Killing It With Nike
The anxiety had built up for about two weeks before the race. Sure, it was 13.1 miles, a distance that shouldn’t faze me with a few marathons on these legs already. But this half-marathon was proving time. Could I handle long distances again without an injury repeat? Would my newfound love of trail-running translate to success on the road? Were these brutal track workouts really worth it?
The Nike Women’s Half Marathon responded with a resounding yes. I was ready, I was fast, and it was awesome.
Having not run the half distance in a couple years, I gave myself a wide goal: anywhere between 1:50 and 1:59. I kept my adrenaline in check during the first few miles, logging miles just slightly faster than my goal pace. Running on my home turf after spending the past year away definitely helped. The course led us on Pennsylvania Ave. toward the Capitol before shooting us through the 9th Street Tunnel and onto a tour de landmarks, including Washington Monument, Arlington National Cemetery, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Memorial and so on. I’ve always been an oddball for loving Hains Point — most D.C. runners’ least favorite racing locale due to its cross-winds and lack of spectators — but the little peninsula in the Potomac was tough on me for this race, too. My pace lagged on the west side of the park, but I picked it up again after passing the monster support sections from Team in Training and the November Project. From there, I sailed home with a finishing time of 1:50:07.
I was ecstatic about my time (if only I had kicked sooner to shave off those seven seconds). The hard work paid off, and the race went perfectly. Special thanks to my personal cheering team: my boyfriend Dave and awesome friend/fellow runner Sarah, who dashed around the course to holler at me when I needed it.
I traveled to D.C. with my Portland friend and workout buddy Molly, who also nailed a kickass PR. We both had a stellar experience at every turn of race weekend. The expo was expertly organized, the weather was gorgeous, and the event went off without a hitch. I had worried the Nike race would not live up to the hype, but it definitely exceeded my expectations.
And now, onto the next. I’m running the Rock ‘n Roll Portland half in two weeks, and I’m psyched. Setting another PR and going sub-1:50 would be great, but I’m not going to stress about it. I met my goal at the Nike race, so RnR is about enjoying the miles during my final race in Portland before I move back to D.C. for good in June.