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From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

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From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:41 pm

Well, maybe it wasn't the smartest decision that I have ever made, but I think I came out okay in spite of it. This past weekend, I ventured with three other running buddies from the Cleveland area to the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington, DC.  Normally, I would not have thought about running a half marathon 6 days after a full marathon (I might be a Marathon Maniac and Half Fanatic, but that is too close for me) except that this race is all women, raved about as lots of fun, lottery entry only, and the medal is Tiffany bling. I entered the lottery for the 2013 race and our group was not selected, so we entered for this years race, and lo and behold, we were.  My goal was if I was standing after Boston, I would go to DC and have a good time.  Running the half and getting the bling would be icing on the cake.

As many of you who know me or maybe even read this blog, you know that my focus this past Winter/early Spring (has Spring really come yet? It is 50F and raining here to day, or did it only come last Monday at Boston - but I digress) was indeed Boston 2014.  I set all my training designed and towards that goal, and I accomplished it running a 3:51:38 with only a 46 sec positive splits, evenly paced race (over the hills too!), and the best time that I had run on the course since 2001.  I felt vindicated, redeemed, and so revitalized after the race and since my soreness dissipated by Thursday, I figured that Sunday's half would be a go. 

I left for Washington, DC in the late afternoon on Friday, and when I arrived it was really raining hard.  I went to the Expotique (which was actually pretty lame and all Nike based - now I guess Nike is the main sponsor of the race, but really, just Nike and just buy me?) and met up with Amanda, Marian, and Lisa by chance in the Starbucks by the Expotique.  We ventured up to the Nike Georgetown store, broke down and did a little shopping, and I located my name on the wall where each runner for Sunday's race was listed.

After meeting up we ate dinner at a great local restaurant calling Founding Farmers which features only fresh ingredients from a farmer's cooperative.  I thought it would be local, but it turned out that many fo the ingredients came from a far in North Dakota - what????  It was still good and obviously the trendy place to be in DC for dinner as it was packed.  We decided to venture back to Georgetown on Saturday morning and make a little monetary damage and add to the local economy.  The weather was absolutely beautiful, so we had our picture taken in front of the wall again.
Lisa, Amanda, Me, and Marian

I then separated from the group and met up with running friends, Kevin and Vivian from the 365runners board.  I ran much of Boston 2013 with Vivian and both Kevin and I paced her in November to the end of the JFK 50. (the photo is from mile 42!)  It was great to see them as I had missed sharing Boston with them, and we decided to meet up again to pace our friends, Wendy and Tim (at least Wendy) through JFK this coming November. 
Vivian, Me, Kevin

Fast forward to race morning.  We got up early - actually awakened by a frantic phone call from Amanda at 4:55 am that the hotel fire alarm was going off.  Of course, it didn't go off on our end of the hotel, just the end where Amanda and Lisa were staying and they rushed down to the lobby.  Marian and I thought we had slept through the alarm, but it turned out to be a false one; however, it still got us up and ready for the 7 am race.  Here we are at the start of the race with the US Capital behind us.
Lisa, Marian, Me, Amanda

As much as I want to pick on Nike for the lousy facebook/app instructions for the race and all the marketing of the shirts, shoes, etc., the starting area logistics were tremendous.  In fact, 2nd to none.  There were 15,282 runners (all women with the exception of a few good men) including Shalane and Joanie (who had also run Boston) and singer, Ellie Goulding and there was ABSOLUTELY NO LINE FOR THE PORT-O-POTTIES. NONE, NADA.  This is unheard of in a race this big, but Nike had that down to a science and it was well received!
Shalane and Joanie addressing the 15000+ runners at the start.

I ran without a watch and took in the absolutely beautiful course.  The weather was pretty much as close to perfect as possible for an April morning even with the tough headwind during the latter miles on Haines Point. The course was similar to the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler with an added 3.1 miles and it wound around the city showing off several of the DC sites including the Capital, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, MLK Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, and even the Watergate Hotel (!).  There were drum bands at each bridge which was a nice and cool touch and the large WE RUN DC lit up sign in the tunnel at almost mile 12 was very cool as well.  My legs gave out at mile 9-10 while fighting the wind, but I just tried to keep as steady an effort as possible.  It was not about time, but more about finishing as strong and possible and getting to that bling.  I was indeed happy to see Lisa at close to the final mile and make the last turn to the finish line.  I was also pleasantly surprised to see a 1:45:41 finishing time as I crossed the line (it turned out to be good enough for 4th out of 532 in my AG (missed 3rd by less than a minute) and 633 out of the 15,282 total).  Not bad for 6 days out from Boston.  

Of course, this race is run for the bling and for the guys who present you with that little blue Tiffany's box.  


I'm definitely tired today, and I skipped my 5:50 am class, but I feel good as in nothing hurts, nothing is sore, and I am ready to get back in the swing for my next race on June 2nd.  Another all women's race (a 10K) in Dublin, Ireland!  
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Re: From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

Post  Jim Lentz on Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:33 pm

WOW!
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Re: From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

Post  JohnP on Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:49 pm

Great job, Michele, sounds like a very fun weekend. I wish they would show other races how to have no lines, most of the time the wait in line is ridiculous.
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Re: From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

Post  Alex Kubacki on Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:56 am

As usual another outstanding race under your belt. Looks like it was fun. And I'll echo John on the - no line thing. 

I signed up for Buffalo so I will see you there.
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Re: From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

Post  Dave-O on Fri May 02, 2014 12:38 pm

Hey, I was in DC too!  But I just drank and hung out.  Shots 

Sounds like a fun time. We saw the crowds as we were heading to the Bulls-Wizards game on Sunday morning.
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Re: From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

Post  Mark B on Fri May 02, 2014 3:43 pm

Nice way to put a little Tiffany-enhanced frosting on your Boston cake, Michele! Sounds like a great time. Nice bling!

I'd say it'd be hard to top these two races, but a 10K in Dublin pretty much meets the standard. Have a great time!  Very Happy 
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Re: From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

Post  Jerry on Fri May 02, 2014 4:33 pm

I am still sore and have a little feeling in my right hip that the longest I have jogged is 3 miles. This quick recovery is not something I can ever match.

Great job, Michele!
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Re: From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

Post  Julie on Fri May 02, 2014 9:25 pm

Wow, great work and so soon after Boston!
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Re: From Boston to DC - Nike Women's Half

Post  KBFitz on Sun May 04, 2014 4:44 pm

Shalane, Joanie and Bling ... Oh My! Finishing in only 1:45 only six days after a hard run Boston is an incredible achievement. I stand in awe!
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