March 21, 2020

RnR USA: A Personal Worst Time with a Personal Best in Karma

I never ended up posting my goals for Rock n Roll USA, which is mostly because I didn’t have many. I signed up for 3 races in less than a month and I knew I couldn’t realistically race all three. I gave the B&A Trail Half my all and I really want to PR at the 10 mile distance this year – so that left Rock n Roll USA as my “fun” race. I’m so lucky my favorite running buddy Suze was down with an easy race strategy.

We decided that we were going ignore the fact that it was St. Patrick’s Day and dress in head-to-toe hot pink. I figured, for once, I’d easily be able to spot myself in pictures! I’m pretty excited to see the official race pics but here’s a sneak peak.

I race in head-to-toe pink on St. Patty's Day.

The race started at the Armory and we left home with an hour and 15 minutes to get there by the 8 a.m. start time. But of course Metro is the suck and there was a train that off loaded and we were standing in L’Enfant Plaza for more than 30 minutes. While we were waiting, we met up with a new running friend, who also wore hot pink. It was her first half marathon and she was a little nervous. She was around our paces so we joined forces and added one more person to our pink army. We ended up getting to the start and getting in the port-a-potty lines right as race volunteers ran around to tell everyone that the race was starting and to hurry. The good thing about being in one of the later corrals is that we didn’t have to worry – we didn’t even cross the start line until 8:40! I do have to say that the start line was very well organized. Rock n Roll races are like machines in that regard.

So we started and my legs felt pretty good considering the fact I haven’t run once since B&A. I did, however, walk about 30 miles around Disney last week so I think I was in decent shape.  We decided to follow our Baltimore Half strategy of 4 min running/1min walking starting after mile 1.

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Other than the warmer than normal weather, the first 4-5 miles were uneventful.  I was really excited to be running and we were having a lot of fun chatting. We got a lot of cheers for our hot pink outfits! When we got to the Farragut area, I refilled my water bottle at one of the giant water stations and the water tasted horrendous. I definitely understand the suspicious about RnR using hydrant water in Vegas. I don’t think they could get away with that in DC – but the water tasted awful. I regretted taking it but kept drinking it because it was so warm. I tried grabbing Gatorade when I saw it instead.

The next few miles were pretty darn hilly. I also feel like the bands were lacking. How many were there? It doesn’t seem like many, definitely not enough to call the race a Rock n Roll race.

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By the time we conquered the big hills our new friend started to fade. She had a cold and at around the end of mile 8 she started to get really, really pale. She wasn’t taking in enough calories so I forced my fuel on her and basically made her eat my Honey Stingers. Suze was giving her water and she started to look a bit better but she was just spent.  She kept telling us to leave her but we just couldn’t. For one thing, we just spent the whole race with her. We weren’t going to leave her to feel awful all by herself at the end.  Neither of us were aiming for PR’s so what did it matter if we finished with our new friend or 10 minutes ahead of her? It really didn’t. I pulled out every cheesy & motivational line I could think of and we all made it through to the end, though we did see someone who fainted right at mile 13! It made me even more happy we stayed with our new friend – if she would have fainted I’d have felt awful. We crossed the finish line as a team – all 3 of us at the exact same second. It may have been my slowest half marathon to date but it was a good one. I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe fore the water situation).

I can’t wait to see the official race pictures. I’m really hoping the hot pink outfit strategy paid off! I’m also hoping that the good karma from this race follows me through to the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler where I’m hoping to PR.

I know lots of you raced this weekend – how did it go?

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