Tuesday, March 20, 2012

National Half Recap

I suppose I should recap the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in DC. My offical time: 2:18:25. That is faster than my first HM and slower than my second. It was a tougher course than the first two, but I should have been in better condition.

I'm a little disappointed, especially in my early performance. I felt better halfway through, and I ran my last 3 or 4 miles under 10 minutes each. I suppose that also means I wasn't trying hard enough in the beginning. The first 4 or 5 miles just felt so hard.

I think early fueling might have been an issue as well. I didn't finish the Clif bar, which is typical. I might start taking a (caffeinated) gel right before time starts.

But I ran, and I didn't look pretty doing it.

I was concerned that the whole race was going to be a clusterf*ck. The organizers seemed slow in sending out info about parking and transportation. The expo was originally only open until 7. There was no race day packet pickup. It got better, though, and by the time we got to DC, we were able to hit the expo. On Saturday morning, we took the Metro over to the stadium with no problems.

The course was pretty nice. I've never run anything with so much crowd support, and it was really helpful. There were a couple of long hills (not all that steep, though) in the middle of the race, and I think topping them was the mental boost I needed. We ran through Howard University where students had set up a table with Gatorade and beer.

I chose the beer. Another mental boost, right?

They had water stops every 2 miles or so. There weren't as many bands as advertised, and some of them were pretty weak (I think one had to just be a karaoke machine). Plenty of Gatorade stops. The Gu stop was late, but obviously I brought my own. I only Gu'd once, but I took Gatorade several times. I don't think mid-run fueling was an issue.

With four miles left, I tried to really get into the race. I picked up the pace and held it pretty steady until the finish. It seemed to take forever to get to the finish, though. Point-1 miles is so far after you see the 13 sign!

All in all, it was a good race. I'm not sure I'll do another RnR series race, but I'm not necessarily against it. Smaller races are definitely better, but you can't beat the crowd support - signs, dogs, free high fives.

Afterward, we met up with friends and family and headed out for brunch. Some of our crew spent the entire day drinking, starting while we were racing. Ha. I mean, while we were running. We had a beer with brunch and then headed back to the hotel to shower. Eventually we met back up with the crew to spend the afternoon/evening drinking and whatnot. It was a good time - and because we're old, we headed home around 10. Sleep was so, so good.

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