Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon Recap

Well I survived.

Untitled

After a broken training cycle because of my foot injury, I wasn’t sure what to expect of this race. I missed about three weeks of training, and my longest run pre-race was only nine miles.

So the night before the race, I went to bed a big bundle of nerves. I just didn’t have a great feeling about the race, plus it was only going to be in the low 20s at the start of the race — easily one of the coldest days we’ve had all winter in DC.

Because the DC Metro is a hot mess, the race organizers pushed back the start of the half marathon until 8:30 a.m. This was awesome on so many fronts. It meant I got to sleep in until 6:30 (though, I definitely woke up at 6 because of nerves), and the sun was up and shining well before I had to leave my apartment.

When I got to the race start, I hit the porta-potties and then made my way over to my corral hoping to spot Emily and Megan. I found them minutes before the race started — just in time to snap a quick picture!

17309239_10105604329320968_5156105083601172030_n

Then we all hopped in our respective corrals. Megan told me she hadn’t been able to train as much as she hoped to for the race either and her goal was to keep up with me. If you used to read Megan’s blog back in the day, you know this is LOL-laughable because Megan is so much faster than I am.

But we started together and actually ended up running the whole time together, and it was so nice to have a race buddy. Normally I really hate running with other people because it adds so much extra pressure, but I think because our joint goal was mutual survival it worked out so well.

The first five or six miles went pretty well. We were running at a relaxed pace and chatting about random things — work, Megan’s wedding planning, etc. Around mile 4 the road really started slanting to one side badly and I could feel my entire left leg freak out, but eventually that settled.

When we got to the massive hill to climb from Rock Creek Parkway into Woodley Park, Megan and I took our first walk break of the course. That hill is a brutal biatch, and we both decided it was smarter to try to conserve energy than plow forward up it.

The second half of the course is much more enjoyable than the first half. We ran through tons of different neighborhoods as we wound our way through Adams Morgan over to Howard and eventually down to Capitol Hill. There were way more spectators out in these parts of the race — handing out food and champagne, beer and whiskey.

Untitled

We passed Megan’s fiancee around mile 10.5, and he biked to meet us a few other places in the last couple miles. It was nice to see his friendly face because Megan and I were both struggling at that point.

Mile 11 seemed to drag on for forever. Everything in the lower part of my body hurt. My hips, my quads, my calves. Putting one foot in front of the other was miserable. Megan and I kept counting down how much running we had left as we tried to motivate ourselves along.

The course finished on a slight uphill, which felt especially cruel on Saturday.

My friend’s parents caught this great shot of Megan and I running up the hill at the very end of the race. They said I was smiling the whole time, which to me seems crazy because everything hurt so much, I don’t know how I managed a smile.

Untitled

Perhaps I was just so excited to be almost done.

I also heard some of my other friends cheering for me right before the finish. It was so nice to see their smiling faces and then be done.

Megan and I crossed the finish line in slightly over 2:10. My official time was 2:10:26, which works out to just faster than a 10 min per mile average. Not too shabby all things considered.

Despite my lack of training, my horrible nerves going into the race, and the freezing temperatures, I think this was one of more pleasant races I’ve run lately. All credit to Megan for that. Having a buddy to run this race with made all the difference in the world.

Untitled

A big, big thank you to everyone who came out to watch and cheer on Saturday morning. It was freezing cold, and I would have wanted to be in my bed if I wasn’t running. So thank you — you all are the best.

Honky Tonkin’ in Nashville

Last year, I made it a priority to travel to a bunch of new places I'd never been. I had so much fun that I decided I wanted to continue making travel and exploring new places a priority this year too. When my best friend found out she was going to be on a six-week work assignment in Nashville, I knew that had to be one of the places I visited this year. I found the one and only free weekend I had the entire month of March, snagged a cheap flight, and Hadass and I jetted off to the land … [Continue reading]

Books I Read in January and February

Man it's been ages since I've done a good book review post, and I'm so excited that I actually have time to read again and can write posts like this again. They're truthfully some of my favorite to write. I'm going to try to get back on track and do these monthly, but for now, here's a quick look at what I read during the first two months of the year. Books I read in January The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney This was an awesome book that I couldn't put down. I read most of it … [Continue reading]

RnR DC: Two Weeks Out

When I hurt my foot earlier this year, I got out of the habit of writing weekly recaps of my training for the Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon. There's not a whole lot to write about when you're stuck in a walking boot. But since the boot came off a few weeks ago, I've been slowly and steadily building my running back up. It hasn't been easy, and I will admit, it's definitely disheartening to have my training be such a struggle these days after it started out so strong in early … [Continue reading]

Cross-training and Treadmill Running

IMG_8069

So remember how last week I said I was going to simulate all my runs on the elliptical and see how things went with my foot? I started out last Monday with all the best intentions -- in fact, I tortured myself with 45 minutes on the elliptical that night. It was double-y depressing because we had some gorgeous weather here in DC, but instead of being outside, I was stuck in a basement on an elliptical. To reward myself for surviving 45 minutes on the machine from hell, I snuck over to … [Continue reading]

Foot Update and Half Marathon Considerations

Well after two weeks in a walking boot, things seem to be getting moderately better on the foot front. Last week, I had orders from the doctor to try walking around my house without the boot on. I tried it out first on Wednesday and did not have a good experience. There was still more pain than I thought there should be, and of course, that made me really question whether or not I'd be able to do the half marathon in March. But then by Friday, things seemed to be a little bit better. I … [Continue reading]

An Update on the Foot Situation

Well friends depending on how you look at it, I either got good news or bad news about my foot last week. If we're looking at it as good news, my foot isn't broken. The X-ray was clean. There's no stress fracture and my doctor things I should still be able to train for and run the half marathon in March. If we're looking at it as bad news, I have a stress reaction injury in my second metatarsal -- basically right under the ball of my foot. This means it's extremely painful for me … [Continue reading]

RnR DC Half Marathon Training Week 3

Thanks to those of you who commented yesterday about what could be going on with my foot. It seems a bit better today, though I did spend a decent amount of time rolling my foot over a tennis ball in case it is the start of plantar fasciitis again. Week three was another pretty good week of training -- though I could have done without some of the brutally cold days. More days in the 50s please. I did make one switch to the training schedule last week to fit in my long run on a day … [Continue reading]

A Bruise on the Bottom of My Foot?

So yesterday afternoon when I was running errands, I noticed I had this weird pain on the bottom of my right foot. I don't know how to describe it other than it felt like I was walking on a bruise that had developed on the ball of my foot. It wasn't a sharp pain or anything like that, it was more just this annoying thing that happened every time I had to push off that foot to take a step. There's definitely no visible bruise on my foot, but last night it was a little tender if I pushed on … [Continue reading]

RnR DC Half Marathon Training Week 2

Well if week one of training was easy breezy because I was on vacation, week two of training was manageable because I suddenly realized what it was like to have free time again. Juggling just work and training and the occasional social event is so much easier than juggling work, training, social events plus class, homework and group projects. I honestly don't think I realized just how much time school used to suck up until this first week back at work. I basically feel like I can breath … [Continue reading]