick of training all the time, sick of never PRing and just sick of it all. Ten seemed like a good number to stop, so I did. And while I know that at some point, I’ll want to run another half, right now isn’t that time.
After Emma ran past us, we made our way to the finish line. Though we were only at Mile 11, the finish line was much less than two miles away. The poor runners saw the finish line to their left and then ended up having to run to the right for another mile and double back (or something like that.) What a cruel course! As we made our way to the finish, we were able to see some of the DC sites. Sometimes I forget I used to live here. Now I feel like a tourist when I come back. And take the pictures to prove it.
Somehow, we missed Emma crossing the finish line but she did it!
Yesterday morning, Jason and I woke up bright and early (more like dark and early since it was 5:20 am) to drive to Roswell, about 30 minutes away, to run the Historic Roswell 5K. Aside from a mild freak out on my part because I couldn’t figure out where to park and I really needed to go to the bathroom, number pick up and everything went smoothly.
One of the reasons that I picked this race was that the website said it was relatively flat. This seems to happen a lot; races are advertised as flat and they are most certainly not. While this race wasn’t the hilliest that I’ve done by any means, it definitely wasn’t flat. It was an out and back, so what goes up goes down and vice versa, so I guess that made it okay. There was hill around mile 2.25 that felt like it was going up and up and up, but the last half mile or so was flat, so that was nice.
I honestly had no idea what pace I was running at all. I just tried to run fast enough so it was challenging but not so fast that I would burn out and have to walk. Final results:
Not bad, not bad. Jason’s goal for a long time has been to run a sub-35 minute 5K. In the past couple of races that we’ve done, he’s come close, but he hasn’t met his goal. I was pretty confident that he would today because he’s really been running a lot at the gym. I was really excited when I saw him come through the finish line at around 32 minutes! Major PR for him!
One of the local bars and sponsors of the race, Mac McGees, was offering runners a free beer. It was only 7:45 in the morning, but free is free, right?
We hung out for a while enjoying the post-race activities, which basically meant me waiting in line for a really long time to get a free massage. Like I said, free is free, right? There were also booths with samples and stuff, so we kind of walked around for a while until we started getting cold and headed home.
All in all, a very successful and fun 5K.
Yesterday morning, I ran the Silver Comet 10K with Stacy. We decided to drive there together so I picked her up at the lovely hour of 6:45 am. The race was on the other side of the city, so it took about 40 minutes to get there. I was kind of worried about parking, but we ended up just parking in a Publix shopping center where other racers were parking.
Though it was supposed to get up into the 60s later in the afternoon, it was only about 40 at the start and we were cold. And tired, we look tired.
I did this race in 2010, so I knew what to expect. It starts out basically in a Kroger shopping center, goes down the main road, through a little neighborhood (where there is a small incline) and then at about mile 1.5, turns onto the Silver Comet Trail. From there, you just run to the trail head and it’s totally flat. The miles were marked, but there was no one there calling out times. Stacy had a Garmin on, so I asked her what our pace was a few times because I honestly had no idea. We ran together for about 4.5 miles but then I started to feel myself getting tired, so I slowed down while she ran ahead. I ended up finishing in 59:03. It’s not a PR, but I’m pretty pleased with anything under an hour. Plus, I didn’t really train that much and have a annoying cold that I can’t quite get rid of, so I can’t expect it to be my best race ever.
Afterward, we went to First Watch, where I ordered the most boring thing on the menu in an attempt to be healthy. And there was coffee, lots of coffee because we were cold.
I think I signed up for this race to motivate myself to run more after taking a break and I’m really glad that I did. Not only did I gain some endurance back, but running a race just made me feel more like me, which is something I’ve been sort of struggling with.