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!