The Air Force/Navy Half Marathon has been on my radar for a while. I wanted to do it last year, but did the DIVA half marathon instead (HUGE mistake), so I was super excited to do it this year. You get the beauty of a DC race without the ridiculous crowds that you get with the Army 10 Miler or the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. This was the 3rd year of the race, so still fairly new. As a matter of fact, my very first race in DC was the 5 miler version two years ago. I had heard great things and was glad I added this onto my race list. I was actually supposed to have an 18 miler this weekend but because of the achilles injury I had been dealing with, I had to change around my plan so I figured I would give the half marathon a try. This was to be my first long run back after resting for 2 weeks.
I didn’t go to the expo
fortunately unfortunately. We were at the Race for Every Child 5K with the kids and the last thing I needed was to drag them to a race expo. Luckily one of my wonderful, gracious MRTT mamas agreed to pick up my packet for me. Sounds like I didn’t miss anything either. The expo was at Nationals Stadium (which I WAS kind of bummed for that reason). I did miss the Presidents though which would have been fun…my friend Mar had a good time hanging with them though!
I went through my typical pre-race rituals with a new one this time….taping up my achilles! I have no idea if the tape helped or not. It’s hard to tell between resting, multiple visits with the chiropractor, taping and new shoes.
And laying out my flat mama.
It was a gorgeous morning. Cool, crisp temps that I even had to dig out a throw away for! Seriously, I couldn’t have asked for better running weather! And a beautiful morning view:
I lined up in the 8-9 min mile pace group, but only because I hate getting blocked in by crowds, so I always move my way up to the front. I definitely didn’t have any goals for this run, except to finish and finish pain free. I told myself I would NOT race it. I wanted to just run at a comfortable pace, which I think I did pretty well at. I started with two friends of mine. I quickly lost my running partner Lisa, whom I have been training with all season. I told her to go ahead when I could sense I was holding back. She “said” she was treating this as a training run, but I knew that would be hard for her. She ended up racing it. I played cat and mouse with my other friend Shonna for most of the race. At about mile 9, I was struggling mentally. I felt fine physically but in my head I was just done and we were coming up on Hains Point one of the parts of the course that is notorious for being tough. It’s not physically tough, but it’s mental. There is nothing on Hains Point, just three miles of quiet. I yelled out to Shonna who was ahead of me and said “I need you, please don’t leave me”. If I had to run the last 3 miles by myself I thought I might walk right off the course. I’m not sure why! I was pain free, it was a beautiful day, not really sure what was going on in my head. We ran the next mile together and then we lost each other again, but I was able to pull it together for the last 2 miles and actually sprint across the finish line!
After the race I was starving. I had heard that there was going to be Nestle Chocolate milk, so I headed over to meet the bunny…
And they were OUT of chocolate milk?!!? WHAT? I couldn’t believe it was gone already. I had finished right around the 2 hour mark which I thought was about average, but it was cleaned out. I was SO disappointed.
I was pretty happy at the finish. Despite the mental battles, physically I felt wonderful and was shocked that I was able to pull this pace off after being out for 2 weeks.
Unfortunately, my official time was 2:00:05, so my sub-2 turned out to not be a sub 2, but again, I wasn’t complaining, I will take it!
The bling was was awesome, and a nice long sleeve tech shirt as well!
Overall, I thought this was a GREAT race, but I am still a little bitter about my chocolate milk….Hopefully they will get that right next year!
Have you ever run a race in DC?
For the locals, what is your favorite DC race?
Do you like chocolate milk for post run recovery? What do you prefer to have after crossing that finish line?