Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rock 'N Roll DC Half Marathon

Thank you all for reading and your kind thoughts on Rita and our loss. I read the comments to Roger, who wants me to pass a since and heartfelt thank you! This running community is amazing, and the support is greatly appreciated!

Our Marathon training plan included a half marathon at week 8, but we couldn't find one that we wanted to do. We then had the choice of doing Chambersburg Half Marathon, or the Washington DC Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. We debated about which race to do, both with pros and cons. We decided on DC, because we had been wanting to Run in Washington for a long time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Cost: $120, we registered 1 hour before registration closed.
Weather: cloudy, 45 degrees and there were some rain drops.
Goodies : Plastic drawstring bag, blue brooks tech shirt, coupons, and small bag of cashews. Beer ticket for after the race.


Night before the Race and Bib Pick up

We drove out to DC on Friday afternoon, we got caught in traffic on the way in, which made us cut it real close to bib pickup. For anybody who wants to know, No Rock 'N Roll does not offer day of race bib pick up. Total drag, but makes sense.
 
*I wish I would have done this part differently*

On other big races I've had, when the race packet arrives, it's read from cover to cover. Looking for key elements like Bib Pick up, Bib pick up parking, day of event parking, start line, finish line. The RnR DC race packet was different. It had a lot of advertisements, and quickly lost my attention. I glanced at the things mentioned above, but didn't make a point to really figure out parking for Bib Pick up, thinking it will all be clearer when we arrived. I ended up driving around RFK stadium 4 times, before I kicked Roger off the car and send him to get our bibs. 2 more loops of RFK later, I found the assigned parking lot, which was waay across the stadium, next to some pretty dark and scary looking places. Only place that it can be compared to, is the Newark Airport Cell parking lot.
 

I met Roger at the DC Armory as the expo was packing up. I had wanted to get a sparkly soul headband and check out the Pro-compression socks. Instead I got to use a gross portable toilet, and double scanned by security to go into the Armory.

Day of the Race

We were up and ready to drive from Arlington VA to DC. The plan was to park the Car at Union Station, and take the metro to the race, and back to the car. We arrived at Union Station by 5:45, walked down to the food court for some food. I had a bagel with cream cheese from Einstein Brothers Bagels and coffee. That was the best bagel I've had in a long time! We walked to the metro stop, were waiting to board the train with the other runners, when we met a young kid from Chicago, who told us that he was planning on running as many RnR Half marathons as he could this year. He had just finished New Orleans and his next stop was Dallas. We didn't ask him for any of his social media info, I would love to see his journey!
 
 

We walked from the metro stop to the start line, which was pretty awesome! seeing thousands of other runners heading to the star line was exhilarating!
 
 

A few notes about the start bathrooms and gear check up:

* Lines for bathrooms were VERY long
* Gear check in was easy!
 
 

We lined up at our corrals, Roger at 21, me at 15.
 
 
 

My corral took off and on to the streets. We ran by the Washington Monument, by the White house, by the side of the Lincoln Memorial, and by NPR!
 
 
The White House way in the back



 
The side of Lincoln Monument

 
Washington Monument on the back

 
 
I kept telling myself to keep a steady pace, I didn't really have a goal for it. It was only my second half, in a new course and part of my marathon training... so call me crazy, but I was running this half for FUN! I briefly mentioned to Jodi, from the Fleet Feet running group, that I would be happy with a 2:05, a minute better than my first Half Marathon.


Crazy thoughts I had during the race:

* Steady and easy, running 13 miles today... steady.
* I wonder what Love Nugget is doing now
* Wow this soldier is running the race with that huge book pack! that's amazing!
* Ok, another Army with full book pack
* My throat is dry, did I drink water?
* Why am I passing so many people? Am I going too fast?
* No, this pace feels right. Oh well.
* 1 mile, 9 ... something, that's not fast, that's right on target.
* water stop on the right/!! I'm too far to cross in front of all this people!! Will make it to the next water stop
* Oh man! that girl is wearing a cotton shirt!
* I hope Roger took off already
* I wonder if he is enjoying the race
* I wonder how bad the hill at mile 6 is?
* Did that man just go pee behind the bridge?
* Man! no Sophia's breakfast after this half marathon! I wonder what good breakfast places will be close to the finish line
* WAIT, WHAT? THAT'S THE HILL?
* NO
*NO, JUST NO.
* Suck it up. Run all the way to the top
* I don't think I can do this
* Yes, you can, keep moving
* keep moving
* keeeeppp moooving
* God will this hill EVER END?
* Almost there
* three more steps
* OH MY GOD! That right there is a new level of torture!
* I must text Roger that this hill takes all crowns of Hell Hills
* Water, I need water. Ok, i'll take a sip of Gatorade.
* Are we in a frat row? why are those kids giving out liquor ?
* There is a lot of anti Trump signs in this race.. I hope that means he won't become president
* OH. MY. GOD !! NPR!!! that's the NPR building ! that is waay cool! I wonder who is there now!! that's where Steve Inskeep works!! that's where they record Alt Latino! that is where all the magic happens... here.. let me get a million pictures!
 
 
 
 
*** it was 13 miles, so I had a lot of thoughts***
* 3 more miles, only a 5K to go
* speed it up
* use all the energy in the tank
* oh wait, hip doesn't like that
* just go! I need water
* I bet Dorothy Beal already finished her Marathon, my god, that woman is such a super star
* Would it be creepy if I saw her and asked for a picture?
* Grab Gel and gummies
* Why did I grab gel and gummies? I don't eat either one
* Oh my god! I almost fell on that pothole! is my ankle hurting? no? ok, keep moving.
* oh well, you made a choice, now live with it!
* Ok, I made a BAD choice, still have to live with it
* I wonder if the Chambersburg Half Started already
* I can see the finish line
* Run
* Sprint
*  Go!
 **That was great!! I need some food now!
* Wow! this medal is heavy! and awesome! I love it!
* must find Roger! He should be coming in soon!

 
 
 
 
After getting tons of things at the finisher's area, (Water, Gatorade, chips, a powerbar, first one for me, last three for Roger).

My final time was 1.58.57 on my Garmin. I
was satisfied with my finish.
 
 
I made my way to where the finish line was, wanting to snap a picture of him finishing. I was cold, even with the Mylar blanket. All my clothes were sweaty and I was hungry. I waited for a while, then got a text message from Roger that he was at the bag pick up and to meet him by the grass. I missed him while looking for a trashcan.
 
When I found him, he told me he came in at 2:25, 10 minutes less than the Hershey Half in the Fall. He has a near collapse at mile 12. He felt dizzy and thought he was going to collapse, but didn't. He walked a little and felt better, enough to finish. He got very emotional at mile 9, thinking of Rita and how she was. He got a terrible blister on his right foot... let's just say that he now agrees that I'm almost always right!



Thank you!

I loved the experience of running with so many people in DC, I'm glad we chose DC for our Half Marathon. The community of DC was wonderful and very supportive! I love seeing the people who come out to cheer the random runners! Thank you for that!

The bands playing along the road were amazing, my favorite band was the one at Mile 10, which seemed to be mostly women and mostly drums. Thank you for coming to perform for us! Thank you for all the volunteers who passed out water, Gatorade, gels, bibs, everything!  

Things I didn't love
* The finisher area was a little strange. The whole area was not exactly clean, and had a faint scent of sewage. I wish there would have been some warm food, it was a coldish.
* I wish there would have been race day bib pick up.
* Parking for the Expo was awful. Clearer directions to the expo parking would have been super helpful. like a Giant flashing sign that said "parking log 6 is not NEXT to RFK Stadium, it's two parking lots away!

I'm considering doing the Philly RnR, because this one was a very fun race!




 
 

2 comments:

  1. It sounds like you had a fun race overall! Way to go on that sub 2 hour half :) There is so much to love about this race but I agree, the finish area is not one of them. And definitely don't love the hill! The all women drum line is called Batala and they're awesome. http://www.batalawashington.com/

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  2. Thank you Chaitali! it was a very good race! Thanks for giving me the name for the band, I will look them up! they were amazing! Thank you for stopping by!

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