nike women’s half marathon dc – the finish line

bermy runs
bermy runs
Although I wore the same top and similar pants, this picture was taken right before my bikini competition last fall as part of the fitness inspired photos I took. Just so you know, if it’s not obvious already, this was completely staged… I mean who runs over rocks anyways? (that’s just asking for a sprained ankle). I remember when I got the pictures from the photographer I felt indifferent about the “running” pictures, it’s just not me… I’m not a runner. Looking back at this picture doesn’t change that, I’m still not a runner but I do feel good about saying that I am an athlete.

race week
Last week I mentioned how bad I’ve been with the training program and this past week wasn’t any different. The last two weeks prior to race day I ran once, for 5 miles, that’s it. The lack of adherence to the training plan made me a bit nervous about race day. I tried not to set any major expectations although I secretly wanted to finish within 2 hours but my real goal was to complete the entire race without stopping. You could’ve asked me what my goal was when I started training and it would’ve been “to finish” but my training gave me the confidence to know that finishing it wasn’t the real hurdle. I wanted to push myself and I knew that being able to run all 13.1 miles without walking would mean a lot more than my previous goal once did.

dc
Before I get to the actual race day details, there’s no way I could go to DC without satisfying my inner tourist. All day Saturday, Dave and I walked all over DC hitting the major tourist attractions. There were very few things we didn’t see but just to name a few: U.S. Capital, National Mall, White House, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veteran’s Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial. We walked everywhere; I’m going to estimate that it was around 5 miles, I was exhausted! This was also Dave’s first time in DC.
Half Marathon 013

the expo
The expo was fun; my favorite part was the motivation wall which was the first thing you saw as you entered the tent. The chip on the bib recognized your name and a few seconds later a personalized message appeared on the wall. This was super exciting and such a neat feature, good job Nike. It was a bit tough anticipating where my name would come up and coordinating a picture… let’s just say a took a few tries. If you were there and saw a crazy person going in and out of the tent there’s a good chance that was me lol :)
Half Marathon 003

the crew
The only reason why I even decided to do this was because of my friend Arlenis (I mentioned this in my initial post). She’s a little fireball; she never ceases to amaze me. She ran this race after having broken her tail bone a few weeks back and still managed to complete the race in an awesome time. Now she’s trying to recruit more of our friends for next year’s event… so sneaky! Her cousin also joined us.
Half Marathon 010   Half Marathon 007

Dave thought I was crazy from the very beginning yet supported me the entire way. Around mile 7 I saw him on the sidelines, I even managed to squeeze in a quick kiss which was a great boost for the rest of the race. After I was done he asked if I was considering a full marathon (which I’m not) but if I was, he wanted to kow if there was anything he could say to talk me out of it lol. Let’s just say running over 2 miles is amazing to him; he did promise me he’ll run a 5K with me. In that case, we can be amazing together.
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the course
The course was relatively flat with a little bit of an incline in the beginning and the end with most of it being along the shore of the Potomac River. It passed right in front of the U.S. Capitol and also graced other top attractions like the National Mall, WWII Memorial, Reflecting Pool, and Lincoln Memorial. The weather was great, around mid-60’s but it was a bit windy. I purchased a long sleeve shirt branded with the event the day before that I ended up taking with me and I’m glad I did because it was a quite chilly especially in the beginning. I ended up taking it off and wrapping it around my hips before mile 7.
Half Marathon 008
There were over 15k runners! For me, this was specifically noticeable during the first mile; runners were running at different paces (some were walking) which caused me to either slow down or zig-zag around them. After the initial mile, I tried to keep my pace throughout the course. I picked up my pace in the last mile which took a lot out of me; I was really exhausted and there was a bit of an uphill around the 20k mark. The final chip time is noted below for the various markers and the finish; I averaged a 9:29 pace and happy to say that I didn’t stop once, which I was very happy about.
Race Results
I can’t say whether I’ll do this again but for now I’m happy to have done it (I got the tiffany’s necklace to prove it!). The better question is what shall I get myself into next? I have a few ideas up my sleeve ;)
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ready or not, here I come

5miler
taper week
And by taper, do you mean drastically? In that case we are doing just fine… just kidding… well maybe. I can’t believe it’s race week already, I’ve seriously surprised myself through this entire process. I was intimated at first but it’s amazing the things you can accomplish with a little bit of determination, some motivation, a whole lot of heart. I ran 5 miles this past week near where my parents live in NH. I knew that if I was going to run at all I needed to do it then so I packed a bag with my shoes and running clothes and went for a run while the fam chit-chatted after Easter dinner. The particular path I took had a lot of rolling hills which was good since I’ve had little exposure to it while training. The actual race path has a few of them although it’s relatively flat which is great for noobs like me :). My long runs have averaged about a 10 minute pace so that’s about where I’m hoping to be on race day. Unfortunately work has been kinda crazy lately so I haven’t been able to run as much as I’ll like and overall running in general has tapered considerably, not just this week but the last few weeks. However, having been on point with the training prior to this has given me the confidence I needed. I’m not intimidated anymore, I got this… here I come.

catch me if you can

Pano
peak week
This past week I ran twice. I’m obviously not keeping up with the training program but Kenne said that if I’m able to keep up with the long runs I should be fine and so far I am so, I’m gonna take her word for it. I did five miles on Saturday (9:09 pace) and 12 miles on Sunday (10:09 pace). That’s the most I’ve ever ran and it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. There’s a nice sweet spot, usually after mile 4 where I get in the zone and just run, and run and I don’t need to stop. This time I made just one stop because I saw this beautiful lake view and I just had to take a picture, I had to. I mean how else would I have documented my run if not with a nature picture? :) After that I pretty much ran the rest of the way which hands down is the longest I’ve ran without stopping but it felt really good. I would love to be able to say that I ran my first half marathon non-stop but it’s better not to set any expectations especially since it’ll be hard to control my twitchy fingers with my camera. I’m such a sucker for pictures. ugh.
thumbsup

a camera is a save button for the mind’s eye

Week9Resultsnine down, three to go
If you are keeping up with my weekly training posts you’ll notice I’m not doing too good on following the plan. This past week I only ran 3 times and only got about half of the total mileage for the week. It is what it is. Apparently it’s “busy season” at work. damn it.

increase intensity
Week 9 is designed as the “increase intensity” week. I ran a total of 17.93 miles and my average pace was 9:41. My longest run this week was 9.5 miles. Running long distances wears me out, I need to schedule a nap after my long run or I feel like a zombie the entire day but the last few Saturdays I’ve had things to do that doesn’t allow me to nap… ugh. The fun part has been choosing where to go run This past week and the one before that I’ve intentionally picked ones near the coast, it gives me a nice view and it keeps me cool. Who knew that running could take me to all these awesome places :). I guess the only problem is that I make frequent stops for pictures lol oops. But seriously though… I do it for the pictures.
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the voice in your head that says you can’t do it is a liar

Week8Results eight down, four to go
Can’t believe it’s April already but the countdown has begun because I have a little less than 4 weeks left. As if running wasn’t hard enough I’m currently traveling for work so that’s making even tougher to get my runs in. This past week I actually woke up early to run. As in the first thing in the morning, as in wake up to go to the gym… to run. Who am I? Ok, I’ll stop being dramatic but I’ve never done that and to be honest I didn’t like it. I felt weak during the run and I really struggled to get through it. Granted I ran on the treadmill so I’m not sure if it would be different if I ran outdoors. This is mostly because work has been so exhausting lately that I don’t have much energy to do much of anything by the end of the work day, let alone run. This upcoming week unfortunately is not looking any better; but I’m trying, I am… I really am. I’m shooting for running at least 4 times a week so let’s see how that goes.

maintain fitness
Week 8 is designed as the “maintain fitness” week. I ran a total of 22.33 miles and my average pace was 9:44. My longest run this week was 11 miles. During my long run this week I took a Gu Energy Gel around mile 7. Kenne gave it to me, it was the “Espresso Love” flavor, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Honestly I don’t know if I needed it, that morning I ate oatmeal and I think it was enough to fuel my run. I just need to figure out what works best for me so I’ll know what to do on race day. I know I still have about 4 more weeks left but I feel ready. This being my first half-marathon I don’t have any major expectations, I just want to finish and my training so far has given me the confidence to know I can do it.
longrunweek8

we can’t control the wind, but we can direct the sail

Week7Results seven down, five to go
I feel pretty good about my progress so far. This post will be relatively short; I’m trying to stick with the plan as much as possible but dealing with a few personal matters is making it a bit tough but I’ve been consistently running 4-5 times a week so I feel good about that… so I guess you can say it’s been smooth sailing. This week will bring additional challenges as I’ll be traveling for work but I packed my running shoes so I have no excuse.

test your limits
Week 7 is designed as the “test your limits” week. I ran a total of 22.8 miles and my average pace was 9:50. My longest run this week was 7.68 miles. I intentionally deviated from the plan this week; I skipped Wednesday’s run because my knees were hurting from Tuesday’s 7 mile run. I also decided to run a 10K with Kenne on Saturday so it cut my long run short. We ran a local race, the starting line was a little bit over a mile away from my house so we decided to run there which added to my total mileage for the day. We could have run back but we walked instead because well, I was exhausted! This run provided a new accomplishment for me. I ran the entire thing non-stop so although I didn’t run the 10 miles it did “test my limits” in a different way. It was very challenging but I did it and I was so proud. I finished at 59:14 giving me a 9:32 pace, ranking 19 in the 20-29 female age group. Kenne wasn’t too far behind me and according to her it was a good run for her as well. The course had a few rolling hills but I was able to keep a decent pace. The best part was being able to run with Kenne and although she has a pile of bibs from different races this is the first one we do together.

photo 3     photo 2

keep calm and stay positive

Week 6 Results six down, six to go
We are at the half way mark! This week was so much better. After feeling completely deflated and losing hope last week things started to turn around! I made an appointment with a podiatrist who told me it’s either tendonitis or small tear which makes sense since it’s it’s very isolated to a specific spot on my foot. It’s only painful when my foot is enclosed (i.e.wearing shoes) as oppose to wearing flats or being barefoot. He gave me adhesive felt padding to put on either side of the tendon to alleviate the pressure from the shoes. This was my saving grace! That same day after having just left my appointment I went on a run. That was on Tuesday and per plan I was supposed to do 7 miles but ran 4.5 miles instead and I would’ve done more if it wasn’t because it was getting dark :). My doctor said that it seems minor so if the padding works (which it does) then it shouldn’t stop me from training… so it’s game on!
speed sharpening
Week 6 is designed as the “speed sharpening” week. I ran a total of 20.61 miles and my average pace was 9:40. My longest run this week was 9.04 miles. After my long run this week my left calves and knee was hurting a bit so I’ll have to make sure to stretch and keep an eye on it. I’m just glad to know that I’ll be able to finish what I started so I’m trying to keep a comfortable, steady pace to keep up on my endurance. So let’s just say there was no “speed sharpening” this week but I’m just glad to be back on track.
life savers   late night run