Another half marathon is in the books. Looking back on it, I had fun. But honestly, it was the first race that ever made me question why I run. I was pretty much miserable the whole race. Everything that could be off, was off – my head, my legs, my stomach. It was a text book bad run.
All I have to say, is thank goodness for Sam. She kept me going through so many times moments when I was struggling. She was a rock star and powered through the whole 13.1 miles – even the crazy rolling hills.
But bad run (on my part) aside, it really was an awesome race. I was skeptical. Rock n Roll is notorious for overselling races and really just being in the business to make money. I knew it would be crowded. I knew the Metro would be a mess. I knew we would need to be patient.
Rock n Roll ended up pulling it out. The crowd control was great. The corrals allowed for a decent, wave start. Yes, there were lots and lots of runners. But I think it was a very well put together race, especially for being ran completely in DC. That meant lots of closed roads, lots of police and volunteers, and lots of logistics and planning.
Our day started nice and early. In order to get to the Metro right when it opened at 6, we left my house at 5:30. The Metro ride was long since we got on at the first stop of the Blue line. By the time we got to the Stadium Armory stop, the Metro trains were packed to the last inch with runners.
As soon as we got off the Metro, we got in line for the porta potties. There was a lot of waiting that morning. While a wave start is good for crowd control, it also means we didn’t cross the Start line until 8:30.
My race was bad but everything else was great – the course, the support, the volunteers. There was never a time that there weren’t people cheering us on and there was always something interesting to look at. I have never run a race with such an exciting course. I am a total nerd for DC so it was so fun to run through neighborhoods and see lots of awesome architecture up close.
There were lots of water stations, plenty of volunteers, and every runner I encountered was super nice. The best part of the race was running through the tunnels and neighborhoods. There were SO many people cheering, giving out high fives, pouring beer for the runners, and blaring music. At some moments it felt like we were running a legit race, like it was the New York Marathon or something.
I wish my run matched the atmosphere. That would have made it the perfect race. But some runs are bad and some are good. I snagged a PR, ran with my best friend, and at the end of the day, I still love running.
The finisher’s chute was pretty amazing. They had LOTS of food for the runners and the band, Switchfoot, was rocking and rolling. I was majorly dehydrated (it was an unseasonably warm day for March, almost too warm for a spring run), and we were both starving, so we made our way back to Springfield and immediately drove to Chipotle. It was the perfect ending to our morning of running.
After the endorphins set in, all I could think about was the next race. Next up is the George Washington Parkway Classic in April and the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in May. All of these races are getting me prepared for the big daddy of em all – Marine Corps Marathon in October. This race showed me that I have a long way to go. Fortunately, I have a few months to train and lots of races in between.
I will definitely run Rock n Roll USA again. Hopefully, Rock n Roll Virginia Beach in September will be just as organized and fun.