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).

20180309_130723.jpg

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!

IMG_20180310_080246_226.jpg

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!

IMG_20180310_144713_352.jpg

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!

20180310_155352.jpg

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!

Phoenix Women’s 10K Race Recap

IMG_20180128_075235_181.jpg

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.

IMG_33771hj.jpg

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.

IMG_33901.jpg

And then we were off!

IMG_34041.jpg

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.

Screenshot_20180128-163303.png

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!

IMG_33941.jpg

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

Screenshot_20180128-115032.png

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.

IMG_34361.jpg

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!

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…

26172838_10104034897190499_4428628693644577024_o

 

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!

26220740_10104045590565889_6976450140614967436_o

 

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!

26240529_10104051598011919_5011880971846339139_o

 

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.

26850801_10156220888318470_6067323935846722302_o

 

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

2017 in Review.png

 

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
*=registered

2018 Race states

5 last-minute gifts under $20 for the new runner in your life

Elite Mini Muscle Roller – $12.99

I personally swear by my muscle roller now. At first, I thought it was just runner folklore, but it has really saved my life. I had such bad calf cramps that my foot would go numb for most of the run. Since I’ve started rolling beforehand, I’ve had ZERO numbness! It’s also great post-run to avoid knots and aches.

LED Safety Light 2-Pack – $12.49

Now that it’s winter and it gets dark at basically noon every day (sorry, I’m a little bitter), most runners will end up running in the dark at least a few times a week. These clip-on lights are great to keep them visible to cars (and other people) during runs.

The Complete Runner’s Day-By-Day Log 2018 Calendar – $14.99 (on sale for $10.39)

When training for fitness or for a race, staying accountable to yourself is one of the best motivators. I find that when I’m logging my runs and training, I’m the most successful and consistent about running. It’s especially nice to look back and see how far I’ve come in a short amount of time.

Road ID Sprint Shoe ID & the Silicone ID Bracelet – $19.99 each

We often don’t want to think about the bad things that could happen, but runners must be prepared for the worst, especially if they run alone. If a runner faints or gets hurt, the RoadID can help identify him or her and allow their loved ones to be notified of their whereabouts. Be safe, not sorry!

 

 

 

BONDIBAND Fab $5 Collection – $5 Each

These days, I don’t run without one of my BONDIBANDs. It keeps the sweat out of my eyes and from running down my face. It also keeps my ears warm during the colder temps. I bought one years ago that I swore by, but I recently ordered two customized bands — one with the Run. Travel. Dream. logo and another that reminds me that I’m “stronger than yesterday.” Great product!

 

 

Week 17 & 18 Recap: Taking it easy & Motivation troubles

The cold weather and early darkness put me into a bit of funk during weeks 17 and 18. It has been 10 times harder to get motivated and go outside for a run. I only got one run in each week, which is a big shift from what I had been doing.

QUESTION: What do YOU do to combat the cold-weather/winter blues? How do you motivate yourself to still get out and run?

Week 17 Recap

Tuesday — 4 miles in the bank! Got a good run in with my running buddy before work, despite the overcast and the drizzle. No numbness, no pain.

Stretching my calves, IT band and hamstrings pre-run and using the roller before my runs seems to be the key now. Since I’ve started this routine, I haven’t had any numbness.

24831127_10103982470558889_813760498409506895_o (1)

Sunday — I had a 5K scheduled, but it snowed the night before, it was 20 degrees, parking was going to be tough, and I just couldn’t muster up the energy to run it. I stayed in bed and rested, which honestly, I really needed.

 

Week 18 Recap

Friday — It was way too cold, so we took our run inside. I did 2 slow miles on the treadmill, inclined to 3% and my boredom got the best of me. I then switched to 15 minutes on the bike and rounded the workout off with strength training (pushups, calf raises, squats).

25398115_10104002502489739_2721761364859860753_o

Later that afternoon, I had a nice 90-minute massage which was fantastic.

Saturday — My family and friends had our Christmas dinner (clearly, pre-Christmas). It was a great time!

 

Run. Travel. Dream. Updates!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Weeks 17 & 18: 6 miles ran 😦

41 days til FIRST 10K

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

QUESTION (again): What do YOU do to combat the cold-weather/winter blues? How do you motivate yourself to still get out and run?

Week 15/16 Recap: Roller sticks rock!

After taking a planned week off (week 15) for the holiday, I’m back at it! A 3.6-mile short run yesterday afternoon with my running buddy. It felt good to be back out there. I had a little IT band pain, but no numbness or cramps thanks to good stretching beforehand. I had to use Strava on my phone to track the run because I left my Garmin home by accident.

24173791_10103971822522639_2997460601931172782_o

7.11 miles in the bank! My longest run since starting in August. My poor watch froze at the end from the cold weather but we got it done. My running buddy is the real MVP for running those 7 while pushing a stroller up several hills! I stretched a ton and used my rolling pin beforehand (rather than after the run) and again no pain or numbness. That’s the key it seems!

24173779_10103973711038039_1138134938790398664_o

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Week 15: OFF

Week 16: 10.71 miles ran

4 days til next 5K

53 days til FIRST 10K

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