My First NWM

Since 2012 is almost over, I figure I should catch up on my race posts :-)  Here’s my first Nike Women’s Marathon Experience:

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After I did my first two 5K’s last year, I made it a goal to do a half marathon this year. I specifically wanted to do the Nike Women’s Marathon half. I don’t really know why I wanted to do it. I guess the fact that it’s close to me was a big reason. But I also knew that it was a very challenging course, with lots of hills. It was a little intimidating but I looked forward to the challenge.

I started training for it, even though I didn’t even know if I would get into the race.  It’s such a popular race that unless you join Team in Training, you have to get in through the Random Drawing process. To make sure that I at least completed my goal of doing a half marathon, I also registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon that would happen before the NWM. I planned on doing both if I was lucky enough. I didn’t get into the NWM with the Random Drawing :-(  I was bummed but focused my attention on doing the Disney Half. I still kept a look out for extra opportunities to get into the NWM via their Facebook and Twitter. I tried anything that came up but never had any luck :-( I ran the Disneyland Half and figured I was done for the rest of the year.  A week later while I was recovering, they offered one last chance to get into the NWM for Nike+ members.  I was so excited! I was actually picking up my son from school when I saw the post and immediately filled out the registration via my phone!

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My Confirmation Email!!

I was absolutely thrilled to receive the confirmation email a few minutes later! I was going to be able to go after my original goal. I did pretty well with the Disney half so I you could say I was pretty confident :-) My biggest concern was that I only had a little over 4 weeks to get my mileage back up. I had also hurt my ankle after the Disney Half so I wasn’t sure how I would do.  I made my main goal to finish the race without stopping. Training was rough. I wore an ankle brace for most of my runs. Then a few days before the race, I got sick :-( Needless to say, I didn’t do any training those last few days and focused on getting better.

I picked up my race bib and packet on the first day it was available thinking that it wouldn’t be as crazy, but I was wrong. Union Square was crazy! After picking up my bright volt Nike bag that was filled with goodies, I met up with a friend of mine and we walked around the expo.  We tried out Luna bars and nuun water. I also picked up my pair of the NWM Nike Lunar Glide and found my name on the wall of  the Niketown store :-) It was the last day that I felt good enough to get up and walk.

In front of the NWM Expo

In front of the NWM Expo

 

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Human Hamster Wheel at the Safeway Booth

My Motivation to race even though I wasn't feeling well. No Excuses!

My Motivation to race even though I wasn’t feeling well. No Excuses!

NWM Lunar Glides

NWM Lunar Glides

Pic w/ a tall Fireman after picking up my NWM Lunar Glides :-)

Pic w/ a tall Fireman after picking up my NWM Lunar Glides :-)

 

Inside my Nike Volt Bag

Inside my Nike Volt Bag

Clothes and Gear prepped for Race Day.

Clothes and Gear prepped for Race Day.

I felt better on race day but still not 100%. I was up at 3a and had my chobani w/ almond butter, banana, and whole wheat bagel w/ almond butter for breakfast. I got to Union Square 2 hours before the race started. I checked my bag right away but regreted it because I was so cold the whole time I was waiting. It was a foggy morning in the bay area and my shorts and tank didn’t help keep me warm. The corrals were set up decently based on your mile time.  I was in the 7:30-8:30 group. It was pretty cold and I was so glad when the race finally started.

Breakfast :-)

Breakfast :-)

Ready for the race.

Ready for the race.

 

Star Spangled Banner at the Start Line

Star Spangled Banner at the Start Line

It was an overcast morning with fog. It cleared a little bit at Union Square when the race started but there was plenty of fog for the whole race.  I warmed up fairly quick.  Had one bathroom pit stop around the 10K mark. I knew there would be hills, but I definitely underestimated how steep and big a few of the hills were.  I just focused on keeping my feet moving.  The downhill parts were pretty rough on my knees. Being sick also took a toll on me. I was happy that I still managed to complete the race under 2 hours :-) I must have looked pretty sick when I crossed the finish line because the volunteers and fireman that I passed all asked if I was ok and needed help. I picked up my Tiffany Necklace Box and headed straight for the bathrooms since my stomach had been hurting badly for the last 3 miles of the race.

At the top of one of the first big hills.

At the top of one of the first big hills.

Passing another Mile Marker

Passing another Mile Marker

Mile 12

Mile 12

The last downhill stretch - Knees were aching!

The last downhill stretch – Knees were aching!

 

Crossing the Finish Line

Crossing the Finish Line

My Race Results :-)

My Race Results :-)

Finisher Tees - they are super bright!

Finisher Tees – they are super bright!

RUN.

RUN.

Family Meeting Area with Video Screen so you can see when your family member crosses the finish line.

Family Meeting Area with Video Screen so you can see when your family member crosses the finish line.

Photo Op with a Fireman

Photo Op with a Fireman

Finisher Goodies

Finisher Goodies

 

Bought these two tops as a reward for finishing :-)

Bought these two tops as a reward for finishing :-)

 

Tiffany Finisher Necklace :-)

Tiffany Finisher Necklace :-)

I didn’t have anyone come with me for this race so after picking up a couple tops and finisher goodies, I picked up my sweat bag.  I was a search to find the bus that had my bag. Every bus had a neat name with “Run” at the start. Mine was “Run Amazing.” Once I found my bus, I had to go to specific window. It was pretty organized and I didn’t have to wait long for my bag. I followed the signs to the shuttles back to Union Square.

Making my way through the buses.

Making my way through the buses.

Run Amazing!

Run Amazing!

On the Shuttle Back to Union Square. Tired!

On the Shuttle Back to Union Square. Tired!

I was tired and my stomach still hurt. I got lost trying to find my way back to the parking garage. But I was happy. I accomplished my goal for 2012!! Will I do it again next year? Yes!! It’s a great race, for a great cause, and it shows how amazingly strong we women are :-)

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