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Rock & Roll USA Half Marathon race report March 29, 2012

Posted by bettyjoan in Races, Running.
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Well, it was bound to happen – as you can see from the sidebar, the half marathon in DC didn’t garner us the PR we were hoping for.  BUT, on the plus side, it was a tremendous learning experience and a really fun weekend overall.  Here’s how it went down…

Originally, five of us were traveling to DC, and we were all going to race – three of us were doing the half, and two crazies were going all out with the full marathon.  Well, crazy #1 suffered a stress fracture, and crazy #2 was super sick and couldn’t make the trip at all.  In the end, we still had four people in our condo (which, incidentally, was SO MUCH BETTER than staying in a hotel), but only two of us – me and my husband – ended up running the race.

We got to DC on Thursday night, and we hit the expo first thing on Friday.  I am really starting to hate expos – they always have the same old stuff, and my impulse is generally just to get the bib/shirt and get the hell out.  We ate a delicious lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, and then we tried to rest and relax for the remainder of the day.  One of the awesome parts about staying in a condo is that we were able to cook our own pre-race dinner – so we enjoyed yummy carbs in the peace and quiet of our own space.  Ahhhh!  It also cut down on our walking and waiting, so we were able to go to bed early and actually get quality rest.  As it turns out, it was the best night of pre-race sleep I have ever had.

Instead of fooling around with Metro in the morning, we decided to take a cab, which gave us about an hour of extra sleep – it was the right decision!  We grabbed our breakfast and asked the cabbie to get us as close to the start line as possible, and he did a great job, despite various race-related road closures.  I had plenty of time for a bio break and some stretching before we were off and running!

The first five miles were awesome – it was still relatively cool, and the adrenaline was pushing us right along.  We ran around the Capitol building and some really cute residential areas near the Hill, and then we turned up 18th Street through Downtown, Dupont Circle, and Adams Morgan.  Unfortunately, right around mile 6-7 (ish), as we were going up a nice hill, I noticed that hubby’s footsteps sounded labored AND farther behind me than they should have been.  For some reason, he was really struggling – I think it was because the sun had come out and the temperature had risen past his comfort level, and it just hit him a lot harder than he was expecting.

For most of the rest of the race, we did a run-walk combo, just to keep things moving.  Hubby poured water over his head when he could, in an effort to cool down.  When we saw the finish area, he dug deep and we were able to run to the end!  So, even though we were off the original goal pace, we learned a lot and decided that we would funnel all of that information into having a GREAT full marathon experience in Madrid.  I was super excited that my IT band issues didn’t surface at all – a good sign for April racing.

And, of course, we enjoyed the rest of our weekend in DC – because, ya know, 13.1 miles is 13.1 miles.  🙂

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