|Ready for Race Day!|
|One of the 3 gear check areas|
|The view form my corral|
|They were AWESOME|
We started out heading towards The Capitol and already there was tons of on course support. We passed this bad ass (there's no other way to describe them) all women drum line. They were AMAZING and really got you pumped up. Right after that I passed a spectator with a "may the course be with you sign" dressed up as Princess Lea. The FULL get up people, side buns and all. Bravo Princess, I applaud and thank you for your dedication.
|This video doesn't even do justice to how|
cool this section was
|The We Run sign made its way into the tunnel|
Just past mile 2 I spotted some port-a-potties that didn't have a completely ridiculous line and jumped in. I waited about 5 minutes but I'm glad I went when I did because the lines were long at pretty much every stop throughout the whole race. It's a women's focused race, we've been hydrating like nobody's business, and we always have to pee all the time, of course bathrooms were in high demand. One thing that I did love that I think all races should incorporate was Nike had flags at each bathroom stop stating how many miles until the next stop- GENIUS!
I kept trucking on until, uh-oh, my calves were cramping WAY early. Like mile 7 1/2 early. I said some curse words to myself because I knew this was the part of the course where there wasn't as much spectator support. I text Bryan "I think I'm going to walk a lot more than I wanted to." I was really annoyed at first but then I reminded myself, this race is more about the experience than the race. I knew I didn't put the training in to PR and wasn't expecting to. It was an absolutely beautiful day so I was going to walk/run as much as I could and take in as much as possible.
I would run until I cramped, then switched to walking until that hurt and started cramping, and just kept repeating the vicious cycle. There was this one woman on the course around mile 8 1/2 that was handing out Oreos. Guys, I don't really even like Oreos but I had never been SO HAPPY to eat one in my life. I yelled "thank you" to her and loved every bit of sugar and chocolate that was being soaked up into my body.
At this point I just kept telling myself "make it to mile 10 then you only have a 5K left." Once I made it there I felt like the end was in sight. I tried to run/walk as fast as my legs would let me. Around mile 12 the crowd support picked up again and this was what I needed to help push me through. I knew I was getting close so I text Bryan to see which side of the road he would be on. I headed back through the tunnel again, the drumming was not as intense this time since so many racers had already passed through.
|Bookin' it to the chocolate milk & Tiffany's|
Outside the tunnel I knew I wasn't that far away. There was a giant screen greeting us by name like at the Expotique with words of encouragement. I was going to wait to see my name but then decided to just push through and get done. I saw Bryan in the crowd, made my way over long enough to yell "my calves hate me!" get a kiss and run off. At this point I could see the finish line in front of me so I took every ounce of energy left, powered through the finish line and threw my hands up in the air with excitement.
I was exhuasted but so happy to be done. Some sweet woman who finished next to me said "good job!" and put her hand up to give me a high five. Me, still not being completely coherent looked at her like she had five heads, realized she wasn't talking to someone else behind me, realized what a jerk she probably thought I was, and said thank you and high fived her back. Real smooth Lauren. If you high fived me at the finish line THANK YOU and congratulations on your race, sorry I was so spaced out!
After the finish line there was a good sized crowd that you unfortunately had to wait with. The first table you had to wait for was where they handed out water in reusable bottles that had the Nike Women's Half and the Whole Foods logo. I thought this was a nice touch and I'm sure helped with water bottle clean up after the race. The next table was food, which I was really disappointed in. We got some dried fruit, some nuts, a mini luna bar, and some other stuff I wasn't really interested in. Honestly, for a race of that size I think you should at least have bananas to offer your runners when they're done. I'm not sure if there was at one point but they ran out by the time I crossed. Either way, volunteers were scrambling to get everything into the bags to hand out to runners. Once we got our food and chocolate milk (YUM!) there was heat sheet distribution which was much needed at this point.
|Can you hear the choir of angels?!|
Then, the moment we had all been waiting for-TIFFANY FINISHER NECKLACES! You could either go through a line where the guys just handed the box to you, or you could go to the line where the guys were holding the boxes on silver platters. Since I was feeling worn out and my calves did not want to stand in any more lines I chose the quicker option.
|Finisher area pre-race|
There was also a finishers tent with mats and foam rollers-I completely missed this but probably would've taken advantage of it had I know. There was also another tent for finisher merchandise. The lines looked long to get it so I decided to skip it, I had spent enough money on merchandise for one weekend already! I finally located Bryan and my friend Colleen who had come to cheer me on. I switched into my heavenly gel flip flops to slowly stroll around to cool down. I was a happy girl and couldn't wait to celebrate my accomplishment with mimosas at brunch with my friends later!
Thanks for making me look so legit! Hopefully I'll be back next year!
QOTD: Have you ever run a Nike Women's race? Would you ever consider running in DC or San Francisco?