Rock’n’Roll DC Half Marathon Race Recap

This is the first race of the year! Yay! I can’t believe that it’s the middle of March already. Seriously where does the time go?! I thought that this would be a fun and exciting race. I haven’t done a Rock’n’Roll event before so I wanted to try something new. Ultimately I wasn’t disappointed. It could have been a much different race had it not been raining the entire time. I knew about the rain well in advance. Since taking up running, I’ve become obsessed with the weather strictly from the stand point of I’m concerned how it will affect my run. Also my husband is a wanna-be meteorologist so he makes sure that I’m up on the latest weather forecast.

Expo/Packet Pickup:

My husband was kind enough to drive to the expo so I didn’t have to deal with the metro. What can I say, he’s a great guy! I tried to rush through it quicker than I would have liked so I didn’t make him wait for me too long but really that’s for the best. I tend to want to buy all the things will all the money that I don’t have.

IMG_5680I got there pretty much right when it opened at 10am on Friday. The convention center is really nice. I hadn’t been there before. I was able to easily get my packet and shirt then decided to walk around at least a little bit. Brooks had a Run Happy Island which I felt compelled to check out. I had a free gait analysis done which was pretty neat. I’ve had them done before but they showed me more of the science behind it. Fascinating! They had a mechanical shoe to ride instead of a mechanical bull. I also won a free t-shirt at their market place. Score! IMG_5677IMG_5681IMG_5679

How can this shirt not make you happy?!
How can this shirt not make you happy?!

After Run Happy Island, I started rushing. I went to find the pacer’s booth because I wanted to sign up to run with the 2:00 group then I was on my way. I didn’t spend any money. So proud!

The Night Before:

It was a pretty laid back night. I have an irritable stomach so I do not experiment with anything new the night before a race. I’ve discovered that for some reason frozen pizza from Wegman’s sits really well with me. It’s actually not even that bad for you compared to most other pizzas. After that I was kinda nervous just from normal pre-race jitters combined with not knowing what to expect with the rain. I was running around trying to set everything out so as to not disturb my husband and daughter in the morning.

IMG_5693Race Morning:

I got up early enough to have some coffee and read some blogs. Top priority any morning! It was already raining when I let my dogs out. I made my ritual race breakfast: PB & honey with bananas and cinnamon. It’s delicious and seems to provide me everything that I need to get started. Then I was out the door.

IMG_5694I went with Cynthia @ You Signed Up for WHAT?! who is also the leader of my MRTT group. Her dad offered to drive us and cheer us on which was amazing again so I didn’t have to metro. We got there with plenty of time to spare. It was pretty chilly and rainy so we tried to take some shelter under one of the museums after hitting the port-a-potties.

IMG_5695IMG_5696The Race:

I eventually headed over to the corrals and found my pacer. I was in corral 9 so it took a little while to get to the start line. I was pretty pumped up by that time despite the cold. I wasn’t able to take any pictures during the race since my fingers were frozen and I had my phone in a Ziploc bag.

It was a good race. I really enjoyed the music and crowd support. You did have to watch out for the occasional pot hole and road cone but otherwise I didn’t think it felt as crowded as Baltimore was. I had my first Gu around mile 5. There was a rough hill around mile 6 where I lost the pacer for a minute. I had to push hard to catch up after that hill but I managed. I had a 2nd Gu around mile 9 as I started to feel sluggish. Kevin, the pacer, helped me reach my goal! I really wanted to finish sub-2:00 but I wasn’t sure how manageable that would be given the difficulties I experienced with the snow and ice during training. The last week and a half were pretty much spent on the treadmill but I pulled it off! Heck yes! I felt pretty proud.

IMG_5699Afterward I was given chocolate milk, a bottled water and a few snacks. Then top priority was to find Cynthia and get out of the cold. Again I was so grateful that her dad drove us because I would not have wanted to sit on the metro all cold and wet. If the weather were better I would’ve loved to have hung around and enjoyed the music more.

Overall, It was a great race even with the rain. I would definitely recommend a Rock’n’Roll event. It seemed very well-organized to me. I even pulled off a half marathon PR. I’m still on a bit of a runner’s high! The best feeling, for me, is at the end of the day when I’m completely exhausted and don’t have any fight left in me. In that brief moment of time, I’m totally calm and relaxed. All is right in my little world. That’s why I run. That is one of the best feelings in the world to experience. I wish I could have that feeling every single day of my life. It’s truly wonderful. 

Anyone else have a great experience at a Rock’n’Roll event?

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7 thoughts on “Rock’n’Roll DC Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. I’ve never had a gait analysis done – I’d love to try it!

    Great job with the race – sub two hours is awesome!! I’ve never done a Rock ‘n’ Roll race – I don’t think there are any that close to me. Maybe I should do one as a destination race!

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    1. You should definitely try it! Having a gait analysis is helpful to make sure that you have to right kind of shoe. I’m an overpronator, so I need more of a stability shoe.

      Thank you! I highly recommend experiencing a Rock’n’Roll event. It could be a lot of fun for a destination race. I personally haven’t done any destination races but I hope to one day. For now it’s easier to stay close to home with my daughter being so young.

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  2. Congrats on a great race! I ran this race last year with some friends who were all doing their first half so it was a fun race for me. I definitely remember that hill in mile 6 being really brutal though.

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  3. Great race! It was definitely tough! I just love Cynthia, don’t you?! And I agree about Rock N Roll races, I really enjoy them although I was disappointed with the lack of music on the course. But I’m assuming that’s because of the rain.

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    1. It was tough! I’m sure there would’ve been more bands if not for the rain. Cynthia is awesome! I don’t know how she finds time to do everything that she does. It’s inspiring!

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