Rock N Roll DC 2013….I have fond memories of this race. This was my first race after my more than 4 year hiatus from running while I had kids. I even had a PR in 2013. I chose not to run it last year and opted for the Shamrock Half in VA Beach and had a killer PR. So,I was super excited to be staying local and run this for a second time as part of the Rock N Blog team for the Rock N Roll Race Series.
This was supposed to be a training run for me, but I have a hard time running an “easy” race. A race is a race to me, and no I’m not racing to win, but I’m racing against myself, always striving to do the best that I can.
Everyone I know had been stalking the weather for weeks. I’ve discovered that stalking the weather does nothing but stress me out, so I try not to even look at it until the day before. I had seen a glimpse of the forecast…..Sunny and warm on Friday, 100% chance of rain on Saturday, sunny and warm on Sunday. Of course the race was on Saturday. Wah-wah.
Deciding what to wear for the race was the most difficult for me. I didn’t want to be too hot, but didn’t want to freeze either. Temps were only supposed to be in the 40’s with heavy rain for most of the morning. In fact they were calling for upwards of 2 inches of rain. Oy. I decided to go with short sleeves with my new Louva arm-wamers (which rocked) and a trash bag on top.
I purchased a parking pass for the finish line so I didn’t have to deal with the metro afterwards which was such a life saver. I had done this 2 years ago and remember how awesome it was. Totally worth the $20. We drove to RFK stadium, parked the car and hopped on the metro for a 10 minute metro ride to the start at the mall.
My tradition is to get a cozy bathrobe, but I didn’t want to stand out in the rain with that and have it absorb all the water, so I thought the trash bag was the way to go. (I will definitely be packing a few in my suitcase for Paris too because I hear it rains a lot in April there.)
We huddled in the entrance of the metro station for a good 30 minutes because we were early and didn’t want to get soaking wet too early on. Around 7am we left the metro stop and headed out to the porta potties. As usual, it’s a large race, so long lines, but that wasn’t surprising. At this point the rain was pretty light but by 7:30 it was coming down pretty hard.
Always a beautiful view despite the dreary, rainy, foggy weather.
Walking to our corrals we passed several tents with PRE-race food which I have never seen at a race before. Definitely a nice touch despite not partaking in it We quickly got to our corrals which were super easy to navigate and get into. The wave start is key. We waited around for a few minutes before our corral was set loose.
As I was standing waiting I heard someone yell my name…and look who it was!! Christine from We Run Disney!! I just love Christine. I met her down in VA Beach for the Shamrock Half last year and she is such a sweetheart. She has great eyes though because she yelled to me from the crowd at MCM last year as well. We chatted for a few minutes and then we were off!
I was running with my friend Lisa (my friend that dragged me through the finish at MCM last year) and we settled into a groove pretty quickly. I know a lot of people complain about how crowded it is and having to dodge and weave a lot, but I didn’t find that to be much of a problem. Our first mile was one of the slowest at a 9:20 pace, which I find is pretty normal. We were able to pick up the pace until the big hill at mile 6.
Miles 2-6 8:58, 8:48, 8:48, 8:38
I was wearing my new Asics Gel Nimbus 17’s and I had a few issues with them. I had to stop 3 times during the first 4 miles because my laces kept coming untied (I had forgotten to double knot them) and also had to take them off several times to get rocks out which was a bit frustrating.
Mile 6-7 included the biggest hill of the race and it is a doozy. This year Wear Blue: Run to Remember was lined up all the way up the hill which was awesome. This is always a powerful part of the race (if you remember they do it at MCM as well). As I was running up the hill I ran close to the posters of all of the fallen soldiers and tapped each one as I ran by. My way of honoring each one of them. A group of my MRTT mamas were volunteering and holding flags up the hill which was a huge boost at a difficult part of the race.
Miles 6-7 @ 9:04, 9:36
Seriously, that hill was a beast. My glutes were on fire like they had never been on fire before. I couldn’t believe how much they were burning. I knew it was a big hill, but I clearly didn’t remember HOW big it was. At the top of the hill I turned around to say something to Lisa and she was gone. I pulled over momentarily to look for her but she was no where to be seen. I was so bummed that I lost her. Come to find out her knee had locked on her during the climb up the hill and I didn’t hear her when she yelled for me…and I didn’t even have my headphones on…the crowd was just really loud! Despite the miserable weather there were so many more spectators out than I ever expected which was awesome.
I kept on going by myself. I finally shed my trash bag at mile 7. I didn’t think I would wear it for that long but it kept me dry, so why wouldn’t I? The rest of the race I spent a large amount of time dodging potholes and rain puddles. I took off my arm warmers at mile 8 as I was starting to get really hot. The rest of the race was pretty uneventful, but I was starting to freeze by mile 10. My arms were beat red and I was freaking cold. Mentally I was doing just fine and to be honest, just wanted the race over with. I wanted out of the rain.
Miles 8-12 @ 8:48, 8:29, 8:41, 8:19, 8:41
Mile 10 I saw a few of my MRTT mama’s out cheering! It’s always great to run into MRTT moms, they are always so supportive and enthusiastic and provide a HUGE boost.
Around mile 11-12 I saw Courtney spectating …such a boost to see her. I gave her a big hug, thanked her for being out there and kept going.
Mile 12 I was FRIGID, so I picked up the pace and just wanted to finish. All of a sudden I got a whif of something not so pleasant. It smelled like poop, but I looked around and there were no porta potties in sight. And then I spotted this girl running in front of me that had poop dripping down her legs. Her light blue shorts were saturated and the smell was horrible. I couldn’t believe my eyes. So let’s talk about this for a moment…..
I know what it is like to have tummy troubles during a run, no doubt. In fact I experienced problems at Shamrock. I know there are emergencies and you really can’t control that sort of thing, HOWEVER. This girl was close to me for timing, so clearly not competing for a win. So if there was no porta potty and you had to go in your shorts….why keep running? I’ve heard of this happening to elite runners, but this girl was clearly not in the running for a cash prize….why not call it a day after you shit your pants? I don’t want to sound insensitive, but I’m really trying to understand this. I think the humiliation for me would have been way too overpowering to continue on. But, that’s just me I guess. Can someone please enlighten me? Poor girl.
Anyway, after she passed me, I could only smell her and the wind was blowing right in my face blowing the smell right towards me, it was like a brick wall. I nearly started gagging and had to get to the other side of the street to get out from her draft. Once the smell subsided, I was able to kick it up a notch and really push to the finish.
Mile 13 @ 8:15
Sorry for the lack of course photos, it was way too rainy to dig the phone out, plus my fingers were numb and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to do anything with it.
I was so excited because when I crossed the finish line, I saw this :
I was SO excited! It wasn’t a PR, but I had really wanted to come in sub 2 hrs, and I did!! Until I got the official results. I totally forgot that my watch auto pauses whenever I stop, so my multiple stops for shoe issues did me in as far as my official time. And while the official results weren’t bad, I didn’t make it in under 2 hours unfortunately. Oh well, it was a training run, right?!
I’ll take it…for my first run outside in over 3 months, I was very happy.
Then who did I hear calling my name at the finish? Christine again! We grabbed our food together (there were chips, granola, bananas, and chocolate milk), chatted about the race for a few minutes and then parted ways to find our peeps.
It was so freaking cold. My legs were waited down by my shoes that had absorbed a ridiculous amount of water, the squishing was so annoying. The wind was picking up and I could feel the sweat freezing on me. I was shivering like crazy, but I was going to be damned if I wasn’t going to get my free beer. Last time there was a beer tent I forgot my ID and they wouldn’t let me in. And wouldn’t you know…I didn’t bring my ID again. But the nice gentleman let me in by looking at my birthdate on my ROAD ID!! We chugged our beers and called it a day.
I’m pretty sure it took HOURS for me to thaw out.
I’ve always been a fan of Rock N Roll Races and this one was no different. It is always well organized from my perspective. The music was a little lacking this go around, but I’m wondering if some bands backed out because of the weather. So that was kind of a bummer. I would have loved to stay to watch Better Than Ezra perform, but it was just way too cold. Hopefully at my next Rock N Roll I can partake in the after party festivities!
Rock N Roll DC Half marathon review, see how it went down with @suzy399 and @runrocknroll #rocknblog… Click To Tweet
Oh, and I tried out this really cool new app called Motigo during the race!
Have you heard of it? (I was provided the app at no cost to test it out for review). Motigo is “emotional fuel for your race”. No, it’s not a happy pill or something to drink. Motigo allows you to hear cheers from friends and family while you are running your race! Friends, family or any supporters can pre-record audio messages to help motivate you during your run!
So how does it work?
- Select your event
- tap “Share event” to invite friends and family to send you cheers
- set up your playlist and make sure your GPS is enabled
- on event day, run with your Iphone and tap “start event”
So, as you are running along on race day, your music will fade out and the message is automatically played and then your music resumes! This continues at “magical” points along the way! Motigo does work alongside other apps, so you just have to make sure you hit “Start Event” on race day. If your race isn’t listed you can tap the “request event” button and they will add it within 24 hours!
The app is free but the cheers do cost money which is the downfall in my opinion. It costs $20/year and you can have as many cheers or give as many cheers you want for $20.
I do have to say, it was really cool to have these messages come on randomly during the run though…. it was absolutely motivating and fun to hear them!!A cool new app to fuel motivation during your races with the @motigoapp. Check out @suzy399's review! #motherrunner… Click To Tweet
Despite the horrible weather, it was a great race and I can’t wait to do my next Rock N Roll race, which is yet to be determined. But don’t forget! You can still use my code to get $15 off of a Rock N Roll race of your choice (some exclusions do apply)
*As a Rock N Blogger I received my race entry complimentary as part of my Tourpass. All opinions are my own.*
Be honest, what would you have done about the poop situation?
Have you ever run a Rock N Roll race?
What are your tips for running in the rain?