Nike Women’s Half Marathon Recap – #WeRunDC
Rise and Shine! Let’s run a Half Marathon! More specifically let’s run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon through the streets of Washington, DC. We got up bright and early at 4:45am to catch a metro and take the Orange line from Arlington into DC. We left around 5:45am which is a little earlier than we would have because I wanted to get there in time to catch the Half Fanatics photo.
Afterwards, we fought our way through the crowds to get to our “wave.” While waiting for the start we took more pics and I downed my first GU of the day, plain in case you were curious. I consumed another at mile 5 and one at mile 10ish… Salted Caramel and Espresso Love. YUM! My friends and I decided that if we were doing this together then matching t-shirts were a top priority. The front said “And She Ran Happily ever After” and the back said, “Proof that a pair of shoes can change your life!”
First off this course is majestic. Yes, Majestic. That is what the emcee said. I kid you not. It’s amazing. You run through some of the most beautiful and iconic parts of Washington, DC. It’s truly breathtaking. I run through the city often and I must admit they picked a fantastic route.
Course Support was on point and the weather was perfect. Overall it was a great race. The first 2 miles led us through DC around the Capitol. Then we turned off toward the Washington Monument through a tunnel. Inside the tunnel they had these awesome drummers. You could literally feel the energy.
Once through the tunnel, the Washington Monument was in site! You could also grab some oranges. I’m not 100% sure where they came from but my slice was delicious! (So in summary, I will eat oranges on a race and not even question where they come from)
So here is where I digress. At this point in the race my knee was already bothering me. Not just my knee though, a new torture arose, my IT Band. To all runners who suffer from IT Band issues… how do you do it? That was excruciating. So that was a new hell of which I was unfamiliar. I could of dealt with the knee alone, but when you add the 2 together… Holy HELL Batman. Not Cool & OUCH!
Then exactly when I needed it my husband surprised me! That’s right. He showed up on his bike with water, gummy bears, and peeps. 3 of my favorite things in the entire world. I am a very lucky lady.
From here we continued running. We passed the often forgotten WWI Memorial, which is one of my favorites. My great-grandfather earned his US Citizenship fighting for the United States during WWI. He was a Portuguese immigrant.
At this point we swung around the Lincoln Memorial, ran over the Arlington Memorial Bridge, bumped into my hubby again, ran back over the bridge and started running toward the Kennedy Center.
By now we’ve reached the 10K point and I’m in pain so we pull over for a stretching break.
After our stretching party that took place just shy of mile 7, we continued onto Hains Point. Here is where a person could easily loose their mind. It’s a little over three miles of blah. People are loosing steam and just stopping directly in front of you. We switched to a 2:2 minute interval rotation and Justine gave me her IT Band wrap. This helped so much. We pretty much kept a version of these interval splits for the remainder of the race.
These last few miles all kind of blur together. My leg/knee was killing me and all I could focus on was not laying in the soft looking grass and making dirt angels.
Finally we come out of Hains Point and start heading back to the finish. We’re almost there. (I think) Right before mile 12 we pass a wharf. Who knew there was one in DC? The smell left something to be desired. But then what do my wandering eyes appear! A Chocolate Aid Station. I’d heard about these!
I tried a piece and immediately spat it out. Sorry I’m not sorry. But the smell was perfect to counteract the wharf… After our chocolate zone break we were back in the tunnel! The drums still played and thankfully it was less congested. This part was actually quick enjoyable. Since most of it was a downhill we rode the momentum till we came out the other side.
There was one more aid station before the finish. We came back the way we entered the tunnel, but instead of going around the Capitol again we cut through a side street. It almost felt like a shortcut so mentally it was the perfect boost. Here’s where the intervals end and the jog to the finish begins. The finish line is in site and all I can think about is how proud I was of myself for pushing through and digging deep to finish the race.
But wait…. the clock says 3:12:??…. didn’t we cross at 13:?? Could we still pull off a sub 3 hour half marathon. So adrenaline kicked in and while were still 50ft from the finish, I start yelling to sprint!! That’s right we kicked it in strong and finished in 2:58:34!!! I had promised RockyMtnPearls that we would do a sub 3 and we did it!!
My only con of this whole race were the atrocious lines at the finisher area to do anything… So many lines. I gave up and ordered the finisher shirt online. I’m happy they gave us that option.
I also didn’t think I would like the finisher necklace as much as I do. This is a medal that you can wear any day you want. I like it cause I can use it to remind myself of what I am capable of accomplishing.
This was a fun race, in a great city. I loved running it with my best friends and I’m so happy everyday that we all somehow found running whether it was in middle school (justine and myself) or after graduating college (christine and amy).
Have you ever run a race with Nike? Did you run this one? Do you ever wear your medal after the official race day? What’s one thing that can make or break a race to you? Does your IT Band ever burn with the fire of a thousand suns?