National Half Marathon Race Recap – RUN This Town

As if I didn’t already feel at “home” in DC, we added a race to this trip because it was more than appropriate. Here, I learned what running meant to me. I met my running buddies, and best friends.

DC.NationalHalf 095 DC.NationalHalf 099 DC.NationalHalf 103
DC.NationalHalf 104

I haven’t raced since a little 5K in November; I had not put any time goals on this particular event; I wanted to run, enjoy and soak it in.

RunDC We woke up early to some cold morning temps, and spent an hour staying warm in the Armory with thousands of other runners. We had no nerves or anxiety – “only”13.1 for Ivan, Epod & I this time! – just some sleepy eyes that were mesmerized by Kate’s attire:

katespants!Yes, she discarded those pajama pants. But if you saw the crops underneath, you’d call those an appetizer. She wasn’t hard to find on the course!

Finally filling in the corrals around 6:50 a.m., the sun was waking up and we were getting ready to press “start” on the watches! Corral 3 crossed around 2 minutes after the clock; time to run!

DC.NationalHalf 114
Miles 1-3        8:39, 8:12, 7:51
Start conservative, you can always go faster at the end.
I felt nothing outside of the norm, I was surprised by the quick drop to sub-8s, but it was partially downhill and we were running along the mall – adrenaline and landscape in my favor! Go with it.

Miles 4-7 7:40, 7:57, 7:44, 8:05
I saw Anne!! It’s hard to miss the blonde hair and red Camelbak, I was so excited to say hi and enjoy a few strides with a familiar face.
We moved up; from Constitution Ave the course tackles 18th street North to Dupont Circle, and it’s a slight climb. We head under the circle and then up Connecticut Avenue. Those splits don’t hide where the hills were, but I felt amazing nonetheless. These were my old early-morning stomping grounds with Kate, these were the streets I missed.

Miles 8-12      7;41, 7:30, 7:16, 7:09, 7:22
Passing through Howard University was the next best supported area – DJs blasting some hip-hop, students dancing to cheer on the runners, and a few downhill stretches (finally). I kept seeing my splits and wondering how much faster I could get – I stopped caring if I might eventually get too tired, because what if I didn’t?

I saw Kate & Sam (her training/racing buddy) up ahead and sped up to catch them and let her know “you look awesome!” and “keep going strong!”; I saw the “1:45” pace group and then said “Sorry to jet, but I’ve gotta pass these guys…see you at the Finish!”

The song I had been waiting for couldn’t have had better timing – Run this Town finally filled my ears and provoked the speed boost. There isn’t a town I love running any more than this one! With the Capitol building back in view, I knew the end was close and I knew my PR (1:43:19) was done.

Time to replace it!

DC.NationalHalf 081 Miles 13 – 13.1    7:03, 6:48 (0.1)

I had gas in the tank and a grin from ear to ear – I had no idea my legs were up for this kind of race, and I kept expecting to crash. It never happened, and the last kick came too easily. I stopped the Garmin right after crossing, and immediately let that PR-High take over.

DC.NationalHalf 107 DC.NationalHalf 108

Garmin Results: 13.21 , 1:41:35, 7:40 avg
Preliminary Race Results*: 1:42:02
Gender: 247 / 5231
Age Div.: 50 / 766
Overall: 1076 / 9250

*I stopped and started G right at the start/finish line, so I’m not sure where those extra 30 seconds come in? Either way, it’s a personal best by over a minute, so I’ll take it.

DC.NationalHalf 110 DC.NationalHalf 112

DC.NationalHalf 115 medals


Lessons always learned: trust your training, let the adrenaline of being in one of your favorite cities carry you, and run with friends! Also, a glass of wine the night before won’t hurt you, as long as you counter it with water!

HUGE Congrats to Ivan & Epod for having an awesome race, too (and a PR)!

An even bigger Congrats to Kate, for blowing our minds with a 3:27 Marathon Finish (her first 26.2)!!! Just, amazing.

Don’t be afraid to push the barriers; you’ve only set them up yourself, and you can take them down. Run strong, and see what happens.

Some above photos are courtesy of the Runographer – thanks, friend!



Filed under DC, good days, pictures, race report, running, running buddy, things I Love

38 responses to “National Half Marathon Race Recap – RUN This Town

  1. Love this and I now know I MUST do a race in DC. MUST.

    You really killed it with your time and it’s intersting that you didn’t even set out to do so. It was so natural. Congrulations!!

  2. I LOOOOOOOOoove that medal! 🙂 And the awesome race recap. Congratulations again on the BIG PR! 🙂

  3. Abby

    Great job with the PR! Love your ending note!

  4. Over a minute PR?!?!? Way to rock it girl! I am so glad you had such a wonderful race to add to a great trip back “home”. 🙂

  5. You know, I live here and I still get excited reading the way you describe running in DC.

    Congrats on the PR, you earned it!

    • Heather C

      Thanks 🙂 I have a feeling most of our trips back (which will be many, obviously) will involve a race. And mimosas!

  6. Elizabeth

    Ditto DCR. When we run down Constitution and then up through Adams Morgan I can’t *not* have a smile on my face. And my heart bursts a little bit with how much I love it here.

  7. Joslynn

    Congrats Heather! That is so awesome about your PR! A glass of wine will not do damage…but more than two is probably bad. I hope you had a great time in DC! Rest those legs up and stretch out in some yoga! Again congrats on training!

  8. mamacita

    Love this blog and all the great pics. We are so proud of you!! You had a wonderful race. So looking forward to watching you (and L) cross the finish line next weekend. Love you so much!


  9. Ahhh congrats!!!! I PRed on Saturday too! Such a great race!

  10. Um I hope you know how AMAZING YOU ARE! I am SO proud of you. You OWNED it!!

    Love this recap!!

  11. Jamie

    Awesome race! I wonder if I will ever be able to run that fast?

  12. Congrats Heather! I love that you said “what if your legs don’t get tired?” because I feel like I am always being extra careful for the “what if” but don’t think about what if it doesn’t happen. Interesting!

  13. wow. you make it seem so easy! congrats again on a super race – DC was glad to have you back! 🙂

  14. peace out PR! Heck ya. I’m so impressed with your race… and a sub 7 final mile? Uh… YUP! 😀

  15. You are a rock star! Loved this post-gave me some goosebumps and got me excited about all my upcoming spring races! Keep on kicking butt!

  16. wow! congrats on such an awesome race!! 🙂

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  18. Awesome post!! I loved running into you along the way and I’m so proud of both of us for rocking it! Totally agree that for most of the race I couldn’t help but smile – it was just so nice to be home 🙂


  19. I want to see DC! You make it sound so amazing.

    Congrats on a killer race!!! If there’s one thing I’m learning, it’s that going in without nerves/expectations is about the best thing you can do on race day!


  20. Loved reading every word of this! It’s such a rush to read about race experiences since they are all different. I love your thought processes and think that all the running and speed work you’ve done this spring in the altitude has made you an even stronger runner! You inspire me to keep running, training and racing. xoxo

  21. ahhh, yes!!! Nice time friend. I love how you just went out there and gave it your all and PR’d. But overall, you enjoyed it. Thats the best!

  22. I found your blog via Shut Up and Run. You are too cute! I literally JUST started a blog and mimicked your blog name because I have no creativity and felt like my lack of deciding on a title was keeping me from starting a blog haha. Nice PR! That’s annoying about the Garmin time vs chip. I believe your Garmin. I have it in black but I must say, the green-ish is cuter.

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  24. Holy speedster, lady! Awesome race in a great city!

  25. Congrats on the great race and new PR!

  26. Way to go Heather!!! Congratulations! I loved reading all the recaps from the national half — so fun that there were so many bloggers!

  27. Wahooooo!!! Next goal?? in the 1:30s!!! Your amazing! So proud of you! great job!

  28. Wow! That is an incredible PR!! Not that I had any doubt you’d do great. My favorite part of this post? This line:

    Don’t be afraid to push the barriers; you’ve only set them up yourself, and you can take them down. Run strong, and see what happens.

    I need to take that with me next time I face a big race like this one. Love it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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