Race day arrived for the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon!
It turned out to be my fastest run yet! Net time was 1:56:16 @ an 8:52 minute pace. My previous fastest time was the 2012 half marathon, which was 1:22 seconds slower. It’s a bit baffling – all that work to just shave off one minute and 22 seconds!? Crazy, but still very much worth it.
In general the race went really well. Starting with a stress-free arrival! I made it to the Washington Monument at the 30-minute pre-race sweet spot, which was perfect to hop in a porta-john line, drop my bag, take a few last sips of water and line-up in a pace group. I even took a last minute outfit photo to send to Lesley and Kelsey who would be watching!
Throughout the race I held paces ranging from 8:27 to an unfortunate 9:11 at the 9 mile mark. I felt myself loosing steam so I took a few bites of the energy bar I packed along, and let me tell you – it is both difficult and stressful to try to chew as fast as possible to get moving again. Would not recommend when trying to get a PB!On another note, I’m just so thankful to have had friends watching along the way – at 6, 12 and 12.5 miles! Lesley snapped the “almost-there” photos from the end of the Arlington Memorial Bridge, both this year and in 2012 (in yellow)! Pretty hilarious. Personalized cheers were the best type of pump-up encouragement before the final stretch!
Then post race, I couldn’t resist a ceremonial finisher photo:
And then… ate a banana, drank some water and procrastinated running my cool down “5-7ish miles” to check off this week’s 20 mile marathon training run. I ended up with 3 miles of struggle. To the point where it was so very much not enjoyable that I figured I better stop before I hurt myself too much (physically or mentally). On the bright side, I still got in a combined 16 miles!
Races can just be magical – the pump-up music in the corral, cheers, from both spectators and runners, the endorphins… it’s all pretty great. So fantastic that that I’m still looking forward to the next one in just five weeks!?