National Half Marathon Race Report Part 2

by - 8:00 AM

Race day:


There's nothing like an alarm clock blaring at 4:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning to startle you out of your sleep. I think this was probably the best I've ever slept the night before a race, and man that alarm going off was a rude awakening.

But I crawled out bed, got dressed and was ready to go pretty quickly. 

I made my PB bagel to take with me to eat on the metro (breaking all kinds of rules, but who was going to arrest me at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday)

When BF and I got to RFK stadium I immediately hit the line for the porta-potties. Got through it much quicker than last week and then headed inside the Armory to keep warm.

Lots of people stretching and staying warm.
See I'm totally awake and ready!
In case you didn't believe it before, here's two thumbs up for being ready.
My knee's ready too, all taped up!

With about 20 minutes to start time, it was time for another porta-potty stop. Nothing like being in the porta-potty for the singing of the National Anthem. 

I headed to the start line, handed BF my sweatshirt and next thing I know we were off.

The corrals weren't labeled all that clearly, or maybe I was just confused because I was in a rush to get to the start, but somehow I found myself with the 8-minute milers. OOopsies. Needless to say plenty of people zoomed past me in the first two miles.

The first two miles sucked. I felt slow, my legs were cold and not warmed up and my hands were freezing. I busted out the iPod a little past mile two and somehow the shuffle gods must have known I needed some serious pump-up music because that's what iPod played.

By the time I hit mile 5 I was in cruise mode and felt like I could run forever. Not a bad feeling to have a few miles less than half way. I was walking through water stations as per my usual plan and making good time. 

Miles 6, 7 and 8 just flew by. There were some pretty big uphill climbs during these miles that I walked up, which I think helped save my legs for later in the race. I took my first gel just before the 10K mark.

There was supposed to be gel on the course at mile 7, but they were out of it by the time I got there. Seriously?! I got there in about 1:12ish and they were already out. That was the first point of really poor planning on this race. 

The second point of poor planning I noticed in the later miles at the water and Powerade stops. They had run out of cups. No I'm not kidding. If you wanted something to drink you had to wait in line and chug it out of the pitcher after the person in front of you. I had water with me so I didn't do that until mile 11 when I was in some desperate need of Powerade. Not only is that kind of gross (helllloo that dude could have all kinds of diseases) but it cost me some serious time. 

I took my second gel around mile 9.5 and was feeling really strong through mile 11. 

As I approached mile 12, my legs were starting to fatigue and I really wished I had that third gel from the course just to get me through the last 1.1 miles. I never felt like I hit the wall but I was tired. 

I walked parts of 12, including the uphill toward the finish. But when I hit the mile marker for 13 I started running again. About 200 yards out from the finish I turned on my final kick only to run smack into a wall of slow moving cluster-fuckage at the finish line. I was sooo annoyed. There was an old couple slowing down to hold hands to cross the finish line so they could get their picture taken. Fine, fine, nothing wrong with that, in fact it was kind of cute. I swerved around them, but then got boxed in by two more people who wouldn't move.

I was literally steps from the finish line and couldn't get across. Finally I was pissed and zipped around one girl and kind of hip checked her by accident and crossed in front of her. I didn't mean to be rude, but I was so close and just wanted to finish strong and she was in my way and not doing anything to scoot over. She probably thinks I'm an uber-bitch. Oh, well.

Anyway, I was elated when I looked at my watch and saw how well I'd done. I had almost zero knee pain. It was a little sore,  but nothing to write home about. My legs were beat though. I was so tired and focused on calling my mom and telling her the good news that I almost forgot to get my medal. Haha. 

Before I had a chance to call, my friends found me and were like jumping up and down with excitement because they had seen me finish. (They had just missed me in Baltimore). BF missed me finish by two minutes because he was on his way to the finish line from one of the other mile markers and I finished faster than the time I told him. I wasn't really that upset about it, I was too happy to have finished well. We grabbed some food, took some pictures and then headed home, tired, but happy.

My college roommates made some great signs.
They also decided it would be fun to make some more PG-13 rated signs. (The one in the middle says 13.1, half the distance, twice the fun...still very PG)
Here's me with the girls
And me and the BF
Random candid shot of me chugging some water.
Me and my friend Sam's boyfriend Steve who also ran the half.

There was this random tennis ball mascot at the end that Emily wanted to get a picture with

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20 comments

  1. great race recap, pics and congrats again on a great race! love the signs. your one friend thinks you fall over dead at the finish line it looks like ;)

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  2. Pavement fears you! I love that sign. LOL

    Great race report. Congrats!!

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  3. Looks fantastic -- LOVE the signs, too. Congrats on doing such a great job!

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  4. Cool! great signs, glad you had a fun race.

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  5. Great race! I think it's so wonderful that you have support like that.

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  6. Jess, great job! I loved your race report. I'm so glad the knee held up and you got your PR!

    I saw you are also running the Baltimore-10; so am I. I ran it last year, and it should be a good race (and the race premium is nice too)!

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  7. awesome report and race jess!!! love all the pics :)

    gah what is with the finish line?!?! i would have done the same thing, that is annoying not to be able to get to it!!

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  8. ohh I love their signs!! having fans is so helpful!

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  9. Great job on the race! That's so funny about the end, that would drive me CRAZY! When I get to the end of a run I just want to be finished, so I would hate to have people blocking my way!

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  10. Great race report!! You had so many great fans out there! Congrats!

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  11. Nobody should be smiling that early in the morning ;-) That is awesome! except, of course, the stupid race running out of cups. Who does that? But you did fantastic and your knee was VERY cooperative. Congratulations!!!

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  12. HAHAHAHA!! "Get Some Head(Way)!"

    Classic. I had to click on that pic cause I couldn't make out what it said. Glad I did.

    Great job and great report, sister.

    Why do you still look so fresh after a half-marry in those post-run pix? I'd be flat on my @$$(phalt).

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  13. Great race, despite the minor glitches! That's crazy that the finish line was so crowded, I've never heard of that happening!

    Love your friends' signs...awesome support!

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  14. sooo fun! And even if they ran out of stuff, it still sounds more prepared then the only 1/2 I've ran so far!

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  15. Love the pic with the two thumbs up! Great race, Jess! Way to go!

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  16. Love the signs! Congrats on the race and nice job on the race report!

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  17. Hi Jess

    Congrats!!

    I really enjoyed your race report and the fact that you had to push your way across the line is just part of being a runner.

    I loved the signs and was cracking up laughing... those are some great roomates.

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  18. I am so happy for you. A great race AND no significant knee pain! :) I would've been super annoyed if I couldn't get to the finish line, too! At that point you just want to be done! Nothing else matters.

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  19. Congrats! I can't believe they ran out of cups! That is beyond absurd, and definitely really poor planning.

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  20. Hey girl congrats on the half! What an accomplishment I remember from the PT days, way to come back baby!

    You are looking fantastic!

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