2015 Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Recap
Friday (the day before)
Note to self: Stop arriving in racecation cities with a few hours to spare to get your bib!
I never said I was the brightest bulb but I have a very very bad habit of scheduling myself too thin when it comes to these races! I did it in Philadelphia, Disney and now in DC. Believe it or not I had a 32 minute window to pickup my bib and gear, my swag bag from BLACK GIRLS RUN! and maybe check out the expo? Oh, did I mention I had my husband and 2 kids with me? (obviously I like to torture myself).
I ended up getting to DC with exactly 30 minutes to spare (thank you Amtrak!)–threw my husband and the kids in a cab to the hotel and jumped in a cab to the Washington Convention Center.
When I arrived the announcer let us know that there were FIFTEEN MINUTES left until the expo closed. I (literally) ran to get my bib, waiver in hand then I ran to the BGR booth and picked up my materials and met one of the lovely founders of this incredible movement Toni Carey. I didn’t get any merchandise but it didn’t look like I missed much.
When I woke up and looked out into the early morning dark skies there was a constant rain pounding the DC streets. I decided to wear my Skins compression pants because they didn’t fail me in my last rainy half marathon. I wore a white under armour cold gear long sleeve tee and a tangerine under armour cold gear vest with lots of pockets that held my clif shot gels and my phone. I didn’t wear my FlipBelt for the first time…ever! I purchased a poncho and a Nike dry fit cap which was my best running purchase yet!
The walk from the Marriott to the start line was an easy 7 blocks. I arrived about an hour prior to the start time. It was a steady rain. Not crazy heavy but still annoyingly wet. I’m happy I wore my cold gear because although it was mid 40s it was still really chilly. I also happened to run into one of the most awesome people on the planet. Alan from sweatingitoff.com, one of my favorite fitbloggin buddies.
The start line
It was a lonnnng wait. I was in the third to last corral! There were 32 corrals. Oy. Finally it was time to go!
I felt way off when I started running. My legs felt crazy abnormal and pained. I had never felt that before. I decided to implement the Jeff Galloway 1 minute run 1 minute walk system as a back up plan because I really wasn’t feeling like myself–at all. There was a myriad of reasons why this was happening but I just didn’t feel right.
Despite the conditions there were lots of great bands on the route! The Washington National mascots were there as well. What was poignant for me was during mile 5. They had pictures of around 15-20 fallen soldiers with small biographies right under. Right after they had volunteers holding the American flag and cheering us on. I wasn’t ready but man I was emotional. It was an unexpected boost and it turns out I would need it!
Mile 6 was the hill from hell. I’m not kidding. I couldn’t take a picture but it was the steepest hill I’ve ever seen in my life much less a race. My quads burned so so bad during this race and with my lack of Hill training this winter it was extra hard. Unfortunately this is where things went downhill. (pun intended)
I couldn’t quite get my mojo back after that hill. I was in a lot of pain in weird places and it was getting harder and harder to start back running. Everything was soggy and I was really beginning to question my sanity. My PR was completely out of question and I was having trouble digging deep to find the motivation just to finish! The rain wasn’t the issue but really my cold, shriveled hands that I could no longer feel.
Around mile 12 I stopped at the medical tent for some pain relief. Lately I’ve been getting severe headaches (migraines?) post run and this time I felt it coming on before the end of the race. They gave me Tylenol graciously and I kept going to the end. I was so happy to be done. I actually ended up taking a metro train back to the hotel and it was really easy.
Notes from the race
- The Nike Dry Fit cap I bought was really amazing. So comfortable and it kept my hair relatively dry and my face clear of rain drops.
- Some races are not going to be your best. Period. You can prepare and try your hardest but really you have to hope for the best.
- Traveling with family AND relaxing and getting your head right before a race is very difficult. Next time I plan to get there at least a day ahead so I can give myself a minute to relax before running a half marathon. It’s super hard to switch from mommy mode to runner mode when you are in a different city.
I would totally do this race again simply because I want to see if I could give it my best for real! I had a great time visiting family but if I was to do this again I would for sure plan more time and even taken my son out of school for a day. The rush is too exhausting! Other than those external circumstances it was a really great race and learning experience.