Events, Goals

I Survived My First (Last?) Half Marathon

Item# 2 has officially been struck from my list of goals for 2013! I completed the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon this past Saturday in Washington, DC. The race began in downtown DC and ended at RFK Stadium. The picture below shows the course as it was recorded by my RunKeeper app. You will notice that according to the app, I ran 13.45 miles. It’s amazing that weaving in and out around people while racing (a.k.a. passing them with my lightning speed!) added an extra .35 miles to my distance. In the future, I think race organizers should shorten race courses to account for such weaving. Please and thank you!


I was most grateful that the weather held out for this event. The weather reports leading up to the race were extremely disheartening as they were calling for rain. Running 13.1 miles was challenging enough; running 13.1 miles in the rain is just plain cruel. But luckily, the weatherman was wrong again!! (Note to self: Remember this day and don’t ever complain about the weatherman being wrong again.)

I was grateful that it didn’t rain, however, I did not appreciate the hills on the course. I hadn’t done much training running up hills because getting me to run on a flat surface is a feat in and of itself. Throughout the course I ended up climbing over 1,000 miserable feet. Despite these inclines, I was managing to keep my pace at about 11:30 min/mile which was considerably faster than my training runs (about 12 min/mile). At that pace, I thought it might be possible for me to finish in 2 hours 30 minutes when my initial goal was just to a. complete the race, and b. hopefully under 3 hours. Finishing 30 minutes faster than expected would have been quite incredible for my first half marathon. Unfortunately, somewhere around mile 11 I started to have trouble with my left ankle. I tried to “run it off” but the pain kept getting substantially worse until eventually I had to walk. However, I was determined to finish the race running, not walking. I stopped to take a moment to stretch my ankle really well and thankfully that seemed to do the trick. Unfortunately, my ankle incident really slowed me down and my pace dropped back down to my normal 12 min/mile. I still finished in well under 3 hours; 2 hours 42 minutes and 59 seconds to be exact. But let’s just say 2:43 to keep things simple, shall we. I doubt I will lose any sleep over that extra second.


If my old Drill Sergeants could see me now! There was nobody in basic training that hated to run as much as I did. If there was a basic training yearbook, I definitely would have locked in the “Least Likely To Run a Half Marathon” slot.


Rob met me at the finish line and gave me an insulated plastic liner to keep me warm. Feeling pretty proud of myself, I decided the liner was more like my Superwoman cape rather than it’s intended purpose as a plastic blanket. I made Rob take my Superwoman picture. Good thing this picture doesn’t reveal how badly Superwoman was hobbling post-race!



20 thoughts on “I Survived My First (Last?) Half Marathon

  1. Neha says:

    Congrats Dayna! that’s awesome, but better you than me, just thinking of running for that far makes my knees hurt ; )

  2. Rae Young says:

    I was thinking about you Saturday morning when I saw it wasn’t raining outside and the temperature wasn’t bad at all.

    Great job Dayna!!!

  3. Ani Danelz says:

    Congratulations!! I run my first half in June and I cannot wait to look back and say “wow I just ran a half marathon!” That looks like such a fun event.

  4. Huge congrats to you and my upmost respect. I am having a hard time keeping up my motivation to run since I have moved to CO. So many hills. Your story will inspire me to lace up my shoes.

  5. Congrats on your first half maraton. The RnR USA was my first half marathon as well. I had the same issue with RunKeeper. It said I ran 13.35 miles, which I believe, because I felt like I was weaving around people the whole race.

    That hill in Adams Morgan was brutal, luckily for us it was relatively flat leading up to that monster hill. A friend who ran the race last year warmed me about it, so I was thinking about it and anticipating it as I completed each mile.

    People seem to think the race was too crowded this year with over 30,000 people and I have to agree. I feel like I could have shaved another 15-30 seconds per mile off my time if I wasn’t always slowing down because I was stuck behind walkers or slower runners. But overall I thought it was a fun day, and I look forward to trying another half marathon soon.

      • Yeah Im not a fast runner either. So I chose to start in corral 30. I don’t know how many of the slower runners ended up ahead of me hehe. I ran a little faster than I expect (2:15:48), but still. And Im glad it wasn’t a super hot day. The water stations were a mess. Luckily I wasn’t that thirsty and just stopped twice to get water to help wash down my packet of Gu.

  6. L.Carter says:

    Way to go Dana!!! Running a half-marathon is a great feat! I do believe we have a few runners in our family, must be some form of genetics. I hope you recuperated well and your ankle quits giving you trouble! I recommend to keep running. I love to run and think it’s what keeps me going, mentally maybe more than physically! I’m running my 6th half marathon on April 7th in Raleigh. You should join me!

  7. Pingback: Travel Junkie Jonesing for a Camera Upgrade | Where In The World Is Dayna...


    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.

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