Race Spotlight: Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon

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This weekend I had the pleasure of helping promote one of my FAVORITE half marathon’s in the DC area. Drumroll please…

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You may recall my race recap from this race in 2013. Max and I stumbled upon it after the Marine Corps 10k as Max was bitten by the half-marathon bug. This was his first half and he absolutely kicked butt! For me, it was my worst half-marathon time to date and I got double calf cramps at mile 9…but it is still one of my favorite races! That says a lot about the race and I’ll explain why:

  1. Microbrews. Runners know that most races hand runners Michelob Ultra at the end of a race, but the WWBHM let’s you pick a a delicious microbrew.
  2. The course. This race starts at Mount Vernon Estates, runs down GW Parkway, into Old Town Alexandria, and over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge into National Harbor. The views are breathtaking!
  3. The size. The half is capped at 5,000 runners so it’s not too big and not too small.
  4. Support. I’m a middle of the pack runner. On this run I was a back of the pack runner. Calf cramps and poor hydration on my end pushed me to the back and I was happy to see that I had course support (water, cheering groups, etc) the entire 13.1. Thankfully that was very different than Heather Gannoe’s experience in the back to the pack.
  5. New 6k. New to running? Not up to the half marathon distance? No problem! Try the 6k option and join the party at the finish line!

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We will be back this year!

So this weekend I joined the official mascot of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon at the Purple Strides 5k in DC. Now Woody is pretty heavy…but don’t let that fool you…because he is fast! The crowd loved taking pictures with him, racing him on the course (he runs a 28 minute 5k!), and competing. Woody’s a pretty big mascot so he needs a little big of help to get around — so was more than happy to play Secret Service for the morning. Here are a few of the highlights:

DSCN0233 Even U.S. presidents have to pay for parking.  Tickets are no joke!

DSCN0260 Playing around on the Foosball, ping pong, and basketball games set up.

DSCN0273 Helping some new friends stretch so they’re ready to run the 5k.

DSCN0255 Snapping a TON of photos with the 4,000 people running/walking the 5k.

IMG_3168 Hitting the 5k course strong on a beautiful sunny day.

IMG_3299 Recovering with a banana and water post-race.

IMG_3345 Challenging a new friend to a push-up contest.

Want to learn more about the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon and 6k? Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter for more information and dive in! 

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Monday Morning Motivation

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Reminding myself of this very concept this week. We are MUCH stronger than we think! Our doubt and negative thoughts can be our own worst enemies. We have the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon this coming Sunday and are so incredibly excited. I’ve had this dumb hip pain since my last race and am really resting it this week, light foam rolling, and getting my mind in the right place. I know that if I start the race thinking “my hip hurts, my blisters hurt” before I even cross the start line, I know that I will run a horrible race. Half marathons hurt. Running hurts. I’ve got to be in the right mind set and remember mind over matter. I’ve done my running this week and it’s felt great – I know I can do it!

“The Bug” – Dear Diary #4

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Have you ever get bitten by the race bug? I’ve been bit…and now I need to cure it! Yesterday I saw a friend write up a Facebook status about joining a triathlon and I thought to myself “I want in!!” 😀 but refrained. Most of the restraint came form the face that USTA memberships are basically required for triathlons and are so expensive (and mins expired).  I’ve got a big 10k coming up in October that is very important to me, but I need something in between. Perhaps an August race? Perhaps a September race? I need something!

It’s been over a month since my last race. I ran a great 5k late-may (finished between 25-30 minutes) and a horrible 5k on Cinco de Mayo (it took me over 45 minutes to finish…I stopped counting). It was my first race back post-ankle fracture and I rolled my ankle over a speed bump. I cried my way to the finish line and my husband and mother-in-law helped me feel better. But that’s the past!

I like to run…but I LOVE to race. People used to think I was crazy because I’d go run these races without any training and not die. However, I’ve never medaled in a distance race – I did all the time in track for sprinting – but I have yet to medal in any of the local 5k’s I enter. Usually the Boston-Marathon-Jacket-Wearing-Ladies and the Iron-Man-Tattoo-Clad-Women happen to be in my age group and BOOM there goes any shot. I’m in a competitive age group and I know I have a long ways to go before I medal. But I also know that I will get there! I want to win a medal one day that’s not a finisher’s medal (not that finishing is not a huge achievement).

I always find it funny how right before a race you’re a little nervous…you might even be re-thinking the race…you might be a little scared…you might want to quit BUT as soon as you finish you are ready to sign up for another!! Let’s so it again!!

So ladies and gents, I have been bit by the racing bug and need to find a fun 5k in the next month to run! Max and I really like a running group based out of Rehoboth, DE (where his parents live – I know we are veryyyy lucky because we get to visit them and they live by the water!). The group is called Seashore Striders and they have races every week or two, give great tech-shirts out to participants, use timing chips, and have medals for the top 3 men and women. The best was the huff-and-puff for your pumpkin pie 5k the morning of Thanksgiving. The weather was cool but the leaves were beautiful and Mr. Husband won the 3rd place men’s medal! I was pretty jealous…so I walked around in it while we grabbed our post-race Starbucks coffee and like to pretend that it was mine. I was pretty proud of him! He’s pretty fast! He’s my cheerleader, my biggest motivator, and my inspiration. While we were in college he drastically changed his diet and fell in love with running to loose over 100 lbs! Racing together is one of the coolest things — I love it! We don’t run together because…well…I cannot keep up with him. But we race together and start together and it is always nice to have some there cheering for you when you cross the finish line. It’s nice to have the same hobby because he understands that I would rather get a box of Nuun as a gift instead of flowers and he knows that a great adventure out can include getting new running shoes!

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That’s time with his shiny medal in the freezing cold 😀

Untitledand that’s us before the race 😀

So what will it be? The SPCA race for the puppies 5k? The Labor Day 5k? Who knows! I need one! Ready—-set—–go!

Keep finding your strong,

Laura