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