So on the one year anniversary of my acceptance into the Inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington, DC…I have finally decided to write about the weekend and the race….Primarily because I was brought back to the memories of this race by the REJECTION email I received earlier in the week telling me I did not make the random draw this year. Debbie Downer…I know…

While I have not fully coped with the ramifications of the rejection I was subjected to via an email from Nike, I can tell you that this was the coolest and most impactful race of the year for me…not the fastest or the cheapest…but definitely the most memorable!

Once we arrived in DC and made through the relatively lengthly checkin process we made our way through the expo…

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There were some great photo ops!

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We had a moment of D-list infamy…

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My name on a disposable wall = basically famous!!!!

Kelly and I did what we always do…and what we are best at…chose a great restaurant for our pre-race face stuffing at Westend Bistro. Then scoured the city looking for Bradley Cooper because we heard he was in town for a Press Awards Gala….while we didn’t find Cooper…we did see Matthew Perry from FRIENDS and a few other national news correspondents we weren’t quite able to identify….oops…

We made our way back to Hotel Helix nice and early to go through our pre-race rituals…you know…everyone has their own…mine tend to be a little more tedious than others!

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After taping, carbing, hydrating, sunblocking, and reassuring each other of our immanent glory, Kelly and I made our way on foot to the start. The corrals were full to overflowing and the race was sold out from the beginning. Since the race was two weeks after the Boston Marathon tragedy, security was heightened and getting into the corrals was a small obstacle in itself. So we both started at least 3min behind our pace group. I usually take a break to walk at every mile and I was running slow enough that I made it 4miles before I needed a break….that’s not a statement about my athletic exhuberance, I’m simply trying to articulate exactly HOW SLOW I was going!

I spent the first two miles of the race searching for holes in the crowded path and jumping from one opening to another trying to catch up to my pace group. However I realized about mile 3 that I was running a race in the nations capitol and staring at the PAVEMENT! So I let go of the struggle for time and brought my eyes UP!!! Once I was no longer staring at my feet the race became about 2:30+ hours of uninterrupted time to bask in gratefulness for the life and breath I have been given.

We ran past Memorials and Monuments, past the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery and through the Cherry Blossoms along the Potomac River…a beautiful and memorable course! I finally caught my pace group around mile 6+ and stayed on pace the rest of the race…UNTIL I rounded the last turn to the finish and ran up to the Capitol…I had a moment I will never forget!

My playlist aligned with the running stars and this song started blaring in my ears…suddenly the moment was terribly personal and EPIC! Choking back tears and remembering the freedom that I am so empowered to pursue I ran right up to the Capitol Lawn…

Let the waterworks begin…

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Shockingly enough I realized early in the race I was not going to WIN…so I paused and let a bystander take my picture….

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The Capitol was only about 1/4 mile from the finish…where Kelly and my Tiffany’s Necklace awaited!

The Finish…was filled with thoughtful post race snacks, take homes and volunteers to congratulate and make sure your needs were met; considering the number of ladies participating the race crew did an amazing job making sure everyone was accommodated and relaxed at the finish line!

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To sum up a post that could go on forever…I have mixed feelings about not being chosen in the Random Draw for 2014, but it seems there is still another way to run with Team In Training and I will pursue it. In the meantime…I won’t take the rejection personally…I’ll take it as an opportunity to raise money for an honorable cause….and cry a little…secretly…

The Nike Women’s Half Marathon In DC was a great weekend and an EPIC race…one that I will never forget! I will do my best to be there again in 2014 with a better race time!

Congratulations…We are all officially ALIVE!!!! What made you feel you’re humanity lately???

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