September 17, 2017 I attempted to run the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon, and literally everything that could go wrong did and there is no one to blame but myself. I should have known better, especially after the Mount Dora Half experience... but I didn't learn.
So, here are my 3 ways to ensure a HORRIBLE race.
1. Neglect your Training.
I have EVERY excuse available:
- Three Small kids
- Hot Weather
- Lack of Sleep
- Lack of Motivation
However, if you register for a race, and want to have a fabulous time at the event. Do not neglect your long runs. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get out the door for a few long runs before the race and then we were trapped inside while #hurricaneIrma moved through my beautiful Florida so, I just wasn't as well trained as I was intending to be - and I paid the price for it.
2. Forget to Hydrate
The day before this race we had the opportunity to go to an Air Show on base with our friends. It was an AMAZING experience, truly a highlight of my trip to Washington D.C.. However, I didn't drink enough water the week before the race, nor the day before the race. So, when I got to mile 3 and found myself throwing up, I was in tears.
I called my husband in tears and told him I wasn't going to be able to finish the race. I talked to him about possibly switching to the 5-miler, but hadn't made up my mind. I decided to stick with the half-marathon but in retrospect, I should have just quit.
In addition to being under-hydrated, the temperature and humidity was a lot higher than I anticipated. To be honest, it seemed a lot of runners were struggling with the weather that day.
3. Ditch your PLAN the night before...
I really wanted to get my P.R. (Personal Record), like... really bad. A few weeks ago, I was on track to accomplish that goal. However, life happened and my training went from consistent to non-existent.
I am a #gallowayrunner. I am literally always singing the praises of Jeff Galloway's method of running and training. If you've ever talked to me about running, or getting started with running I probably told you to do the Run/Walk/Run Method. - I believe in that method, it's the method I use...
Except when I lose my mind over a silly goal...
In my quest for a 2:40 Half Marathon, I messed with my intervals. Right before going to bed I changed my intervals from 1:00/1:00 to 2:30 Run / :45 Walk.
Have I EVER done that for a long run?
Mile 3 was about the time I couldn't keep up with the intervals anymore and EVERYTHING caught up with me. The lack of sleep, lack of water, lack of common sense when setting up my intervals - so disappointing.
I was sick.
I called my husband, and in tears told him I couldn't do it anymore. He was supportive, and encouraging so I kept at it and did eventually finish.
Did I accomplish my goal?
Not even close...
My final time was 3:29:10
Almost a solid hour longer than my goal.
Final Thoughts on the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon
Course: Loved it, Running is such a great way to see a city - I loved the course.
Packet Pick up: It was well organized, had plenty of booths for people to shop. The only disappointment for me was the location. Last year when my sisters ran it they got to tour the Washington Nationals Stadium, this year it was outside in a tent.
Race Day Organization: There was a little bit of confusion at the start, people all seemed to be kind of lost, and not really sure what color bibs were intended to go first...? I felt more communication would have been helpful.
The other issue I had was the start / finish line was really far from post-race water, snacks and bag check. In all other runs I've done, the finishers exit through a shoot and are guided to the beverages and snacks - this race was not like that.
The Bling: I loved the medal. Such a great design, and if you look closely you can spot some glitter - and we all know how I feel about sparkles!
Would I run it again?
Maybe, maybe not. I did enjoy running through Washington D.C., but I think i'd like to explore a different race. Perhaps the 5-miler or Rock-n-Roll D.C.
Question of the day: What race is on your bucket list?