Now that some time has passed since the DC 1/2 marathon, I wanted to share my experience there (even though I wasn’t “racing”!)
My day started at 4am. I wanted to get on the first metro at 5am, because the last time I ran this race I remember the metro being PACKED. I had to leave Baltimore around 4:25 to get to the metro by 5am. On my drive there I drank some coffee, water, and ate a banana and a half a bagel with peanut butter. I ended up missing the first metro, but it wasn’t a big deal because it was actually empty. There were a few other runners and I ended up talking to another runner about the race as we were waiting. We ended up riding the metro to the same stop, but then parted ways so I could go pick up my race stuff.
I jogged from Gallery Place to McPherson square while adding on some distance to make it about 2 miles, where I was meeting Megan (MegaNerdRuns!) at 6:15 to get my bib. Then I jogged towards the race start, which was about another mile. I stopped to put on my bib and then continued my warm up run to hit a total of 5 miles. I ate a honey stinger waffle after my run since I knew I would need more fuel before the race.
The race start was so much more organized than the last time I ran it! It was a different starting location than finishing location, and I think that helped to spread everything out a bit. They had a UPS gear check so if you wanted to check anything they would deliver it to the finish area for you. I didn’t check anything but it seemed to go pretty smoothly! There were no porta potty lines and plenty of room in the corrals.
It was chilly while we were waiting to start! I didn’t realize it until I stopped my warm up run, but I only had about 15 minutes that I was waiting for the race to start. I tried to keep moving and stay warm!
When I started the race I had some trouble settling into a good pace. Everyone around me seemed to go out faster than me(I think I was in the 1:55 corral) and my first mile was just under a 9:00/mile pace. After that first mile I fell into a good pace and stayed around 8:40 for awhile (except the mile with the insane hill!!) Around mile 9 I was feeling good and decided to gradually speed up for the rest of the race.
I wore my camelbak with water, mostly because it held alot of my stuff and I wasn’t checking a bag. It was also nice to not have to stop for water, although I did grab some gatorade towards the end. I also took Gu at miles 5 and 10. When I finished running I was thrilled to see that the area after the finish like was not super crowded! I was handed a medal and had my picture taken. There was plenty of free snacks, too! I had a chocolate milk and a power bar, and attempted to stretch. I was immediately so cold when I stopped running that I needed to keep moving.
I ended up buying a sweatshirt because I was so cold and I knew I couldn’t make it all the way back home in my sweaty clothes! I went to the beer tent to claim my free beer, but wasn’t really feeling it so decided to head to the metro. It was a little crowded getting into the metro station but wasn’t too bad and I even got a seat! A few hours later and I was home, showered, and spending some quality time with my foam roller.
Like I said in my weekly recap post, I am really glad that I decided to run this at the last minute! I would definitely do it again, especially seeing how much more well-run the event is compared to 2012. While the course is challenging, I think it is much easier than the Baltimore half. I think also knowing about the course ahead of time would help me to be more prepared for the hills next time. It’s a really fun and scenic course, and I’m sure I will be back at some point!
If you ran in the Rock N Roll USA half or full marathon, what did you think of it?