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A Shiny New PR

medalI almost didn't go to the National Capital Rock N Roll Half Marathon. 

The forecast was for cold and rain and I wasn't looking forward to more of that. When the alarm went off and it wasn't raining, I somehow managed to get myself out the door despite not having laid out clothes, my number, or a plan.

Friends had warned me about the jam-packed metro and crowded course. Ugh. I wasn't looking forward to either.

I decided I'd run to the start, for just under 3 extra miles. Then I had to decide: was I racing, or "training through" this one? I figured I'd start off at a decent but conservative clip and see how things went. Admittedly, that is my race strategy about 80% of the time.

It was overcast but mild, near 50 degrees. Great racing weather! My warmup run got me to the start with ten minutes to spare - perfect timing. Even better, my legs felt primed.

Very happy with my splits! Walking the hill 
was definitely the right call.

I took off at a good pace. The staggered wave start worked really well. There was plenty of room to run at my chosen pace without tripping over people and fending off elbows. I had tapered a bit in the past few days, and I felt strong and steady.

I really enjoyed the course, even the long steep climb from Rock Creek Parkway to Calvert street. I speed-hiked the entire thing like the slacking ultrarunner I am. Everyone around me kept up their running motions as if their lives depended on it. 

I passed a lot of those hill runners in the next mile or two.

I felt pretty damn good the entire race. There were a few messages from my always-the-first-to-complain right hip/butt, some tight quad-IT band area sensations, a twinge or two from my 2006 broken sesmoid foot, but they were all relatively mild.

I kept dropping my pace ever so slightly, mindful of not saving too much for the last mile in case it got impossibly crowded like the Army 10 Miler. I felt like I was executing perfectly, and looking at my splits afterward, I am awfully pleased.

The race went almost perfectly for me. It only rained for a few brief minutes just as I finished. The organizers had everything covered and that made for an enjoyable road race -- even for a spoiled trail runner used to getting lost in her thoughts.


  1. Congrats on your new PR, sounds like all in all a great race, for the road, of course! :)

  2. Wow, your mile times are creepily consistent. Calvert St is a bitch tho. I did the same thing when I hit a monster hill in the Maryland Marathon a long time ago. Killing yourself on a steep hill will cost you lots of time once you crest the hill.
    Congrats on the PR.

  3. You never know when you'll have a good run, right? :) Congrats!

  4. That's awesome! Congrats on your new PR!

  5. Very nice.

    It's funny - I was telling people that it really made more sense to power walk that hill then to sprint it. You only lose about 30-60 seconds, which you gain back elsewhere.

  6. Walking hills is a great strategy! Ultra running is wise that way. Great job on the PR!

  7. Dang, girl! Those are some awesome splits! You rocked it! Gotta love those kind of PRs!

  8. What a great race report to read! The only thing missing is a smiling photo to accompany what is the smile in the stats :-)


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