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!

Weeks 21 and 22 recap – plus BondiBand sale

I’ve kicked off the first 2 weeks of 2018 with 6 miles so far plus strength work. Not a great showing, I know, but the weather has been brutal and the treadmill/dreadmill messes with my head. I’m working on it…

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My first run of the year was a quick 2 miles on the dreadmill.

You know those BondiBand headbands I always wear when I’m running? Well, now I’m a Bondi Band Ambassador! I’m really excited. And, in case you missed my New Year’s Day announcement, it’s in the bottom right corner… 12 in 12 in 12!

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In week 22, I did one dreadmill mile plus pushups, situps, calf raises and squats. I continued with strength work the rest of the week. But, as my tank says today, don’t ever ask me to do burpees!

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Life and errands tried to get in the way of my second run in week 22, but me and my running buddy did it. Definitely a #MomSquad kind of day… we opted for a shorter distance but it still felt good, and the weather was kinder! Some calf tightness, but no pain or numbness… probably because I used the roller and stretched a bunch beforehand. I topped it off with a nice long soak before leaving for my Framily’s annual ski trip weekend.

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Another announcement: BondiBand, the company that makes my favorite headbands to wear while running, is also expanding into other workout gear! Get 10% off with code RUNTRAVELDREAM or $5 off with BBWEAR. Shop at: http://bit.ly/2FEYbCH.

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Weeks 21 & 22: 6 miles ran

13 days til FIRST 10K

 53 days til 1st Half-Marathon –> I’m running for St. Jude, please support me!

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Year in Review and 2018 Running Goals

When I first started running in August, I couldn’t even run a half-mile without being winded and running at a super slow pace. Five months later, I’m up to a long run of 7 miles… I’ve come a long way!

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Completed Races

 

2018 Running Goals

12 Half marathons (2)

  • 12 in 12 in 12: Run 12 half-marathons in 12 months in 12 states in 2018
  • Complete a Ragnar Relay (May 2018)
  • Start strength training again
  • Go back to increasing my daily protein intake
  • Stretch properly and use the roller stick before and after each run

 

2018 Registered & Tentative Races
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2018 Race states

Florida day 3: Reflection, motivation & new shoelaces

Since today was a non-running day, I spent time with the kiddo (a few pics from the Museum of Discovery and Science below), and then the Godkiddos after they got out of school. It gave me time to reflect on what I’ve been doing well so far, and what I could potentially do better with this post-injury half marathon training.

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Things I Need to Work on:

Motivation

I’m hitting the point where I am progressing (and it IS getting easier), but not as fast as I would like. And it’s playing tricks with my mind. I caught myself having thoughts like, “If I’m winded at 1.5 miles, how on earth will I ever get up to 13.1?”

I know I need to get the Negative Nancy voice out of my head, but post-injury, and with the extra weight I’m carrying around, training this go round has been quite humbling.

A friend suggested that listening to audiobooks may be my problem. She suggested I “put on some gangsta rap and handle it!” OK — got it. So, during yesterday’s run, I put my “Get Money” playlist on shuffle, and I think it did do a better job at distracting me from the aches than the audiobook (I ran the longest I have since beginning training!).

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Years back, I would forget I was running while listening to “The Help” and “Eat, Pray, Love,” so I may try audiobooks again when training gets a bit easier. Right now, I guess I need a little “gangsta rap” and ‘get money” in my runs. 🙂

Foot numbness

I had some foot numbness again yesterday, after not having any for the past two runs. Yesterday it wasn’t numb in the usual areas, but over my big toe and inner foot this time.

At our last session, my massage therapist suggested that I try different shoelace patterns if the injection didn’t resolve the matter. So, I found this site which does a great job at displaying ways to lace shoes based on different running (foot) ailments.

I went with the “wide feet in general” option which skips a few holes. We’ll see if tomorrow morning’s run is any better.

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Aches (ugh!)

Between the 65 squats last night and yesterday’s 2-miler, mixed with the fact that I couldn’t do my normal post-run soak, I was pretty achy today — in my “bad foot” and the anterior muscles in my “good leg.”

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As a result, in between each outing today, I did some major massage — both with my hand and the massage roller — using the Elemis Musclease Active Body Oil. I am thinking I should have massaged this much yesterday immediately post-run as a means of preventing today’s discomfort. Let’s hope tomorrow feels better.

Things I think I’m Doing Well:

Diet

I have done a great job keeping to low-carb in the face of traveling, temptation and being surrounded by junk food. Tonight, I wanted the Bananas Foster so badly at Dave & Buster’s but I thought about how sad I would be if I got on the scale next week and didn’t see any loss, and decided the pie wasn’t worth it.

Going Slowly/Rehabbing

I think I am doing a good job at going really slowly in training to avoid injuries. I am working hard at strengthening my foot/ankle, and listening to my body along the way. Going slowly is also helping me not feel like a failure — if I really went out there and tried to run 6 miles right now like I used to, I would be disappointed and humbled pretty quickly, and it would probably mess with my head. Slow is better right now.

>>What did you do well this week? What do you want to work on for next week?

My first run

I ran today!

Yesterday, I found a novice 5K training plan that seemed manageable (Hal Higdon’s) and realistically plotted it out on my calendar based on my work/travel schedule… with the final week ending on the week of the Hot Chocolate 5K Chicago. So, it will be 11 weeks of training instead of 8.

This is the plan as Hal Higdon has it:

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However, I didn’t feel I could run 1.5 miles straight, being so out of shape and given the weak ankle. So, I decided to start this training plan during the week of August 14th, and between now and then, run/walk 1.5 miles until I can run the whole thing.

So today, I ran 1/2 mile, walked 1/2 mile, then ran 1/2 mile. I had some tightness in my “good” ankle when I switched to walking, but it went away by the end of the night.

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