Saturday, October 12, 2013

Race Review: Navy-Air Force Half Marathon DC

9/14/13 was the 2nd annual NavyAir-Force Half.    
Registration and Cost:  $90-$110 depending on when you register.  Discounts for active and retired military
Transfers Allowed?: Yes
Size: 6,500 - 8,500 runners
Expo and Packet Pick-Up: The Expo and packet pick up was a little out of the way.  We had to head onto base for the expo.  Most DC races have an expo downtown somewhere as opposed to outside the city.  Their website says for 2014 that they are working on an off base location this year for the expo.  I have heard that it will be Nationals Stadium with the Presidents from the Nats Games!  Yeah!  The expo last year was fairly small, which was okay....I usually don't spend too much time at them.  The only expos that I have loved have been MCM, RnR, and NWM.  I headed to the expo towards the end of the day and they were out of small shirts.  Which was okay with me since uni-sex sizing never works for me...even if they had a small! 
Course and Race Setting:  You can't beat the setting of this race!  It's when the mornings in DC are just starting to be crisp and cool.  Perfect running weather!  We start and finish at the Washington Monument, pass many great memorials and run through Rock Creek Park. 
The Race: I had been sick all week with strep throat (I get it a lot due to my huge tonsils) and was still on antibiotics the morning of the race.  I got up that morning almost thinking I wasn't going to do it at all.  My husband encouraged me to just head to the start line and I could always drop out if I needed to.  I made a plan in my head that when I was to see them at mile 4-5, I would probably stop.  I had no time goals in my head, I wasn't even thinking about finishing.      
The first two miles were tight.  I never seem to consider myself a "good enough" runner to start near the front of the pack, so I always squeeze into a far back corral and pay for it for the first two to three miles as I jockey for position and dart in between and around those running at a slower pace.  That part is always exhausting.  Then something amazing happened, it just felt great.  The cool crisp weather and the beautiful course through Rock Creek Park really energized me. 

I started waving and smiling the whole way.  I gave kids high fives and screamed "I love you guys!" to my husband and daughter as I ran past.  I kept looking down at my Garmin and it was saying my pace was about an 8:04 and I kept thinking that can't be correct, but kept going with it.

As I came down the final hill and could see the time clock, I threw my hands in the air because I just couldn't believe it!  A 1:46 with being sick and not putting in the training that I knew I should have been doing.  A 1:46 at a race, I wasn't even thinking I could finish.  Our bodies can be amazing sometimes. 

My husband said the finish line photo looks like I won the race and honestly I felt like I did.  I was so shocked and amazed! 

This is a great race at a great time of year.  I would definitely run it again.  It's a very familiar course but a great one.

Grade: A

1 comment:

  1. Congrats - that's so fabulous! I ran my first half marathon with bronchitis, and felt good during the race. It was after when I took a sharp turn for the worse that I wondered if it was a good idea. :) I should check out that race next year, I love RC Park.