RnR Race Recap
So Friday night, I laid out my flat becca and got prepped and ready to pass out at o-dark-early o’clock. My husband knew I was getting up at the buttcrack of dawn to head downtown to the start line. He offered to get up and come down with me at 5am but I told him to sleep in and meet me at the finish. Why should he have to get up early and then wait around for 2 hours and some change… right? So the next morning, on March 15, bright and early, I got up and at 4am and got dressed to head downtown to run Rock n Roll USA. I was in corral 23 and had planned on shooting for under 2:20, but mostly was just running to see where I was at on the scale of improvement… like… I want a sub 2, but after Saturday, I am unsure I will see that this season, but neither here nor there… Back to the recap.
I met up with some Team runDisney people in the corrals. I ended up waiting a solid 45 mins or so to even start running, which sucked… it was mostly because there were SO MANY corrals! I chatted nervously with random people (yknow, mostly single serving friends that you may or may not ever see again) and kept my garmin alert and ready. By the time they got to releasing our corral, I was nervous with excitement and had finalized and then re-finalized my game plan for the 13.1 mile race. I was hoping to pull off the kind of run I had been having for the long runs in weeks previous… 10:40 ave pace over 7-10 miles. I figured, I could pull that off than try and maintain or rev it up at the end. Little did I know how much the BEAST of a hill at mile 7 was going to eat me… alive… but more on that in a bit. Anywho, game plan… run my race, run my pace, hit it. HARD and then prove to myself that I have at least a 2:15 in me for this season, if not better.
The first 3.5 miles were great! We ran down constitution and then looped around and back down Penn ave to head over towards Lincoln memorial and the memorial bridge. It was a glorious and beautiful morning for a race! I couldn’t have asked for better weather! A cramp hit me at mile 3, but I got rid of it quickly and then all of a sudden BAM it was back at mile 4. I cursed under my breath and called it a bastard (among many other things). At this point, we were headed out of downtown area and down rock creek parkway towards where I was to see my friend Cass and her puppy Kima around mile 6.5 (in the middle of this beast of a hill).
I shot blocked at mile 4 and enjoyed my trip down Rock Creek Pkway. As I was running, I started letting myself jam out to my music, checking my garmin, I knew I was mostly on target, mentally, I felt good. I had gotten past my cramp (it was not going to beat me) and the only “tough” part now was going to be mile 6-8 which was the hillier section of the race. I thought to myself, I eat 13.1 for breakfast… little did I know that I was about to be straight dominated! GOOD LORD!
you see that sharp incline on the chart above, right around mile 6? yea, so that happened… and it IS as bad as it looks!
ASIDE: about three days before the race, Cass and I were chatting on gchat and I was expressing concern for this section of the race. I had (finally) looked at the elevation chart and was getting nervous. She told me it was steep but short and it would be ok. She even mapped out miles 6-8 on mapymyrun so i could see a larger/wider elevation chart. I allowed this to fool me. My panic attack alleviated until…. approx 8:30 am, saturday morning. hehe. ok back to recap.
Cass and I had been texting and so I knew to expect her approx 2/3 of the way up this “hill” (more like mini freakin mountain, ok, prolly not… but it felt like that at the time). As we turned to exit off rock creek, I saw THE hill and I was like oh this will be ok… and then it turned and went up MORE steeply. And I was like “hmmm”. A lot of people must have had similar thoughts. They all stopped to walk… but I don’t walk on hills. I BEST the hills! I am a BEAST on hills…. and yet… and yet… this f-er defeated me. People were dropping like flies all around me and I was like aight, I will pass you on the inside then… but there was gravel on the road on the inside pass and I couldnt get good traction. I ended up walking up half of the hill because I just couldn’t get traction and was losing energy fighting with the gravel and dirt on the paved road…. I saw Cass and walked breathlessly over to her. I got in her face and said hey! She had made a sign!!! and a sandwich board for her dog! In hindsight, I wish I had gotten a pic of her and her pup together, but I was so tired. I said hello and good bye, then turned around to shout at her that I hated her neighborhood and I went on my way through Northwest DC.
Miles 7-10, people were out on their stoops and on the streets, partying it up and handing out beers! No lie, this was awesome! Someone was even handing out margarita shots and jello shots. By mile 10, I was in a lot of pain in my ankles and my knees. Since my surgery, I have been doing a lot of foot strengthening exercises and it seems, according to my podiatrist, I have strengthened my foot into the neutral category and I no longer over pronate like I did…. so stability shoes are no longer my jam… this is weird to me as it is all I have known for sometime. Anywho, no surprise that running in stability shoes was giving me some knee pain. I was having a great texting conversation with two of my running buddies (made buddies by Ragnar DC last year — if you haven’t done a Ragnar, do it. It really does create lasting friendships!) and with my husband! All three of these people in two separate convos, were encouraging me! Hehe, I took a brief walkbreak at mile 10.82 as we entered H st NE district. I passed Cirque de Rouge (my tattoo studio of choice in the DC are) and then continued down the way to RFK stadium! The last mile and a half were AWESOME! Seeing all of the people was great!
Sigh, it took me far too long to get this posted. I started writing this post about a week and a half ago. I had every intention of posting this sooner, just got sidetracked by life; first a work trip and then homework for grad school. I dont know how people do it. Two jobs and one grad school class every semester is tough and then toss in training and a variety of other things. UGH! hehehe aight, y’all come back now, ya here!
And if you are bored and want to help a sister out, go over here and make a donation to help the puppies and the kitties! We are 47% there!