All of the things that are exciting about the Inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC, and some of the things that aren’t:
I have to start off this post by saying that last night I met Sanya Richards Ross at run club! Last night’s run club was not the usual easygoing get together, but really an event. A lot of people have started coming into town for the race on Sunday and the Nike store was gearing up for it. Last night they launched the NWM Half DC Tiffany’s blue shoe line, so there was a massive amount of women in the store to buy them. (Okay yes, the main shoe is pretty, but it’s expensive…and wouldn’t people be too scared to wear it out? I like shoes but I have a pair to run in and that’s enough for me.) Anyways, there was also a DJ, free Jamba Juice and Luna bars, and a special Q&A with Sanya Richards Ross. Want to know how I got to meet her though?? Well, we finally got out for our run at about 7. There was a four mile and a two mile distance. Uncharacteristically, I chose to do 2 miles since a) I’ve been trying to get un-injured and b) hello?! there’s a race on Sunday which means it’s taper week! To shorten the story, myself and the pacer that was leading the 2 mile group came back first. As a special surprise for being the first back, I got to take part in a meet and greet with her along with about 10 people. I think she is about as down-to-earth and real as an Olympian can get. Basically, I’m still riding a high from meeting her and feeling good about how my run felt last night.
Today I went to the Expo and picked up my bib, etc. I wasn’t able to change my corral, so I’ll see if anyone at run club tomorrow is able to switch my wristband for me. If not, I’ll just try to be at the front of my corral. Now I am not a snob who thinks I am faster and needs to be ahead of every one else (because I certainly am not and am still fairly new to running). My issue is with the crowds. I get anxiety and can see myself getting distracted – I know I already get frustrated enough trying to navigate around the tourists in DC. It is true, my pace average is faster than the corral I’m in, but I also just want to be up where I can feel a little less surrounded by so many people. I will definitely need to practice my mental game before I get out there.
Let’s see, other pre-race thoughts…
I’ve tried to load up on the carbs a little more this week, but with how busy I’ve been I’m just bad at it. I did eat some pasta of sorts when I got home last night, which is a rarity for me. I plan to eat rice, roasted veggies, and salad tonight and tomorrow to prepare for the race.
I am confident and know I am well-prepared for the half. I think my legs will feel fine once I get into my stride and they warm up a bit. I hope. I just need to remind myself not to go out too fast, as enticing as it is.
I expect that cell service and thus services such as the Nike+ app and Pandora will be slow, if operating at all, on race day due to the amount of people. I have a couple of running playlists on my phone but usually listen to Pandora. I will need to compile a larger list of songs with more variety than I currently have to get me through the ~2 hours.
I’m definitely wearing my LuluLemon shorts on race day. Since we never got a Nike+ Run Club DC shirt, I would like to wear my Auckland, NZ one. But, it isn’t of the highest quality and I feel I should wear my Under Armour shirt because it will the most comfortable. Of course, I will get flack from the run club crew as usual for wearing Under Armour.
One of my worries is being well-rested. It was a pretty stressful start to the week so I was getting closer to 6 hours of sleep a night. Now that my schedule allows more sleep, my mind is pretty much solely on the race and my mind races at night with excitement (pun intended). There are some brief hints of nerves starting to kick in, but so far I’m able to quickly overcome them again with excitement. I won’t truly get nervous or antsy until either the moment things start getting crowded on the morning of the race or in the 15 minutes leading up to the start. It’s kind of like when I went skydiving last year: I was the only person who was calm and not nervous at all until my nerves took hold the moment I was sitting on the edge of the plane being told to lean back before getting pushed out.
I can’t wait for it to be Sunday, and while running is fun, I am doing this more to better my running. That being said, I have heard great things about all the fun that goes on during Nike races. I want to participate and take it all in, but at the same time I don’t want it to distract me from my goals.
I am excited for a brief run club tomorrow, a day full of eating, and an evening at the free Ellie Goulding concert for racers. Overall I am still really excited about my first half marathon and can’t wait to get out there Sunday morning. I’m praying that the current weather report is correct and that it will be partially cloudy but warm with the rain holding off until Monday.