Navy-Air Force Half Marathon Recap

by - Monday, September 15, 2014

Yesterday, I ran my first half marathon since March and boy was I sore by the time I was finished.

Training started pretty well earlier this summer, but in August things got rocky. Between school and work and weekends that were completely booked, I was having a hard time fitting in necessary long runs.

And on race day, I definitely felt the lack of solid training.

The Navy-Air Force half marathon is a newer race in DC. I think this was its third year. The race started at the same place as the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler -- right at the base of the Washington Monument.

Emily, me, Aila

Emily, Aila and I met up about 30 minutes before race time, and we were graced with a gorgeous morning for running. It was in the 50s with almost no humidity, so it was chilly standing around at the start, but perfect weather once we got moving.

The course was similar to the Cherry Blossom course -- except you spent a longer time on Rock Creek Parkway. I actually really enjoyed the course. There wasn't much crowd support, but running up Rock Creek Parkway, with all the green trees and grass, you barely know you're in the city.

I felt really good through the first 7.5 miles or so. But things started to fall apart shortly after that. I blame some of it on the lack of training. I also blame some of it on my nutrition.

The morning before the race, I had a really, really hard time choking down my PB bread. I was trying so hard to finish the piece of bread I'd smeared with PB, but my stomach was just not all about it. It was also not all about dinner the night before.

So I knew I'd need to be taking in a decent amount of calories on the course if I didn't want to bonk completely. I had Gatorade in my water bottle and I drank more at each aid stop where they had it.

My one complaint was the lack of gels at any of the aid stations and the rather small number of aid stations on the course in general. There was one stretch where you went 3 or 4 miles between aid stations.

Perhaps needless to say, by the time I got to mile 10, the wheels were falling off. I just had no energy. I could also feel a massive blister developing on the bottom of my left foot, which made it such a joy every time my foot hit the ground.

Somehow I gritted through the last few miles on Hains Point and crossed the finish line very, very glad to be done.


My time by my watch was 2:06. The race still hasn't published official race times (annoying). Not my best time, not my worst time.

Turns out I was pretty decently trained for a 10 miler distance, not so much for the half. But that works in my favor since my next race is the Army 10 Miler next month.

I celebrated finishing the race with a delicious brunch. I should have taken a picture. My stomach decided to chill out after the race and I inhaled a lot of food very quickly. Then I promptly went home and took a three-hour nap. It was glorious.


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  1. Cool! Congrats on a fun race. I know all about being unconditioned for the distance.... my bike leg. ouch. Sucks but you push through. And you still pulled out a pretty good time and had fun with your friends, so that's what really counts.