National Half Marathon Race Report
Things started last night with a bloggy meetup dinner to celebrate the arrival in town of the very scientific (and, it turns out, hilarious) Danielle in Iowa.
L-R: Danielle, Adam, Rebecca, Joe, Audrey, Jeanne, Ray, and Peter.
I got a private tutorial strategery session from the 26-year-old enfant terrible DCRainmaker.
The plan was to bring it home in 2:22 (I can dream, y'all). DCR suggested I try to hit 6 miles by 1:06 (my PR, until this morning), and 10 miles by 1:50 (I think that's what he said. We were boozing it up so who remembers?). Sadly, he forgot to prescribe miles 11, 12, 13 and .1. And all the other ones.
I tried hard to convince him that the way to run this thing was all out hell's bells until you can't and then you slow down. He thought that was odd.
After I got home last night, I fired up this clever little pace calculator with FADE tool, and set it for 2:22, with a 60 second fade after mile 5. (See Ray? I'm not the only one who thinks this way!)
And it told me...well, what I thought it told me was:
Pre-fade pace: 10:50 Post-fade pace: 11:13
so that's what I wrote on the back of my hand.
Too bad what it actually said was this:
Overall pace: 10:50 Pre-fade pace: 10:13 Post-fade pace: 11:13
So I thought as long as I ran anything better than 10:50 for the first 5 miles, I was golden. What it actually said of course, was I that I HAD to do 10:13s for the first 5 miles.
Reading the chart: FAIL.
But National Half Mary: PASS!
I woke up at 4:30 and all was right with the world, except for a little stomach upset. I met up with my Speed Dev partner, B., and Nancy Toby and Danielle and we waited FOREVER to cross the start (eight minutes). I love this course because it goes through so much of the city. I hate this course because it has hills. Did the earth shift since last year? Cuz I'm pretty sure D.C. has spouted more hills. The size of the field also doubled this year (I heard 8,000) and there were tons more spectators. Last year's spectators were mostly drunk people who hadn't made it home yet and some homeless guys. Last year I was alone for most of the race, behind two guys running together with their heads stuck through the top of a box. When the sag wagon decided to tail me. That was fun. This year: loads of people around me, and no sagging.
As usual, everyone annoys me when I'm racing. People breathing, CELLPHONES—can we forget the no headphones rule and please deal with cellphones?? Why do you need a cellphone in a race? WHY???—keys jangling, talking. (Unless I'm the one talking. Then of course, it annoys me if you don't talk back. It's hard being me.) This year I yelled at what I think was a D.C. Councilman for leaving his car idling. "Turn that car off! Polluter!" Then some poor soul had the nerve to yell "only 1 mile left" at 11.5 miles. That's just criminal. Arrest her.
On the good side, the cops were fun, the spectators were great. The Howard U (I think?) kids all stood in a line, blasting a boombox, and high fiving as we flew down the hill around mile 8.
As you can see, my pacing is pretty much exactly the same as it is during my training long runs: Everything and then some. I don't want any pace to ever feel left out. I am an equal opportunity pacer!
mile 1: 10:25
mile 2: 10:20
mile 3: 9:48 (30:11 at 3 miles)
mile 4: 11:09 (mile marker misplaced so this was long)
mile 5: 9:20 (which means mile 5 was short :)
mile 6: 10:50
mile 6.2 3:01 (1:04:36 10K PR)
mile .8: 11:00
mile 8: 11:38
mile 9: 12:30
mile 10: 10:22 (1:50: 10 mile PR)
mile 11: 12:01
mile 12: 13:22
mile 13: 10:56
mile .1: 1:06
National Half 3/21/2009:
58/71 2040/2281 10K: 1:04:40 10:25 Finish: 2:27:36 11:16 52 F
National Half 3/29/2008:
48/53 2:31:57 11:36 51 F
(Previous PR: Blue Gray Half Mary, Fredericksburg, VA, Dec 14, 2008:
2:28:43 11:21 min./mile (10/10 grrrrr))
Because there's a National Marathon as well as a National Half Marathon, that meant that the finish FOR ONCE wasn't totally dismantled by the time I got there, which also meant that for the Very First Time, I got a free massage at the end. It was an Active Release massage which involved lots of moaning on my part. Although it's entirely possible that the masseuse also moaned.
There was also loads of food and drink, but long lines. You all know how I feel about long lines. My feet hurt. I only needed Powerade. So I did what any normal person would do and cut in line to grab one. (Yes, I am that woman.) Then it was off to the Hawk and Dove for a DC Tri brunch. French toast, and lots of it.
Here I am at mile 13,000: My legs! I can't feel my legs! Or see them! Photo courtesy DC Rainmaker