Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock N Roll DC as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
On Saturday, I had the privilege to run the Rock N Roll DC 1/2 marathon as a Bib Rave Pro! I’ve been wanting to run this race for years, so I’m glad I finally got the chance to do it. As to not miss anything, check out why I was exited to run, and how Friday went!
Pre-race: I met my goal of getting up bright and early and made the first train at the New Carrolton metro station. Since last week’s long run stunk (about that tomorrow…) I wanted to get some miles in before the race. It was downright cold when then wind blew, but the sun was out and that made a huge difference. I did 2 easy miles around the National Mall at around a 12:00/mi pace and I was feeling great! All nerves were out the window and I was ready to put forth a hard effort.
At around 8:15 I headed towards the race. There were tons of porta johns and the lines went quickly! I settled into corral 13 at around 8:30 – I was assigned to 11, but I knew I wasn’t going to be starting out at a 2:10 pace and moved myself back. I took a Gu and traded flavors with this guy next to me who wanted to try my tri-berry (thanks, dude!). It took about 15 minutes to cross the start line – then we were off!
Miles 1-5: On Friday, I shared that I was planning to start at around a 11:00-11:30/mi pace. I forced myself to slow in the first couple of miles, and still hit 10:30’s. Just go with it, I said to myself. Despite the course being cramped for 3-4 miles, I felt wonderful running 120:20 intervals. (splits: 10:42, :40, :20, :35, 49)
Miles 6-10: By reading recaps and gazing at the elevation, I knew the big hill was going to be rough. A steep hill halfway through a race with 150 feet of elevation gain? No thanks. I ran about half way up, then walked to save energy. Then my little cousin called and I just had to pick up. Despite the huge hill, I felt really great once it flattened out and told myself to “go” through this awesome part of the course. I started moving faster and was ready to keep it up, until I wasnt… (splits: 10:36, 11:43, 10:21, 10:28, 9:44)
Miles 11-13.1: Just after I hit mile 10 I realized something – I told Jake to be at the finish for 12:00 but he needed to be there for 11:00. Oh no, he’s gonna miss me. He has my warm clothes. He came all this way. He’s gonna be so mad. HE HAS MY WARM CLOTHES. I walked and tried to text and call him, with no answers. I started to slow on purpose in order to hope he would make it for me. I wanted him to be at the finish so badly. When mile 12 hit and I hadn’t heard back from him, I lost hope and it was all my fault… Despite that, there was great crowd support and energy at the finish – I was so happy to be done 15 miles for the day! (splits: 9:51, 10:42, 10:03).
Final time: 2:19:35 with a slight negative split I met my C goal (sub 2:20) and A goal (FUN!). If my last few miles weren’t riddled with anxiety (and 2 phone calls), I think I would have been much closer to 2:15. For a cold, windy day, I’m satisfied.
The finish line was very well organized – I was through the chute with food (popcorn chips are NOT chips) and gatorade rather quickly, got a hold of Jake, and found a spot to sit in the sun. When Jake was finally located (he missed me by less than 10 minutes) I changed real quickly and we immediately headed back towards the Metro to get out of the cold. After almost a whole bag of Krave Jerky (my new love), we were on our way and back to Baltimore to enjoy a nice, quiet afternoon.
Overall, I had an awesome experience at my first Rock N Roll race. The course was great, the support immaculate, and organization was on point. While I got my bib for free, their races can be very pricey. Would I put a $150 price tag on it? Probably not. But $100 or less? Sure.
Check out my review on Bibrave!
Are you someone who talks on the phone during a race?
What’s the coldest race you’ve run? I’ve done a few in the 20’s now!