I rode a meteorological roller coaster during the ten days leading up to race day. Thankfully, race-day weather conditions ended up being just about perfect - temps in the upper 40s and overcast.
On race morning, I was up at the crack of dawn to catch a Metro bus and train to the starting area. Check out this beautiful sunrise outside of Vanitha and Asheesh's apartment:
I arrived at the Federal Triangle Metro stop and started making my way over to the start village. Here's a telling view of the Washington Monument on Rock N Roll race morning:
Afterwards, I made my way to the start line. The corrals weren't being enforced, so I elected to jump into a slightly earlier corral and get moving.
|Starting line next to the EPA building|
I reveled in the stunning memorials and landmarks we were passing along the course.
|The Lincoln Monument near the 3-mile marker|
|Running past the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.|
I thought the "No Pedestrian" sign was a funny race-day contrast. =)
|This picture so does NOT do the scenery justice.|
The Wear Blue to Remember organization puts up pictures of fallen soldiers stations folks prior to and along Calvert Hill. Folks stand holding American flags on both sides of the course. It was an emotional experience and made me think of Amy and her connections to the group. Several runners were touching every picture along the way. I tried to high-five as many of the flag-holders as I could.
|The Wear Blue to Remember folks with their flags preceding Calvert Hill|
I hit the 10K mark in 1:04:35 (which definitely reflected the walking I did on Calvert Hill).
The course next wound through Adams Morgan. The spectators were fantastic. There were so many people in costume, holding up funny signs, playing music, offering us everything from grilled meat to doughnut holes to champagne shots. (Seriously, they had a pile of empty champagne bottles sitting on the ground nearby - I wish I had taken a picture!) I saw a man and his toddler daughter both handing out plastic cups filled with margaritas. This made me chuckle.
Here are a few spectator pictures:
The next part of the course included a view of the U.S. Capitol (undergoing renovations, unfortunately). I had completely missed seeing the Capitol building during last year's race, so this was awesome. What a privilege to be running in the shadows of such an important landmark!
|The U.S. Capitol Building adorned with scaffolding|
At that point, the course was running through neighborhoods with rolling hills. My quads and hamstrings were livid. I didn't remember those hills from the prior year. Maybe the rain made everything so rough last year that all I could remember was being miserable, period?
|I think this was around Mile 11.|
The final stretch of the course was uphill. I gritted my teeth and tried to look only at the finish line banner. I didn't even try to kick it at the end.
My official time was 2:16:26. Yay for beautiful race medals!
last year, especially since I ran straight through in 2015 without taking pictures. However, I was pretty wiped out considering I hadn't run anywhere near goal pace. Those hills ended up taking a much bigger toll on me than expected, too. Looks like I still have a lot of work to do in preparation for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. But we'll take it one day at a time, yes?
New this year, the Rock N Roll DC organizers made a changing tent available post-race. YES! Last year I also had to wait a good hour in the rain before I could get onto a Metro train. This year I was on a Metro train in 5 minutes. Even more gratitude!
I met back up with Vanitha. We had a tasty post-race meal at a cute local restaurant called Teaism.
All in all, the weekend was a really fun time. Shout out to my long-time friend Imran, who we got to catch up with later that night with tons of laughs and stories. It was also awesome to spend time with Sarah, Dina, and Jamie. Last but not least, my huge thanks go out to Vanitha and Asheesh for being such wonderful friends and hosts.
Life is good - and it's even better when you have great friends to share it with. =)
My next race: the Shamrock Shuffle on April 3
Boxing bananas? I love it!!ReplyDelete
Hey - if you keep in contact with Amy, tell her I can't read her site anymore. I was hoping I'd see her at the TC 10 mile and marathon, but she privatized her blog before the race and I never got to find out how she did. :-(
Aren't the boxing bananas hilarious? I saw so many other fun spectator costumes out on the course that I wish I'd taken more pictures of.Delete
Unfortunately Amy had to take her blog down since her husband is in the military and there were concerns about privacy. I was really bummed because her blog was one of my favorites! But I'm linked to her on Facebook so I'll drop her a note on your behalf.
Thanks! I just heard from her. Such a bummer about closing her blog. :-(Delete
Total bummer about Amy closing her blog, indeed. =( But at least she is on Facebook and Instagram so we can still keep up with her there!!! You should link up with her, too, if you haven't already!Delete
Congrats on the finish and the pictures are fantastic! I have yet to visit DC, but maybe one day I'll plan a race there so I will be forced to go! "Grin and Bear it" and the "banana trio" went out of their way to be hilarious. Kudos to them! What is that dish with the shrimp? Looks yummy! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Pete! I've long said the best way to visit a new city is in your running shoes since many races provide access to areas normally off-limits. I think you would LOVE running any of the races in DC. It's such a beautiful area. Aren't the spectators amazing? It makes such a difference to runners to see the comedic spectators on the course. =) The shrimp dish was Vanitha's - I think they were grilled, and came with a Japanese vegetable pancake underneath! Pretty creative, eh?Delete
What a great race! Congrats on making it up more of the hills this year! I didn't realize there were so many fun spectators on this course - I wonder if they are out on the full course, too.ReplyDelete
What an amazing sunrise you caught! There have been so many beautiful sunrises and sunsets lately! What a treat!
Talking with runners headed to a race is so fun - to find out where they are from, if they've done it before, etc.
Thank you so much, Kim! Good question about the full course. I don't think I know anyone who ran the full, either this year or last year, so I might try to find some race recaps to learn more.Delete
We are so blessed to have such beautiful sunrises and sunsets these days, indeed! They really brighten the spirits, don't they? Mother Nature knows how to keep us inspired. =)
I love how the moment I find out someone is a runner, we can have endless conversation and be like best friends! It's the most instant connection known to humankind I've ever experienced! The world would be so much easier to navigate if all of its inhabitants were runners, yes? =)
OMG - it's amazing what a difference the weather can make on these experiences! It was like a night and day contrast running RnR DC in torrential rain vs perfect weather. RnR really does the race medals well, don't they? They always have really nice swag. I think you'd love running in DC! It's such a beautiful area!ReplyDelete
Great job on your race. At least you were able to see things this year, even if the Capitol dome is under scaffolding. No matter where I go, there always seems to be something under scaffolding.ReplyDelete
Thanks Lesley! Isn't that the truth about scaffolding!!! When I was there, the lagoon in the national mall had been drained and taped off because of construction, too. Talk about bad timing!Delete
Great pictures and congrats on a great race! Hills are tough but I'm sure you've definitely improved on them! I've been to DC once about 12 years ago. That would be so cool to run through! And love the picture of the sunrise. Beautiful.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Amanda! While I have made some improvements in hill-running, there is always so much room for further improvement! Us runners are never done training, no? =) BTW, I saw your pictures from incline-training at Swallow Cliff Woods. WOW - that looked intense. Way to push through!!!Delete
I think you would really love running any of the races in DC!
All the recaps I've read about this one make it look like such a fun race. Plus all the DC runners are great. I've never been to DC. I need to get there.ReplyDelete
Wendy, I think you would LOVE running DC! There's truly no better way to experience a new place than in your running shoes, yes? Races are great because they usually provide access to places normally off-limits to the public!Delete
Congratulations on your finish! What a nice sunrise to wake up to. Those banana guys are too funny! Great medal!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! Yes, those banana guys had me cracking up when I saw them. They must have been following friends or family running the race because I saw them a few times at different parts of the course. How cool is that?Delete
Congrats Emily! Sounds like a great day! I remember enjoying a drum troop when I ran MCM. I wonder if it was your friend's group?ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Marcia! Ooooh, I have to imagine it was the same drum group performing at both RnR DC and MCM. The drumming group was quite large - so there can't be too many of them in DC!Delete
Congrats! Sounded like you had a blast out there! The photos make the race look pretty fun- it also looks nice and scenic too. That place you went for lunch after looks soooo delicious!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Xaar! It was such a night and day difference running the race in good weather vs bad. I felt very privileged and proud to be able to run in such close proximity to so many American monuments. If you are ever in DC, I think you would really love Teaism - it's very cute and unique with extremely diverse food offerings!Delete
Congrats on a great race! Looks like its a great way to see a little bit of DC. Hopefully I'll make it there someday. The wear blue to remember section sounds really special. Glad it turned out to be a much better time than last year :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Kayla! There truly is no better way to experience any place than in your running shoes. I love how the races open up certain places to runners that are normally off-limits to the public. =) I hope you get to run DC, too, someday - I think you'd thoroughly enjoy it! I only have a few personal connections to the military, but it was hard NOT to get emotional at the Wear Blue To Remember section. All those pictures and flags!Delete
Even with the bad weather it looks like a ton of fun! I love DC so much.ReplyDelete
Thanks Alexandra! I love DC so much, too! DC would be a top choice for a city I'd enjoy living in if I couldn't live in Chicago. You too?Delete
Oh man, this REALLY makes me want to do Rock 'n' Roll DC. I love love love DC, and this seems like such a cool way to see the district. And that medal is gorgeous!ReplyDelete
Bethany @ Accidental Intentions
Bethany, I think you would LOVE RnR DC. The course is stunningly beautiful and there is so much living history to be seen. It's hard not to feel patriotic when you are passing by so many incredible monuments and landmarks. RnR really does the medals and swag well, don't they? I am excited for what they come up with for RnR Chicago this year. =)Delete
Congrats! What a great photo recap :) I loved all the sunrise shotsReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Jenny! Pictures are worth a million words, yes?Delete
Thank you so much, Karen! Yes - thumbs down to whoever chose for the race to finish uphill. Talk about mental battles! Appreciate all your support, as always. =)ReplyDelete
I'm super behind on commenting :-)ReplyDelete
Yay for no rain! That sunrise photo is gorgeous. And, yes, while the hills may have taken it out of you a bit, think of how drained you would have been otherwise! And, I'm assuming, your recovery was faster than in the past, too.
I frequently get super behind on commenting, too! Thanks for taking the time to catch up. =)Delete
Thanks so much, Erin! You are right, we should look at this positively and consider how much worse off I would have been if I didn't do all the hillwork in advance. It's all about perspective!!!