Home BAM Travels 2015 Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Recap #RnRDC

2015 Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Recap #RnRDC

by Nellie

2015 Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Recap


Friday (the day before)

IMG_2303 rock n roll dc half marathon

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.


The Race

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

rock n roll dc half marathon 2015

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.

The entertainment

rock n roll dc marathon

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!

rock n roll dc half marathon

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.

rock n roll dc half marathon rock n roll dc half marathon

Notes from the race

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

rock n roll dc half marathon

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.


Any tips for traveling with kids during races? What tough situation that you have had recently that you simply just had to push through?

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Janine Huldie March 19, 2015 - 6:26 am

Aw, Nellie so sorry about the migraine. I get them sometimes and they are the worst. Couldn’t even imagine racing with one. So, for that alone, my hat is off to you!

@Twinsrun March 19, 2015 - 9:26 am

CONGRATS on your race! We’ll add your race recap link to our list or race recaps on our blog, too! 🙂

Yum Yucky March 19, 2015 - 10:57 am

Had I known you and Alan were there, I would have stood at the finish line playing air guitar.

Kim March 19, 2015 - 3:33 pm

Oh, Nellie – that sounds like a rough experience all the way around. Way to dig down and finish it!!!
I’m actually headed to TX tomorrow for a race and I’m going alone because it seemed like less stress than taking the whole family and stressing about the logistics of feeding them while I’m running 50 miles.

misszippy March 20, 2015 - 4:15 pm

Aw, I’m sorry it was such a tough day for you! I agree about traveling with family for races–it is just a hard way to go! It all sounds so simple and like a perfect way to combine a trip and a race, but reality is a bit different. I think we all have to learn that the hard way, sadly! Anyhow, next one will be better, I promise!

Tamara March 21, 2015 - 5:21 pm

I feel like rain happens during your races a lot, right? Or maybe that’s just a thing we call “The Northeast.” Always keeps us guessing.
So sorry about the headache but I’m glad Tylenol helped!

Michelle March 22, 2015 - 8:22 am

Arriving the night before is tough…especially if it is a big race! Well, at least you did it. You’re right…we all have off days and it’s just a fact of life. But still a bummer when it happens! 🙁 I’m just impressed that you are doing all of these! And it’s definitely a fun way to travel around and see different places!

Leslie March 23, 2015 - 12:46 pm

Oh Nellie, I’m so sorry to hear about all those aches and pains! I hope it’s nothing serious and that you’ve contacted your Dr. about it. Congrats on getting another half done. Hopefully next time we can get together too! And if you’re going to travel for races with kids, I think you did right by doing it in conjunction with visiting family. That’s usually a great distraction for the kids.

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