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!

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.

1-mile Labor Day fun run!

Yesterday, I did a 1-mile fun run with my mom and son and shaved 30 seconds off of my mile time! I was winded toward the end, but it didn’t feel too bad. I think with more training, I’ll be able to get that pace down some more. Kiddo finished in 7 minutes!

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I definitely started out too fast (about 8:40 min/mile), and couldn’t maintain it. I need to work on my pacing big time. But I finished with 10:34 min/mile. I started my watch a bit before crossing the start line so I ran slightly more than a mile.

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The only frustrating part of the day was that we couldn’t find the start line and walked about a mile around the park looking for it before the race even started! 😦

I was also beat from cooking and entertaining the day before at our pre-Labor Day BBQ, granted it was a bunch of fun!

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2.5+ miles, new swag & my reasons for running

I was scheduled for 2 miles today, but I ran with my running buddy and we pushed out about 2.75 miles (although my Garmin didn’t sync right away, so I only got credit for 2.5). This was my longest run and fastest pace for anything over a mile since restarting training. My ankle brace was too tight and did cause me some numbness, which is honestly the only reason I stopped. I could have gone longer. Progress!

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I followed my run with a 1-hour back and leg massage that was much needed. Although, I still have 110 squats (see squat challenge post), 110 sit-ups and 55 pushups waiting for me tonight.

My customized Run. Travel. Dream. Bondi Band came in today! I also got one with one of my personal running mottos: Stronger than Yesterday.

My running skirt from Skirt Sports came also. I’m so excited to run in this. It has shorts underneath.

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I added a new race to the calendar today as well: the Montclair 5K Doughnut Run. I heard about it in a Facebook running group. It’s exactly as it sounds — doughnuts at each mile. And it sold out in less than 4 hours!

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On a different note, I was reading an article recently that suggested that every runner should know WHY they are running, because it helps with motivation, especially on the crappy days. I realized that despite setting on this path of half marathon training, I hadn’t fully fleshed out my true reasons for running.

So, here goes my 5 reasons (I’m sure I have a few more):

  1. I’m competitive and there aren’t many sports (attainable for me) that you can compete in in your late 30s (and older).
  2. To get back into shape — lose weight, improve endurance and get stronger.
  3. Because I hate that my injury sidelined me 3 years ago. I wanna prove that this injury can’t beat me.
  4. The runner community is amazing. I like the sense of belonging to something bigger, and being inspired by the other runners. It has even brought me closer to friends who run.
  5. Races will give me another excuse (as if I need one) to travel.

 

What are YOUR reasons for running?