I have officially completed my goal of running a half marathon!
The D.C. Rock ‘N’ Roll Half (and Full) Marathon was this past Saturday. Part of me couldn’t believe it was time for the race to be here already and the other part of me was getting a little tired from all of the training and was just anxious to run the race.There was the impending threat of rain on race day (70% chance of it raining all day), which would have been awful for all the runners who had spent some much time and energy training for the race. I personally would have cried in anger and frustration if it had rained and probably wouldn’t have finished the race. Alas, it didn’t rain! The weather turned out to be perfect, and we even saw some sunlight during the day.
Since the weather on race day was around 44 degrees (with a chance of rain) I ended up wearing black capris pants and a long-sleeved sweat resistant shirt, which ended up being fine. Though I did get a little hot during the last few miles of the race, but I wouldn’t have done anything differently.
I had two goals for my first half marathon – to run the entire race (no walking up hills, no walking to catch my breath when the going got tough, etc) and to finish the race. I successfully completed both goals. My ending time was 2 hours and 51 seconds – which I am very proud of. I know it’s not the best finish time, but considering I didn’t even think I could do a half marathon six months ago, I am very satisfied with it and know in the future I can work at chipping some minutes off this time.
I began the race with two of my friends, Julie and Laura. Once our corral was set loose to begin the race we each went our own separate ways and were planning on meeting up with each other and celebrating together after the race. I’m torn whether or not I would have preferred to run with one of them (or both of them) for a few miles at the start of the race – not necessarily to chit-chat, but just to have someone next to me to pass the time away and then eventually we’d part depending on our personal paces. Or if it was better to be on my own, in my zone, for the entire race. I guess I’ll never know and maybe I can test this theory when I run the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon with my friend Christina in July. Either way I proved to be a flexible runner and just went with it, relying on my three months of training to power me through!
I honestly felt very good throughout the race. I began to hit a wall the last half mile of the race, but kept telling myself to keep going and not to quit. I was glad to have packed along some jelly bean chews with me to eat at various parts throughout the race (I began eating a couple at mile 6, another couple at mile 9 and then some more at mile 10.5 or so). I began drinking water at mile 3, then would let a couple of water stations go by before I took another drink. I wanted to stay hydrated, but I also didn’t want to have to make a bathroom stop during the race.
Having people cheer along the race definitely helped me throughout the race, I have no doubt. During my training, a part of me wondered if I would welcome the cheering or if I would get frustrated thinking, “quit telling me to keep going – you’re not even running”! Luckily the latter didn’t happen. 🙂 I knew I would definitely see Tommy, my mom, and my friend Tiffany who came down from New York City to watch me run my first half marathon at mile 8. I couldn’t wait to see them and it was so nice to have that to look forward to.
I don’t know how in the world my friend Meredith timed this so perfectly, but as I (slowly) ran my way up the biggest hill of the race there she was at the top calling my name and even ran a little bit with me. It was such an amazing surprise to see her there it definitely helped me regroup, take a deep breath, and power on for the rest of the race. Thanks Meredith!
Even though I didn’t see a few people along the route they texted me to let me know they were there and that meant a lot as well.
I know it will sound corny, but I will admit as soon as I crossed the finish line on Saturday, I got teary-eyed. I’m sure a lot of it was because I was so tired and dehydrated, but I was also sooooo happy that I was able to do this race and even happier to be DONE!
I am still a little sore from the race today, but definitely not as sore as I was on Saturday after the race and yesterday. I couldn’t even walk down the stairs yesterday to walk Violet and I could this morning, and I even stretched a little bit before work. I plan on taking a few days off from working out completely to give my body time to recover.
Since this post is already a bit lengthy I will save some more race and weekend highlights for tomorrow’s Tuesday Tidbits.
Thanks for reading and sharing this journey with me!