Monday, April 29, 2013

13.1 for a Cause

Yesterday, April 28th, was the first Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington, DC. It was also the day I ran for Team In Training! This entire TNT experience has been wonderful. The fundraising was a little overwhelming, but in 4 short months you all helped me raise over $4400! That is amazing! Over $4400 life saving dollars to help find better drugs and a cure for blood cancers.
Back of my TNT jersey.

  That. Is. Awesome.

Thank you so very much for your support!

Sunday morning 15,000 runners packed in at the starting line ready to go for the 7 am start. We heard some motivational speeches from a leukemia Survivor, Shalane Flanagan, and Joan Benoit Samuelson. It was awesome to hear each of those 3 women speak...I was ready to go with Jody by my side!

Usually Jody and I are in different starting corrals, but for Nike DC we decided to start together and then go on our own whenever we felt like it. I love that about running with Jody. She is much faster than me but we train together and she sticks with me and pushes me. But we both know come race day, each of us will run our own race, as it should be.

The race started and we ran right towards the US Capitol Building, a beautiful sight to match the perfect weather. During the first mile we headed into a tunnel and it screwed up my GPS. I was so frustrated! I had spent the entire week before the race figuring out what pace to run and about what my time should be every few miles. I am not able to read pace through my body yet so I rely heavily on my Garmin. I was very unsettled about this really minor detail. By this time Jody had decided to stick with me for the duration of the race. I was thrilled to have her by my side the entire time!

We headed over the Arlington Memorial Bridge and reached the 5k (3.1 miles) mark. There was a timing mat and we were able to see the clock time (not chip time), it read 39 minutes and something seconds. Knowing we had crossed the starting line about 5 minutes after the clock started, I was able to estimate our time. At that point, we were averaging just under 11 minute miles. A little slower than I planned on but no big deal.

We turned around just after the bridge and headed back over then ran by the Kennedy Center. We were running along the Potomac River and there was a nice breeze. The weather was perfect and even though the race was crowded, Jody and I were enjoying ourselves! We had a min-meld going and were able to weave through runners with little to no communication and very few hand signals. I guess that comes from logging so many miles together!

We continued along the Potomac, running past the Lincoln, MLK, and George Mason Memorials. We clocked in our 10k (6.2 miles) at 1:06:42 and I was happier with my average pace at that point. I remember thinking I should take fuel in soon but got distracted by the gorgeous views on the water and the quietness of the course while we rounded the golf course. At mile 7 I was really starting to feel the run. We walked through the water stop, as usual, and kept walking to give ourselves a little break. By mile 8 I was feeling nauseous and not terrible well. It was then I remember my fuel. I knew it would make the rest of the race more challenging to be behind on my fuel intake. I sucked down my Honey Stinger gel and was able to start running again.

By mile 9 I was starting to feel mostly okay again but knew I wasn't up for my 10:15 minute miles I was hoping for. We clocked in at the 15k (9.2 miles) at 1:43:27. Not a big deal, but I still wanted to feel good about the race. miles 10 and 11 brought us by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, through the mall and that tunnel again. At this point we were close to the starting line and could see runners approaching the finish. How I longed for that! As we turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue and headed once again toward the US Capitol Building, Jody and I decided to walk for a few minutes and just enjoy the sights.

We were both starting to struggle at this point and welcomed the break. As we entered the National Mall again, we picked up the pace and ran a square in front of the US Capitol Building around that reflecting pool. Passing mile 12 we picked up the pace just a tad, part excitement part wanting to just be done. You could feel the excitement from the other runners and the crowds were cheering louder. I was feeling it, and wanted to take off but there was no way I was leaving Jody at this point. We had less than a mile to go and I wanted to cross that finish line with her.

I was thinking of Poppa and Grandpa as I ran down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the finish. I was thinking of the generosity of everyone who donated. I was thinking of all the patients who will benefit from the funds we have raised.

And I wanted to person I logged the most miles with right next to me. For so many runs she has been the one pushing me to the end and I was thrilled to be able to now do the same for her. Jody was starting to fall behind so I grabbed her hand and we crossed that finish line onto the red carpet with our arms raised in 2:25:45.

Not my goal time, but I still got a personal best! Wasn't Jody's best race by far, but we ran together and had an awesome time which was Goal #1 for me. Goal #2 was to PR, and while I had hoped to get much closer, if not under, 2:20, I am thrilled.

Because in the end, I ran 13.1 miles for cancer. And for that, I am proud! 
Jody and me with our Tiffany boxes!
Great finisher's medal!


Jackie said...

Amazing! Poppa is smiling! And so ios Grama Mega!

Emily Walsh said...

Hi Cynthia! I was just checking a few of your posts and had a quick question about your blog. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance -emilywalsh688 (at) Thanks : )


Anonymous said...

Hi Cynthia, I'm Lindsey! I have a question and would love to talk to you. Could you please email me when you have a chance? Thanks so much, I'm looking forward to hearing from you!


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Anna said...

Nice post.