Race Recap: Rock N Roll Half Marathon Washington, DC 2018

I did it! Here’s a recap of my first Rock N Roll race, and my first half marathon post-injury…

I flew down this past Friday for the Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon. Registration was super easy, and despite the crowd of people, there wasn’t a line to pick up my bib. (Although, I was a bit annoyed that there was no mailing option for the bibs).

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The Expo itself was neat, and the cash registers for race gear moved pretty quickly. There were booths to help us figure out transportation issues on race day, which was helpful. Being a St. Jude Hero for this race, I also visited the St. Jude booth. But, despite being exhausted, with all of the cool vendors, it did what it was supposed to do — it got me hyped for the race the next day. I spent the rest of the day resting up for the race and “carb-loading” (as if I needed an excuse to eat carbs!).

On race day, I had a cinnamon-raisin bagel with cream cheese, a green tea and tons of water with Nuun in it. So, of course, by the time I got to the race I needed to find the port-o-potty lines, which were amazingly long!

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Then, we were off! Since my training lagged a bit during the winter months, I decided to run-walk this race. I used Runkeeper to set up a workout where it prompted me to run 0.5 mile then walk 0.5 mile, repeated 13 times, with a cool down for the last 0.1 mile. It worked well! I was able to play my own playlist on Amazon Music, but the Runkeeper prompts interrupted with updates when it was time to switch, and again at 30-minute intervals.

Miles 1-5 felt great, but around mile 6, there was a really steep hill, aka the Blue Mile, that was decorated with photos of military service men and women who lost their lives while serving. Near the middle of the mile, just as it got pretty steep, there were people holding flags cheering us on to push through. I must admit, I walked a little longer than 0.5 mile after that hill, but I didn’t fall too far behind.

Around Mile 9 or 10, I met a woman who was running her first half marathon. We began chatting and pushed each other through to the end. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the 20K sign (“That’s 0.7 more miles to go!”). I felt so good when we ran across the finish line, high-fived and hugged. I MADE IT!

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My longtime friend Rashonda came and met me near the finish line. Of course, we went to eat afterwards and I replenished my carbs burned with a nice Apple Tartini and a glass of wine!

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I got super stiff after the race, but it only lasted for 2 days this time… better than after the 10K... and a 2-hour massage on Monday took the last of the soreness away. Next up: Rutgers Half!

36 hours in Phoenix (for a race, of course)

Mom, kiddo and I ventured out to Phoenix on Friday to take part in the Phoenix Women’s 10K (me running, them spectating). With only a short time in town, we tried to get in as much as we could.

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Friday

We landed late into Phoenix and stayed with Marriott points at Towne Place Suites in a nice 2-bedroom suite with a sofa pull out.

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Saturday

We took a Lyft to Butterfield’s Pancake House in Scottsdale for breakfast because I read about their oven-baked pancakes (which apparently take 30 minutes to prepare — at least the menu warns you!). It was super yummy, but way too big. Thankfully, I had only ordered 2 eggs to go with it for some protein.

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Next stop: The OdySea Aquarium. This was kiddo’s vote, and we obliged. It was a cute aquarium, not as much to see inside as you would expect from how massive the external building is. But, it was still nice. My favorite was the jellyfish.

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We took another Lyft to the Arizona Fine Art Expo which had the most amazing pieces. We watched a glassblower make paperweights, and I bought one of his glass pumpkins to bring him.

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We ended the day at Buca di Beppo near the race, to meet up with another member of the Fifty States Half Marathon Club for dinner. Then it was off to bed.

Sunday – Race Day!

The race recap is here: https://runtraveldream.com/2018/01/28/phoenix-womens-10k-race-recap/.

Not much else went down on Sunday except a hot soak in the tub, a flight from Phoenix to Denver, then one from Denver to Newark.

Next time we return to Arizona, we hope to hit up Grand Canyon!

Phoenix Women’s 10K Race Recap

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The 10K started at 8:30am, so we (me, mom and kiddo) got there at 7:30am for packet pickup and to warm up. I chose priority pickup, so my bib was mailed to me, and all I had to pick up was my Dri-Fit tech jacket.

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It was a nice turnout with a Zumba warm up before the Half marathon and again before the 10K. The half started at 8am and the 5K at 8:45am.

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And then we were off!

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This race was a hard one for me. I felt every bit of my decrease in training over the past month. I walked through the last three water breaks (there were four total) and up the last incline. My calves cramped and my right foot was numb. I also think I started out way too fast (for me). You can see my mile-splits here.

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The course had a few minor inclines, which were manageable. I could’ve done without dodging the splatterings of large poop along the trail, but otherwise, it was OK. The turnarounds for the 5K and 10K felt a little strange, but there was someone standing at the 10K turnaround which helped.

Speaking of people along the course, there really weren’t any… not a lot of people telling us where to go at the turns and not a lot cheering us on. One of the race volunteers mentioned that it would be hard for spectators to cheer us on because we ran most of the race inside of the Historic Preservation.

The starting line and finish line were at the same place for all 3 races.

I was so happy to be done, and happy to get my medal  — I earned it!

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I finished with a chip time of 1:20:28.

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We hung around for a while to cheer on a fellow member of the Fifty States Half Marathon Club who ran the half marathon today, then we headed back so I could squeeze in a hot soak before the flight.

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Today was definitely humbling and reminded me that I need to get back onto my training grind PRONTO! My 1st half post-injury, the Rock N Roll Half Marathon DC is only 40 days away! EEK!

Week 14 recap & tallies

I started off week 14 with a 6-mile run-walk Monday on a city running tour in Honolulu. I forgot to pause it during miles 2 and 5 when we stopped for snacks and photos, so the time is screwy. My shin was sore, so I popped some Motrin and did a lot of pre-run stretching. I got through! I also found a rainbow (above my sweaty head).

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At the end of week 14, I got in another 6 miles: to the park, around the park, and home… but I had to walk most of the last mile… my right calf cramped badly and my right foot was completely numb. It didn’t help that my watch face froze most of the run, then wouldn’t allow me to click done after. So I took a photo of it for the blog. Overall, I felt good during most of the run, keeping about a 12-minute pace until I walked.

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I’m making progress though: 2.5 months ago I couldn’t run a half mile. Aches and pains are all part of the process, right? The black tee is my post-run mood lately… lol.

This week, I also got my new 2018 planner. 2017 has been amazing… now, it’s time to get cracking on next year with my new planner from May Designs.

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Here’s my tally for the last 3 weeks:

***TOTALS***Measure

Week 12: 6 miles ran

Week 13: 2 miles ran (the shin sidelined me)

Week 14: 12.2 miles ran/walked

18 days til next 5K

67 days til FIRST 10K

107 days til Half-Marathon –> I’m running for St. Jude, support me!

And we’re back… Running in a skirt!

Today was my first run after being sidelined all week with shin splints/cramps. I did 2 pain-free miles, and walked a total of 1.58 miles before and after the run, while listening to Power 105’s Sunday night reggae mix (NYC) via iHeart Radio. I also made sure to really stretch today, and it helped.

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This is the park I ran through – Ala Moana. Great views of the ocean!

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I also ran this afternoon in a skirt! No, not like an A-line — a skirt specifically made for running, from Skirt Sports. The pair I bought has biker shorts sewn-in, and it was surprisingly comfortable. I thought the legs of shorts would irritate me, but I immediately forgot I was wearing anything special: super comfy.

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Want to try your own running skirt? Use code RTD15 for 15% off any full price item(s) at Skirt Sports or at their Boulder, CO Flagship store. Note: It expires 12/31/2017 and cannot be used with other coupons, discounts or promotions.

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Pre-run, I had an açaí bowl with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, quinoa puffs and a scoop of peanut butter, with carrot lemonade as my beverage. Yum!

Tomorrow is my last day in Honolulu… I have a super early running tour of Honolulu lined up before I leave. Can’t wait!

Week 12 recap and sidelined in Hawaii…

After my 5K on Sunday the 29th, I didn’t run again until Friday when I squeaked out 5 miles with my running buddy.

I totally forgot to take a selfie at the end of that 5 miles. It was a rough one. I still had sore gluts from my post-race deep tissue massage, and my foot was numb for half of it. Then my IT band acted up for the last 1/2 mile. I was a mess! But guess what? Another 5 miles in the bank, just before I started my travels.

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Later that day, I flew to Phoenix for a certification course, and was itching to get outside for a run that Sunday. 


However, it was a tough, disappointing run. I felt winded at first, then once I got into a groove at the 1 mile mark, my left shin/ankle cramped and I could barely dorsiflex my foot. At the same time, my right foot went numb. I just walked the 0.8 mile back (which was a struggle) and called it a day. I think it was a combination of wearing heels for 3 long days straight (which I rarely do), and then running on uneven sidewalk.  

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I continued with pain, so I didn’t try to run before I left for Hawaii on Tuesday.


Wednesday morning, I got up bright and early for morning yoga. I walked 3 miles round trip to the meeting site, and my leg started to feel better.

But, despite soaking and massaging all week, I kept being awakened by excruciating pains at night for the remainder of the week. Last night, I got the great idea to use my TENS electric stim machine along my tibialis anterior muscle. It was my FIRST night with no pain!

I have, however, been enjoying my time here in Honolulu.

I’m taking it easy with this left leg now, with the hope that I can get a run in tomorrow.

Hot Chocolate 5K Chicago: Race Recap

I did it! My first 5k in years and my fastest 5k since the fracture/injury.

I couldn’t make to the Expo, so I had my packet mailed to me ahead of time (I actually heard the Expo was smaller this year compared to years prior). So, I still got to lay out my #FlatJane the night before, complete with my bib:

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On race day, finding the corrals was a bit confusing. But, the race itself ran smoothly. The announcer said there were 45,000 runners between the 15k and the 5K!  (I did the 5K). LOTS of runners, a bit crowded… Definitely chilly!

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It was below 40 degrees this morning in Chicago, and my poor Garmin watch literally froze. So I just ran not knowing time, pace or distance. I felt good though. No pain.

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I started out feeling great until at least the half-way point. When I started feeling a bit winded, I slowed down a little. There were some walkers in wave 1 that you had to weave around, but it was manageable. That small incline just before the last 1/4 mile of the race was a struggle, but not too bad.

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Post-race, the band was fun. I thought the lines to get our hot chocolate would be mayhem with so many runners, but it was organized by line number and I had no wait! And even though I’m not a big chocolate fan, the finisher’s mugs were yummy!

I would definitely recommend this race.