Rock ‘N’ Roll DC Half Marathon
Race season has officially begun! I kicked off the start of the season with the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon in DC. This was my second time running a race with the Rock ‘N’ Roll series and I was very pleased with the Virginia Beach races last Fall. This was actually my first time running in the heart of DC. The city is my least favorite place to run, but it was a good opportunity to see DC without the bustling metropolis.
I headed straight to the expo on Thursday right after work. It was much more convenient for me to go on Thursday compared to a busy Friday. The expo was located at the DC Armory and I was excited to be back in the swing of things. I walked around and sampled some protein bars, checked out some running gear, and even won a couple free shirts. I was asked if I wanted to take a photo finish picture (as seen below). I joked with the guy about the time saying over a day, but apparently it was a countdown till the race. This expo did not seem as big to me compared to Virginia Beach, but still had a decent amount of booths to check out.
Race morning consisted of waking up at 4:30 am. I had some oatmeal and a piece of toast for my race morning energy. I arrived at the Metro station fairly early to try and avoid any delays.
I always hate trying to figure out the trackers for the Rock ‘N’ Roll series. This race is the only one I know that puts a tracker on your shoe.
There were a decent amount of runners on the Metro in to DC. I was worried it was going to be a madhouse getting into the city with over 20,000+ other runners, but it went a lot smoother than expected. I arrived around 6:30am. A gorgeous pink sky could be seen in the distance and countless runners were scattered throughout the streets.
I made my way to the porta potties and was surprised to not see any lines. After, I went over onto the National Mall where everyone else seemed to be hanging out. I made my way towards the back to stretch and warm up. I had about an hour to kill before the start of the race so I did my normal jumping around to kill some time.
Oh boy, the look of hesitancy and despair! If you can’t tell, I was very nervous for this race. My last half marathon was in November and I scaled back on my usual amount of running during the winter time. I ran 10 miles a week prior to this race to make sure I still had it in me and thankfully I did.
We were divided into corrals. I was supposed to start in corral 4, but I hovered back and started in corral 5. As my first race of the year, I could not afford to get injured and I told myself to just listen to my body and take it easy.
Just minutes before the start of the race. At 7:30, we were off. It was a little chilly that morning. It was cloudy which made for perfect running conditions.
The course took us through a good portion of DC. There was one killer hill around mile 6-7. It was a nice challenge mid way through the race and the crowds were very encouraging. That was the only part of the race I really struggled with. The rest was smooth sailing.
I stayed pretty consistent with my pace. I always tend to.
I have also noticed that my average heart rate has significantly decreased. My last half marathon was in November and my average heart rate was 181 bpm compared to this one at 155 bpm. It is nice knowing that my heart does not have to work as hard to run such distance, which means I am totally capable of running at a faster speed!
After the race I felt great. I took the time to stretch and catch my breath. They were giving out a bunch of free snacks so I grabbed a chocolate milk, banana, protein bar, and some pretzels. I took it easy for the rest of the day to let my body rest and recover and thankfully I was not sore the next day! I actually went out and ran an easy 3 miles on the trails because I was getting a little stir crazy from resting. Surprisingly, this is my slowest half marathon to do date, but that’s okay! I took it easy and there will be plenty more races to come!