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D.C. National Half Marathon Race Recap!

D.C. National Half Marathon success!!!!!!!!!

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My new half marathon PR? 1:51:47!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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Can you believe that’s nearly 13 minutes faster than I ran my first half marathon less than a year ago (my time was 2:04:03)?! BAM!

I am so proud of myself and all my grad school girlfriends (who were my training buddies for the race)!

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All of us rocked it! From the left — me, Lauren, Jillian, Lauren, and Elle!

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We started our morning bright and early — the race started at 7 a.m.! Yikes. Thankfully, there were no issues with traffic, parking, or anything!

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It was super cold out but they had the DC Armory open for us to hang out in before the race so we were nice and warm! So awesome. More winter races should do this :)

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Check out the nerdy sign I created from my “HALF” bib:

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Hehe! I was feeling a bit nervous but overall ready to rock and roll :)

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Before we knew it it was time to line up at the start! I was in Corral 3, which was sweet because we weren’t all that far back. My girl Jillian was in that corral, too, so we got to start together!

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And then — we were off!

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I knew right away that this would be a good race. I was feeling good, my legs were feeling good, it wasn’t 400 degrees like my first half marathon, and I was excited to be out on a run in my beautiful DC :)

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While my official goal was to finish in under 2 hours, I set a new secret goal to finish in under 1:55 after running my practice half marathon in about that time two weekends ago. I knew I could do it — and I was right!

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The race itself was awesome — my new favorite! If you ever do a half marathon, do this one. The course took us all through DC, including the monuments, Dupont Circle, where I used to work along 18th street, Adams Morgan, U Street, Capitol Hill, etc. It was so fun to run through. I made a conscious effort to keep looking around me and enjoying the race and the sights!

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The spectators for the race were awesome, too. I saw a bunch of bloggers cheering along the way, ran into miss Biochemista and my girl Heather who were also running, and in certain areas there were MASSIVE amounts of people with music, signs, etc! It was a very spirited and upbeat race :) My favorite sign was one that said “You’re REALLY good at exercise!” Lol.

Here are my splits:

  • Mile 1: 8:32
  • Mile 2: 8:19
  • Mile 3: 8:07
  • Mile 4: 8:44
  • Mile 5: 8:46
  • Mile 6: 8:31
  • Mile 7: 9:02 (intense long hill in Dupont)
  • Mile 8: 8:32
  • Mile 9: 8:26
  • Mile 10: 8:15
  • Mile 11: 8:31
  • Mile 12: 8:43
  • Mile 13: 8:02 (!)
  • 0.1 nubbin: 7:04 pace

My average pace was 8:32. Wooohooo! The race actually flew by and as you can see, I was able to maintain, for the most part, a pretty steady pace! I was especially excited to bust out that 8:02 pace for the last mile and 7:04 pace for the very last bit — I remember thinking to myself “this is it, Anne! One more mile — time to ROCK THIS!”

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There were some hills along the course, but nothing crazy — the worst was the Dupont hill and the others were mostly gradual. I felt prepared for them after all our super hilly training runs in Chapel Hill!

I ended up wearing my Camelbak as you can see and was SO glad I did since that way I was able to skip the madness of the water stops and just GO! Plus, I was able to eat my Hammer Gel (half at mile 6.5 and half at mile 9) with water when I wanted it, too.

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What a great race. I really pushed myself and while it was of course challenging, I felt strong for the whole thing and anytime I started to feel tired or slow down I tried to focus on how excited I was to be rocking this race! I also enjoyed smiling at spectators and checking out the scenery to keep my spirits up. :)

Before I knew it, I was at the finish line. The most exciting sight ever during a race!

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I sprinted all out and crossed the finish line with a huge smile.

Here I am ecstatic just after crossing the finish line and realizing my time :)

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And look, we got medals!!! They didn’t give us medals at my first half. So exciting!

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I was also pretty pumped about these fun foil cape thingies they gave us to keep us warm after finishing.

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I heart capes. No big deal.

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Heh.

The rest of my post-race time was spent like this:

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Eating and stretching :)

What an awesome morning. Just goes to show how much good training, speed work, and good weather conditions (cold weather = awesome for running) on race day will improve your time :)

Also — a big, big thank you to Matt for getting up insanely early, driving me to the race, cheering me on in the freezing cold, and taking all of these photos. He rocks. <3

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I’m still on cloud 9 and now off to meet up with a huge group of bloggers for our big blogger/reader meet up!

Have a wonderful night, friends, and thank you for all your encouragement and good luck wishes! I appreciated every single one :)

Comments

  1. 1

    CONGRATULATIONS ANNE! How flippin’ fantastic is that! You are so inspiring! I am training for a few races, a 5K and a 10K – my first ever races. Thanks for being so motivational for me! You rock :)

  2. 3
    Kathy @ Newlywedindc says:

    Awesome job! You must feel so amazing!

  3. 4

    Congrats on your PR and an awesome race! It looks like a HUGE race, so fun!

  4. 5

    Way to go on the PR! That’s awesome. I have really enjoyed reading about your training. I do not have any local running buddies, so I get motivation from blogs like yours. That looks like a fabulous race. If I ever get to the half marathon point, maybe I’ll give it a try.

  5. 6

    Congrats on the PR! I’m actually skipping the blogger meetup thing (boo!) because the race kicked my ass, and I’m still in recovery mode — even after my marathons I didn’t feel like this, I think I’m getting sick :(

    This being my 6th half, it was my least favorite after the Zooma. We barely got to see the monuments! I like the course of the Cherry Blossom and the Army Ten Miler a lot better, I wish they could do a half following some of those courses (though I can live without crossing the 14th street bridge, of course!)

    • 7

      Aw I hope you feel better! I actually LOVED this race course – since I lived here for so long, it was really fun to come home and run through all my old haunts! I’ve done a bunch of the monument type races so it was nice to mix it up and cool to run on the actual streets, too.

  6. 8

    Woo congrats! I loved reading all the tweets from the race this morning.

  7. 9

    Congratulations!!!! What an awesome finish time. :) SO happy that you can add another wonderful 1/2 to your list. :)

  8. 10

    Wow! You really did kill that race. Awesome job!!!!

  9. 11

    Congratulations! I plan to run a half someday (current conditions prevent me from training for one :() and I’m not far from DC … I think this race is in my future!

  10. 12

    Congratulations! Where in DuPont did you use to work? I work in Dupont :-)

    • 13

      I interned for awhile at 18 and M, and then worked for a couple years at 17 and M at a PR firm, too! It was fun running through my old hood :)

  11. 14

    Congrats on your PR! Beautiful pics, seems like an awesome course! And everything was in your favor. Fun to follow your training for this one! Have fun celebrating!

  12. 15

    Congrats on the race AND the PR! Sooo exciting!! Such a great feeling! Have fun tonight with all the fellow bloggers!!!

  13. 16

    Amazing! Congrats on the new PR! :)
    It sounds like it was great race. I would love to “run through history.” Glad you had a good time.

  14. 17

    Congrats Anne! Sounds like an awesome race for you – hope you have a blast celebrating!

  15. 18

    That is an amazing time! Congratulations on your epic win!

  16. 19

    Yay! That is such an awesome time!! I knew you’d kick that half marathon’s butt!

  17. 20

    Congratulations Anne. Great job. You are looking good.

  18. 21

    Congratulations, Anne! It’s been such a pleasure reading about all of your hard work leading up to this half, and YOU TOTALLY ROCKED IT! Way to go, lady–you’re quite an inspiration! :) I hope you enjoy that amazing feeling of accomplishment!

  19. 23

    congrats on your awesome race!! :) i loved your recap.

  20. 24

    Great job on your race – that time is insane!!!

  21. 25

    Awesomely done, Anne! Great work. And loved the rundown (and the cheesey notes on the number on your back)! Sounds like perfect conditions and a very well-run race, by you and the organizers. Congratulations!

  22. 26

    Super awesome race! Great seeing you tonight!

  23. 28

    Congratulations on the half marathon! You rocked it with that time. And lunch was a blast :-)

  24. 30

    Congratulations on the PR! I had no idea it was easier to run in the cold. I keep waiting for the weather to warm up before I try to run outside.

  25. 32

    Congratulations!! You rock :D

  26. 33

    Congrats Anne!!!! My first half didn’t give out medals either and I was so excited when i got one with my second half! I’ve never had a cape yet though!! Both of my halfs should have had capes though — there was snow on the ground for both! Ha!! Congrats again!!

  27. 34

    So exciting – congratulations on the PR! It was great meeting you this weekend & hopefully our paths will cross again soon on an equally awesome race course. Great job!

  28. 36

    Congratulations on such an awesome race and time! LOVE the cape photo :D

  29. 37
    Adventurer says:

    Congratulations! Tremendous race. And kudos to the support team (Matt) on the photos. Very well done!

  30. 38

    Wooohoo!! Way to dominate!! Nice work ;) Also, way to go Matt, very nice effort with the race supporting! I love the foil cape photos, haha. :)

  31. 39

    Congratulations, that’s an awesome time!! I’m so impressed by the .1 mile pace, too- you really killed it!

  32. 40

    You are amazing!!!! Congrats on the PR…

    I’d love to see a post on how you take pictures and carry all your stuff during a race. I’m always tempted to whip out the camera while running, but I’m afraid it will slow me way down (and that it will be awkward to try and put the camera away while I’m juggling iPod/armband, etc.).

    • 41

      Thanks! :)

      And I didn’t take any photos while running – my boyfriend Matt was the photographer :) He had fun exploring the race area while I was running! Unless I were just running a race purely for fun, I wouldn’t take photos while I was running. It would definitely slow me down, like you said, and I just like enjoying being in the moment, not worrying about capturing it :)

  33. 42

    Congratulations on rocking it! :D I definitely want to do the DC Half next year! :D

  34. 43

    You are the shiz!!!! So proud of your amazing race performance and beating the PR.

  35. 44

    Anne I love your HALF bib…great idea!!!!!
    I’m so impressed with your timing, you ROCK!
    I run 90 minutes everyday, but I think I should start timing myself?
    (my system is a little primitive…. just run ahead of anyone in front of me, ahem)
    Anne, You’re my inspiration to one day run my 1st HALF marathon!!!
    (especially if we go out with your Mom for pasta the night before..)
    Kudos!!!
    (btw I like “blogging” it’s really catchy!!!)
    Reply

  36. 45

    You’re the woman, Anne. Awesome!

  37. 46

    Wonderful job, Anne! That is a fantastic time! It looks like you had lots of fun, too, which is essential :-)

  38. 47

    what a great race!!!!I have a 1/2 in two weeks and I can only hope I feel this way! Have a great day resting up!

  39. 48

    Woo hoo! Congrats Anne!

  40. 49

    Great job Anne! It looks like a fun race.

  41. 50

    Congrats on a great race, Anne! I liked that sign, too – also there was one near mile 11ish that said something like “If it were easy, I’d be doing it” that I liked as well!

  42. 52

    Congrats to you! Keep that silver cape thing for your next race–they are great to wear while waiting in the starting line area and easy to ditch once the race starts.

  43. 54

    Congrats! What a wonderful accomplishment!

  44. 55

    Congrats!!!! I wish I could say the same about my 5k race on Saturday. :-( I am so depressed about it. I had trained on Thursday and got an awesome time so I was expecting to do great on race day. I am a slow runner, but I try and I know that is most important. I felt great the whole race, and was ahead of my pace through mile 2, but somehow the last mile I fell apart, I didn’t feel like I did, but I finished at 45:01…the VERY LAST PERSON :-( The reason that makes me sad is not because I was last because in every other race 45 mins would NEVER be last, however, I had just ran it in 41:29 two days earlier. How did this happen????? I am so sad. :-( The ONLY good thing is I ran most of the way, which I have never done before and which I think was my downfall because my running pace became really slow, I had no time to recover, like I do when I usually do my run/walk program. :-( It is the last race I will do until the fall because it just gets toooo hot here in FL. But I am very sad that my time was so slow when I was feeling so great. I hate to end the “season” on a bummer race (which is why I did this one because what was going to be my last race, I had gotten sick, so my time was 46:45, I did this race 1:45 faster, but STILL, I sucked!) Sorry to babble on about how crappy my race made me feel. I am so happy you did so great!! Congrats again!

    • 56

      Aw, I’m so sorry to hear about your race, Michele! Just remember – there will always be more races, and not every race will be perfect, no matter how much you want it to be – I mean, look at how horribly my first half marathon went! Keep your chin up and know that next time you WILL rock that 5k :)

  45. 57

    Anne, so proud!!! ;) That is freaking awesome. Yes, it is amazing what speedwork does!! I’m hoping to see how all my work pays off soon!!

  46. 58

    CONGRATULATIONS! You should be so, so, so proud of yourself. That is awesome! :D

    You’ve just made me incredibly excited for my upcoming first half marathon. Great job! :D

  47. 59

    Holy moly speed demon!!!!! You rocked it! =) Congrats. It looks like such a fantastic course too. Hope you are relaxing this weekend!

  48. 60

    How awesome!! I live so close to DC and yet I never thought about doing a race there. Maybe next Spring! :)

  49. 61

    YAY! Soooo proud of you. You’re amazing, friend! P.S. LOVE that picture of you looking sneaky with the cape, too funny. Miss you!!

  50. 62

    Congrats on your race, Anne! Love all the meetups that Ive been reading about via this race. Seems like half the sphere was there :) Way to rock your race!

  51. 63

    SO excited for you, girl !!! It was so much fun to see you on the course :) sad we didn’t get more play time, but I’ll see you soon in Colorado ;) xo!!

  52. 65

    Congrats again! You totally rocked this race, and it was so awesome to see you this weekend!!! I hope to be as speedy as you one day!

  53. 66

    YEAH! Congrats Anne…what an amazing time! You sure did rock it! I didn’t finish the full quite as fast as I wanted but my time was 5 minutes faster than Marine Corps so I’ll take it. I am registering for Philly on the 1st and am going to follow your lead and add in some track workouts this summer so that I will have speedier fall races :)

  54. 67

    CONGRATS!!! You positively blew your PR out of the water. And on a tough course. Super impressed speedy lady!

    Bummed I missed you at the blogger meet up. There were just too many awesome bloggers there to meet everyone!

  55. 68

    Congrats on an awesome race!! I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll half in Dallas yesterday, and we had almost identical race times! Maybe we should run one together one day. :)

  56. 70

    Hey Anne, just stumbled across your blog and this post on your 1/2 marathon. I am in the process of training for my first! Eek. So excited, but so nervous. Have you got any tips for me?

    Bec

Trackbacks

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  3. [...] 5) This silly new fANNEtastic t-shirt I created in honor of the sign I saw someone holding that said this during the D.C. National Half Marathon! [...]

  4. [...] miles — the longest I’ve run in awhile! With the exception of one 7 mile trail run, ever since my second half marathon in March I’ve been sticking mostly to 4 and 5 [...]

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