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Happy Race Season! Saturday was the first race of 2016, and it was amazing! Rock 'N Roll DC is definitely a fun race! I still can...

The Long and Short of It - Rock 'N Roll DC

By 3/15/2016 ,

Happy Race Season!

Saturday was the first race of 2016, and it was amazing! Rock 'N Roll DC is definitely a fun race! I still can't stop gushing about it. It's been 2 days.

So let me get to the clean and concise bit, and then we'll jump into the meat of the post.

The short of it is I will absolutely be doing this race again, because it's just that dang awesome.

The long involves more gushing, fun, and excitement.

So let me start from the beginning because otherwise I'll be bouncing all over the place.

The expo was fun. I went with Baby Girl and another MRTT'er. The expos for the RnR races are always a good time, although, I do feel like they're getting smaller. No less fun, but less vendors. It didn't really matter to me, because the vendors I wanted to be there were, and they got my business.

The morning of the expo, I was researching shoes. My current shoes are on their way out, and I'll be transitioning them to trail shoes, so I'm looking for the next great pair of running shoes. My right bunion is being more annoying lately, but I think that's do in part to not wearing the shoes I should because it's getting warmer and that means cute shoes are back. Cute shoes do not always agree with my foot. My foot is stupid. So, I was researching shoes, and made a plan to try on the shoes at the expo, because Brooks always has a good selection at the expos. I ended up buying a pair of shoes at the expo, because the discount they were offering was a lot better than what I'd seen online that morning. I got a pair of Brooks Transcend 3's. I decided to go with the Transcend's because they're for moderate overpronators, which I am, and they're a little more cushy than the Ravenna's. Not that I don't love my Ravenna's, I do, but on pavement I think I need a little more cushioning. My hips are divas. I also like the fact that the upper of this shoe is entirely mesh. I can't have any leather that runs over my bunions, because it makes them angry. A mesh upper, either full or partial, allows my bunions room to stretch a bit. I don't have wide feet, so the wider widths don't work for me. The only portion of my foot that is wide are at my bunions. Stupid feet. Ok, back onto the race goodness.

I started off the morning with some Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats. I'll be sharing the recipe for that on Thursday, and I decided to don my new jacket to combat the early morning chill. I'm not fully awake yet for that first picture. I'll be sharing the jacket next week.


Getting to the race was easy enough. We all met at 4:45 and then drove to the metro and took that the rest of the way in. Thankfully Starbucks opened at 5:00. Coffee was definitely needed. The weather was forecasted to be perfect for a race. Cloudy, 50's, practically no wind. So very different from last year.

So because I spent enough at Brooks, I got to potty like a rockstar before the race. TOTALLY WORTH IT! No porta-potties for this girl. I ended up using the facilities twice before the race, once we got there, and it was so much nicer than using the regular porta-potties. Of course, there was a bit of dissent amongst the people that didn't pay for the privilege of the nicer potties as they were directed to the regular porta-potties, but hey, we paid extra for this.  They had water and bananas for us, and inside they add a lot of products should you need any of them. I'm doing this in Nashville.


Then it was time to get to the chute. The chute didn't fill up until about 10 minutes before the race. It was very laid back, and comfortable. I chatted with my friend. It was her first half! So exciting. I'd met her that morning, but had seen her posting on our MRTT board. Her pace was similar to mine, so we decided to try and stick together.

Somehow we ended up in Corral 30, but we started in Corral 27. I guess we didn't move as fast as the rest of the herd. Oh well, no biggie.

Mile 1 - The gun goes off and we start out. I was excited about a new playlist, so I wasn't as chatty as I normally would've been. The first mile took us by the Washington Monument and the White House, basically along Constitution with a little detour over and up back Virginia Ave. 11:38 pace.

Mile 2 - Mother Nature starts tinkering with our emotions. We feel rain drops. Everyone starts worrying out loud. Please let it not be like last year. Mother Nature has a perverse sense of humor and in the end she didn't rain on us. We passed another friend and fellow MRTT'er! Passed encouraging words and kept on chugging.  We were headed towards Arlington, and the band sounded really good. 11:09 pace.

Mile 3 - We went up and around the circle and then back over the river. We were excited about the 5k mark. Only 16 more to go! Feeling awesome. I ate my first gel here, and grabbed some water. The band was still sounding awesome as we came back and headed left towards Rock Creek. 11:23 pace.

Mile 4 - We ran underneath the Kennedy Center and my garmin hiccuped, but it recovered pretty quickly. My earbud also fell out and the rubber thingy bounced along the road a bit. That screwed with the rhythm a bit, but it was easily recovered. Chatted on and off with my friend. She was doing well. This weather is amazing. I've finally fully warmed up, and everything feels amazing. I eat another gel at the beginning of the mile. 11:19 pace.

Mile 5 - Ran into another friend and MRTT'er. Chatted with her a bit. Ate another gel, and kept moving along. I'm feeling awesome. Today is glorious. That hill is coming, but so is the blue mile. Rock Creek is really pretty. We chat about how lucky the people are who get to run with this scenery all the time. Completely jealous. 11:50 pace.

Mile 6 - We entered the Blue Mile. I look at the pictures of all the fallen soldiers. Don't cry. You need that water. Cry on the inside. Better yet - don't stop running. Keep your legs moving because you can. Did I drink water with the last gel? I can't remember. Where's my friend? Oh she's right there behind my shoulder. Cool beans. I should drink water. I feel like I need another gel. that hill is coming. I decide to eat another gel. 12:08 pace.

Mile 7 - This mile is evil, because it starts off with a terrible hill. We run up the ramp to the overpass that crosses Rock Creek Pkwy. That's not even fair. You're also still on the Blue Mile. The volunteers on the hill are madly waving their flags and cheering us on. I try to smile, but the grandpa shuffle is strong today. I'm chugging along, and I may be moving slower than some people walk, but by-golly I'm still pumping. My friend has fallen farther behind. She'll catch up at the top. YAY! I reached the top of the hill. I didn't stop. That hill is the devil. My friend catches up after we're on the downhill along Harvard St. I'm so glad she's back, and we're more than halfway done. Some of the spectators have set up a "Whiskey for Winners" stop. I know I've mentioned how awesome the spectators are in DC. This is why, they get into the race. The smell of whiskey permeates the air for a bit. Where is time going? This race is flying by. My friend is falling a little further back, but I can still see her just behind me. 12:56 pace.

Mile 8 - I've started eating my gels in half mile increments. That's ok. I brought extra. I'm feeling really good.  It's getting a little congested but nothing terrible. I've lost my friend. I hope she's ok. She can do this. She's awesome. The drums at the beginning of this mile were amazing. You could feel their beat. I loved them. Oh, we're at Howard now. Man, this is where it really sucked last year. The wind and rain picked up, but this year it's so gorgeous. The water is gorgeous. The air is gorgeous. I really love the mix I have on now. Today is so freaking glorious. 11:57 pace.

Mile 9 - Wow, we're already at the 15k mark? What? It hasn't been that long has it? Man, I feel awesome. Just chugging along. Singing my songs. Eating my gels. I wonder how my time is stacking up. I don't think I'm doing badly. Not my fastest, but damnit if I don't feel amazing. I don't think I've ever felt this good on any of my runs at this point. Oh look! There's a Mile 9 Guiness station. What is not to love about these spectators? 12:08 pace.

Mile 10 - Hello tunnel! Only a 5k left. Hot damn. This race is moving. How does it not feel like I've been running for 2 hours. I so love this race. I love the sounds, the sights, and the atmosphere. Why is that couple stopping for coffee? They're running a race? Oh well, I can  have coffee when I'm done. Ugh....why am I getting gassy? WTF? Sorry, people. I totally crop dusted all of you. Man, my stomach is getting a little gurgly. Is it the gels? Eh. Who cares? You're almost done. 11:53 pace.

Mile 11 - Around the middle of this mile, my legs started getting tired. My calves and hips were getting tight, but I'm a machine. Just keep running. If you stop, then you're done, and you're not done yet. You have 2 miles left. Sheeesh. You can do 2 miles in your sleep. Man, something smells delicious. I wants all the foods. What is up there? A huge, brightly colored sign that says "Fuck Yeah". Ok, not something I'd write, but the whole crowd is so enthusiastic. They've got sirens and music and energy. They're high-fiving everyone! Seriously - LOVE THE SPECTATORS. I high-five two of them. Damn right, I've got this. 12:04 pace.

Mile 12 - Just one more mile. Just one more mile. Man, something else smells amazing. I want food. My hips are starting to complain louder. Shut up. We've got a mile left. You can do this, because you sure aren't stopping. I wonder how my other friend is doing. She's running her first marathon. Do you think she's going to stop at 25 miles? Nope, because she's a BAMR. I'm a BAMR too. 12:35 pace.

Mile 13 - Hey, I know where I am? We drove this road like 800 times looking for parking at RFK on Thursday. Stupid parking lots. Funny how different the neighborhood looks when you're running. Yay, we're running downhill. There also aren't a lot of fake archways. I'm so happy. Hey look, I'm still chugging. My feet are heavy, but the finish is there. I can see it. Just keep running. You're not here to PR; you're here to finish. I can finish. 12:11 pace. Hey that's faster than the last mile.

Mile 14 (for all .1 of it) - There's a banner on the ground. There aren't fake-out archways. I'm done. La-de-dah. I'm done. It was amazing. Where the hell is my food. I'm hungry. I love this race. I feel amazing. 12:20 pace. I think I finished faster than Nashville last year!

My sister, Dana, told me it didn't even look like I'd run a half marathon. She's such a dear. 
Unfortunately, that amazing euphoria I felt throughout most of the race ended as I crossed the finish line. My calves cramped up and almost brought me to tears. I hobbled along and got all of my food, along with my medal. I slowly shuffled to the end of the earth (it felt like) only to make a U-turn to get my gear. Gear check was easy breezy. I really needed to use the restrooms. Like my life depends on it, but my legs hurt so bad. I must've not hydrated well enough. My calves freaking hate me. How am I still standing, let alone moving? Oh em gee. I need a bathroom now. I've never needed a bathroom so bad in my life. My friend would later speculate that the early morning coffee might be to blame for the dire situation I was now in. She's probably right, I don't usually drink coffee before a long run for this reason.

I make it to the first bank of potties, and wait in line. Painfully. I wait in line only to find out when it's my turn next, that none of them have toilet paper! That won't do! That won't do at all. I abandon these stupid potties for the next set. I walk up the hill towards the changing tents and hopefully more potties. I'm rewarded with another, less busy, bank of potties. I wait my turn, and am rewarded with just enough toilet paper left in the potty for me. Wow, I feel instantly better. My calves have also loosened up. I still ache, but it's infinitely better. I walk over to the changing tent.

These changing tents are the best things ever. They're aren't individual changing rooms, but I don't care. Who hasn't changed at the gym? I strip off my soaking clothes. I've never been so glad for my forethought before now. I brought an entire new set of clothes, from undies and bra to pants and shirt. Plus my jacket. The chills are setting in. I changed as quickly as I can. My feet ache. They're just tired. Everything is tired. I need to eat. I need to stretch. I finish changing and bid adieu to my fellow women.

I walk over to where we agreed to meet, and sit. Gingerly. I do some light stretching, while eating my food. Gradually our half marathon group collects. We chat and eat. We wait for our friend while she finishes her first marathon. She finished in just over 5 hours. She's amazing. I hate that she's so damn perky at the end, but I'm so proud of her.

My official time was 2:38:47. It's not my best, but not my slowest. I was faster than my anticipated 2:40 finish, so there's that. I will say that I learned so much about my performance though. My gel plan worked out great, but I could hydrate better. Always the hydration with me. It was a truly fantastic race though, and I'm so excited to be going back to DC to run Cherry Blossom in 3 weeks. Squeee!


Doesn't my new jacket look fabulous? It was warm too! I took this pic after I'd hydrated some, eaten, and stretched a bit. I don't look quite so red in the face.

Dana is sharing a fun new coffee drink tomorrow, so be sure to check back! Thursday, I'm sharing my Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats, and Friday, I'll be sharing the long sleeved teal shirt I wore during Dana's and my long distance 10K!

Cheers Everyone!

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