Hi friends! As you know, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon over the weekend with my college friends Kathleen and Sarah! Despite the cold, rainy day, we had a blast. This was our second year in a row running this race together. 🙂 Love these ladies!
My training wasn’t exactly stellar for this race – constant snow and ice derailed a lot of my runs and speed sessions. The girls had the same issue (as I’m sure many of you did, too!), so we decided instead of racing the half we would run for fun and not worry about pace at all. Sounded good to me!
We met up bright and early, and as always on race mornings, when my alarm went off I questioned my sanity. Luckily, the excitement of the starting line quickly reminded me why I do this so often. The energy is contagious! Plus, I was sporting the latest in Target trash bag fashion. Pretty sure this is really hot in Paris right now. I know you’re jealous.
The ladies were sporting similar attire. 😉 They actually used dry cleaner bags, since there’s already a built in hole for your head – genius!
I ditched the bag just as the race started, so I still got wet, obviously, but at least it kept me dry while standing around and waiting for the race to start!
The girls and I also sported matching compression socks (accidentally, great minds think alike) for the occasion.
Despite the rain, everyone seemed pumped. Sometimes I think running in the rain is even better than the sunshine, because it automatically gives you all a “we’re so bada$$” bond.
And we’re off!
The girls and I settled in to a comfortable pace and started chatting to pass the miles, taking in the views as we went. I spy the Washington Monument!
And the Lincoln Memorial!
Rock ‘n’ Roll DC is unique in that instead of doing loops down along the National Mall and Hains Point like most of the other DC races, it does a short loop down around the monuments and then takes you up into the neighborhoods. I love this because it means more crowd support and local character – and because it’s fun to see some of my favorite neighborhoods on foot. 🙂
A couple nutrition notes:
- Before the race, at home, I ate a piece of toast with nut butter and a whole sliced banana.
- From miles 3 to 6 I slowly ate an Espresso Love GU. (40mg caffeine FTW)
- From miles 8.5-ish to 11 I slowly ate a Pineapple Roctane GU (yum – never tried this one until the expo!)
- Plus lots of water from my Nathan Intensity Vest! I never drink enough water if I reply on water stops, so I always wear this during races. I know it adds some weight, but it also saves me walking through the water stops, so I think it evens out. 🙂 Plus, I love having it to hold my phone/camera/fuel!
Back to the race! Around mile 5, we came upon the dreaded Calvert Hill. Going up into the neighborhoods from Rock Creek means quite a steep incline! This hill is no joke, and it was tough, but we powered through. 🙂 There are usually a good amount of spectators at the top cheering you on, so that helps!
Made it to the 10k!
Knowing the big hill was now behind us, we charged on through Adams Morgan.
One thing about it being such a gross day was that there weren’t quite as many spectators as usual – and I don’t think there were quite as many bands, either. I know my usual favorite drum band was missing, which I was sad about! It made us really appreciate those who were out there even more, though. 🙂 As always, a BIG thank you to the volunteers and spectators for being out there to support us, especially on such a rainy day!
A lot of the row houses had people out blasting music/partying, so that’s always fun and a nice boost! Our favorite was a guy with a sign that said “Champagne for Champions!” We declined, but were tempted. 😉
Before we knew it, we were at mile 11! The race went by really quickly! Sorry about the blurry spots – my camera was getting wet. (I used a new waterproof camera I bought recently – the Olympus TG-3 – perfect opportunity to test it out!)
At the half and full split around mile 12, we saw Chelsea, who was out volunteering. Hi, Chelsea! (She’s in the gray coat in the middle below.) Seeing people you know always gives you a nice boost during a race. I also had the pleasure of meeting quite a few of you guys out on the course – thank you for saying hi! I hope you all had fun, too! 🙂
We made it!! There’s nothing like seeing the finish line in a race. We picked up the pace to finish strong, big smiles on our faces. 🙂
We did it! Another half marathon under our belts! This was my 13th half marathon, which is kind of insane/awesome. Clearly I’m addicted. 🙂
Our official time was 2:02:20, average pace of 9:20 minute/miles (my watch was off on the distance and therefore pace – guess we didn’t run the tangents!). Could we have run faster? Yes, but our goal was just to have fun and not worry about trying to push it/stress out about pace. Goal: met! 🙂
The ladies and I were extremely fortunate to have VIP bracelets from my friends at Rock ‘n’ Roll, so we headed to their tent after the race to hang out. I wish the weather had been better because hanging out after races is usually so fun, especially since I had a lot of friends there! But once we stopped running we were all FREEZING because we were soaked. We hung out for awhile and then hightailed it out towards home and hot showers. Here I am post-race with my blogger buddy Theodora! We got brunch after we cleaned up/warmed up, too. 🙂
All in all, a great race and a super fun morning, even with the crummy weather! A huge thank you to Brooks for giving me a free bib for this race as part of my Run Happy Ambassadorship (they are the main Rock ‘n’ Roll sponsor). I’m honored to be a part of their blogger team!
I have quite a few races coming up this spring, and after not really running a race for speed for a couple years now, I’m thinking it’s time to give a new PR a shot. (I simmered on the speed while doing full marathons – the Richmond Marathon and the LA Marathon – and then was burned out on training). It will be tough (my current half marathon and 10 miler PRs are both at around a 7:53ish minute/mile pace; 1:43:44 and 1:18:46, respectively), so we’ll see! Here’s what’s coming up this spring:
- Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (running this one for fun with friends, no pace goal)
- GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler (first time running this and planning to race it – I hear it’s not too hilly and that it’s a great race/course! Matt is running it too which will be fun)
- Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon with my fellow Brooks Run Happy blogger ambassadors (most likely planning to run alone/race it this year)
Here’s to spring running season – my favorite!
Who else was out there on Saturday? How did it go?