So what has been going on in life since last February? Well I participated in both the 2013 Rock N Roll America half marathon and the 2013 Nike Women’s D.C. half- both with pretty respectable times coming off my knee injury from the marathon. I finished Rock N Roll in 2:22, running 4:1’s (4 mins running, 1 min walking) The race was in a lot more neighborhoods than around the monuments, and although this was the second year the race was held in D.C., I was pretty disappointed by the organization. It took so long to get out of the finishers shoot because spectators were blocking the [narrow] exit, looking for their runners. No one was there telling them to move so runners couldn’t even get out of the area. (and if you have ever run a distance race- then you know how hard it is to stop at the finish.. your legs need to keep moving! Not comfortable.) It also took 2 hours to get my bag from bag check. The bag check was organized on school buses based on last name.. and the name break down had no rhyme or reason to them. “ABA- ADD, ADE- AHO” etc. So finding the right bus was a little difficult. THEN the volunteers placed bags on the bus in the order they were received i.e. no real order. To retrieve your bag from bag check, the buses were all parked in a lot (because the race didn’t finish where it started) that was so small, the lines for one bus looped around a couple of times such that one thought they were in line for their bus.. when really they were in line for the one behind them. I spent 20 minutes in the wrong line before I noticed. Then the real line for my bus barely moved in an hour. It was insane. Needless to say.. not sure I want to run that one again. I’m pretty surprised actually, being that Rock N Roll is a pretty famous and popular series of races. I’ll give the series the benefit of the doubt.. I still would love to run the one in Vegas.
In April, I ran the inaugural Nike women’s half in D.C. This race took us out and back over fairly flat terrain, mostly by the monuments and tidal basin. It was much more scenic than Rock N Roll.. and a lot more organized. I finished in 2:24, and I ran without stopping this time (still with my knee brace though). I would have had a better time, however I needed to go to the bathroom.. and waited in line for 10 minutes! In fact the only issue I had with this race was that I couldn’t find the bathrooms at the start, and there weren’t enough bathrooms along the way to stop at.. thus my 10 min deviation. But the weather held out.. and I loved the sense of female empowerment. The best part of all.. the race benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society exclusively. SO many purple shirts from all over the country. I even wore mine.. such a motivation. At the end, my finisher’s necklace (instead of medals, Tiffany’s necklaces were the prize!) was hanging around my neck.. and I couldn’t be prouder. This was going to be my last half for a while.. and it still remains the last one I’ve done
In June, I ran a 5k with my husband [then fiance]. He has been hit or miss with running.. he likes to run the major town 5k’s- the one in June called “the Bel Air Town Run” and the one on Thanksgiving, our local YMCA’s Turkey Trot. Both races are very popular- we’re talking over 2,000 people for a 5k. After the Town Run, he tells me that he wants to keep running. His goal.. “to run a 5k without feeling like I’m dying.” I feel so very proud of his accomplishments.. he has improved much over the past few months, although his progress is slow and doesn’t seem like a lot. I can tell though.. but the endurance he has gained (doesn’t take frequent walk breaks anymore!) the faster pace (finished his last 2 mile run in 24 minutes!) and improvements in breathing and posture. Recently after not running for a while, he ran 3 miles and was about to throw in the towel. Told me he wanted to stop running after the Turkey Trot.. but I told him he was just having a bad day.. that he hasn’t run in a while.. and that he’ll bounce back. Sure enough, the next run he did was a PR. So as I’m not thoroughly convinced he will be a life long runner.. I think I have him convinced to stick with it for a while 🙂
As for me.. I promised myself that I wouldn’t race until after the wedding. (Which was wonderful by the way!) I did run the 5K in June.. but I stuck with my promise to myself and my husband that I wouldn’t race. Well the wedding came and went.. and I found myself at a small little 10 mile race in Ocean City, MD called the Seaside 10 Miler. This race was the Saturday before Halloween.. and costumes were encouraged. I simply had no time to create a good enough costume to run 10 miles in, so I just wore my purple running skirt instead. My running buddy Dawn however, was Spiderman..er women.. and her non-running boyfriend Dave was dressed up as the Grim Reaper holding a sign near the finish that said “The end is near.”
I ended up PR-ing this race (only by a few seconds.. but a PR is a PR!), running it in under 35 mins. I was running hard though.. came in with an average pace of 9:29 mi/min.. something I have not done in a long time. This was the first distance race I’ve done since April.. and the first without my brace. (Although.. I’ve been running without it for a little while now.. yay!) My knees.. both of them, were hurting bad. I believe I told Dawn they felt like they were bleeding internally. I did have a little trouble navigating the stairs later that day.. but all felt back to normal by the next day, and I haven’t suffered any kind of injury.. which is welcome news.
So where will my next race take me? I did have my eye on a local favorite.. The Celtic Solstice 5 Miler.. held in Baltimore in an area called Druid Hill. A challenging course.. but a top-notch premium for finishers. Well.. if you sign up before they run out! Last week, I attempted to sign up, only to find out the only premiums they had left were Men’s XL I was a little disappointed.. and decided not to run it this year. I figured the entry fee was a little steep for a race with no metal or premium.. plus I would feel bad watching all the other finishers walk away with theirs. In my opinion.. there should be enough premiums that there are spots in a race. Just seems fair to me.
I have put in an entry to the random draw for Nike Women’s.. and will know by Dec 5th if we are selected. This year I entered the draw as a group.. Dawn will be running with me this year if we are selected. (yay!) I’m also going to enter the draw for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, also in April. This race takes place during D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival.. I’ve never run this one.. but I’ve wanted to for a couple yeas now. More on that as things develop.