Rock ‘n Roll USA: Race Recap

30 Mar

Pre-Race

Last Friday I took a train to Washington DC to stay with my friend, Sarah, for the weekend. I was so excited to see her since I haven’t gotten to see her or spend much time with her for months! We didn’t plan anything big as we knew we needed sleep for the big run, but all the same it was nice just to be there with her.

After she picked me up from the train station and we made it back to her place, we waited for her friend to arrive so we could walk down to the grocery store for a few items for dinner. We ended up making pasta, garlic bread, and DEVOURED a bag of grapes! They were so good! I probably didn’t eat as much as I should have but it was delicious!

After dinner we got prepared for our 13.1 mile run in the next morning setting out our outfits and getting our breakfast ready to grab and eat. There was much more to do but head to bed and hope for a good run for Saturday!

Chose to run in my vibrams for this race... it was a rough run! Probably won't do that again! haha

Chose to run in my vibrams for this race… it was a rough run! Probably won’t do that again! haha

Race

Our alarms went off at 5am and we were off to get ready for race day! It was quite chilly out and just a bit windy but later on I found that it was PERFECT running weather as I got quite toasty around mile three. Before the race we took some great photos at the start line which was right in the middle of downtown DC. It was gorgeous!

Ready to Run!

Ready to Run!

Over 30,000 runners!

Over 30,000 runners!

Got a glimpse of the Washington Monument at the start line!

Got a glimpse of the Washington Monument at the start line!

Me & Sarah at the start

Me & Sarah at the start

Courtesy of RnR USA

It took us about 30 minutes to get to the start line and start running but once there we all went our own ways and decided just to meet at the finish line. I ran pretty steadily for the first four miles or so and then I had to slow down a bit.

Entering the bridge that ends in Virginia. The sky was beautiful at this hour! (This was mile 2-3)

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At the end of the bridge (mile 2). I think this is where we were in Virginia for just a bit!

The first couple miles of the run were absolutely gorgeous! The sun was rising so the sky had those amazing cotton candy colors that you can only catch in the morning hours. I hadn’t charged my phone the night before (instead I chose to charge my ipod which I didn’t even grab to run with!) so I tried to spread out my picture taking through out the whole race. Plus, because I forgot my garmin watch at Sarah’s apartment the morning of race day (I was PISSED when I realized I left it behind) I found the running app I have called ‘Map My Run’ that pretty much does that same thing. I ran that while I was running which made my battery progressively shrink down to, eventually, nothing. :/ I’m getting ahead of myself here though.

I was surprised that I was feeling so great for the first seven or so miles! I usually have to really start slowing down far before that but this race was different. I’m not sure what it was about it but I feel like I pushed myself quite a bit. The beginning of mile eight is where I felt my body telling me it was time for the light jog and so that’s what I did. I wanted to make sure I had enough energy to finish so I didn’t want to push myself too hard.

While running on the back roads (mile 8ish).

While running on the back roads (mile 8ish).

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Right before the WORST hill of the whole race! I thought that tent was water while I was running, but as I got closer I saw it was a first aid station! 😦

This race had TWO really big hills that were so horrible to get through, the first more than the second. In the picture above I remember approaching that tent thinking, “YES! WATER! Just what I need right now!… wait… why is it red… crap… it’s a first aid tent… boooo!” The water didn’t come until AFTER the at the left of the photo! At the top of the second hill there were heaps of people yelling that we were almost to the finish line (that’s always exciting to hear)! So when I caught my breath and got focused, I started jogging again in search for that finish line.

The Capital building straight ahead!

The Capital building straight ahead!

It wasn’t long after sighting the Capitol that we sighted the finish line. Once I saw it I gave myself a few moments to keep jogging and get energy and than I started sprinting to cross that finish line with a good time! I ended up finishing in 3:09:45. I was kind of hoping for an under three hour time but I was only off by nine minutes so I can’t be THAT upset. As my previous post said as well though, I hadn’t  been running  a lot for the past couple of weeks so I was just hoping to finish.

Post Race

Because I had left my Garmin at Sarah’s apartment, I decided to use the Map My Run app on my Iphone. That was a mistake while my phone only had 70% battery at the beginning of the race. I thought that would be enough to get me through the race, but apparenetly not. At 12.36 miles (so close to the end of the race) I had about 5% battery life left and I needed some sort of battery to call Sarah at the finish line and find her, so I decided to turn off my phone for the last little bit of the race and turn it back on at the finish.

This was my brake down on my app before I had to turn my phone off. I was hopping to get to the finish line under 3 hours but unfortunetly that didn’t happen. I was off by nine minutes. :/ Anyways, so after I crossed the finish line and got all the goodies that were lined on either side of the gate (water, gatorade, bagels, apples, protein bars, etc.) and went on a search for Sarah. I wanted to wait as long as possible to turn my phone on but after about fifteen or twenty minutes I started to go for my phone to turn it on and all of a sudden Sarah showed up RIGHT BEHIND ME! How amazing it is that she found me, out of the blue, in the crowd of 30,000 runners PLUS the crowd of families and friends that were their for support.

After race munchies!! Such a good selection!

After race munchies!! Such a good selection!

After we left the race sight we headed to the metro station to catch a ride home. I have never seen a metro station SO crowded! There were even cops controlling how many people went down to the metro at a time!

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Here’s my official race brake down from the Rock ‘n Roll website.

I really liked the shirts that we got and the medals too! I’m so excited to add my new finishers medal to my collection!

Front of shirt

Front of shirt

Back of shirt

Back of shirt

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I would suggest this run for anyone! It was a bit of a challenge for me but the sights of running in Washington DC were unforgettable! I had so much fun!

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2 Responses to “Rock ‘n Roll USA: Race Recap”

  1. Gigi April 3, 2013 at 14:13 #

    What a great recap!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. March in Review | Running Races Coast to Coast - April 4, 2013

    […] Races Planned/Races Completed:   (1/1) The only race I had planned for March was the Rock ‘n Roll USA Half which I completed!! *Wasn’t sure I was going to make it since I was so sick the week before but I pushed myself to finish strong! Check out the recap HERE ! […]

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