RnR USA Half Marathon recap
So many recaps from RnR, NYC and LA that I figured I’d better get mine in too!
This was my first half marathon and I remember training was supposed to start the week of Christmas, however the weekend before Christmas I came down with some sort of plague that lasted for 10 long days. I missed not only 10 days of training but 10 days of any sort of physical activity whatsoever. I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to pick up where I left off, but I did. I am pretty proud of the fact that other than that first week I only missed one long run due to injury and a few short runs due to weather.
Our race started at 7:30am but Betsy, Jocelyn and I were in corrals 24, 26 and 30, respectively. Betsy had gone up earlier to check her bag so by the time Jocelyn and I ventured out of the metro station and into the cold, we figured Betsy was already in her corral. We couldn’t find her though and in our efforts to remove ourselves from the sea of smelly port-a-potties, we probably ended up starting closer to corral 20 or 21. Fine by us!
I really don’t remember much about miles 1-4. I was looking for my friend Kyra on the Arlington Memorial Bridge between miles 2-3 but couldn’t find her. I was really worried we had somehow missed each other and she would be on the bridge forever waiting for us. But then probably around mile 4 Jocelyn and I spotted her with her bright pink Minnie Mouse ears and white feather boa shouting positive reinforcement to all of the runners as they came up Rock Creek Parkway. She has to be one of the greatest race cheerers in history. She got so excited to see us she almost couldn’t stand it. She then hopped on her bike and rode up ahead to catch us about half a mile later. This continued on for the remainder of the race. If any of you saw her, you’d know it! She also had a yellow duck whistle that alerted us to her impending arrival along the route. She was hysterical.
The hill at mile 7 was pretty brutal. I thank goodness for all of my Central Park runs where I included Harlem Hill. I know that definitely helped with my post-hill recovery. I could see the hill in my splits really slowed me down but I was so proud of myself for recovering. That was my biggest nightmare, that the hill would kill any shot of my 2:30 goal.
Miles 7-8 is when I really seemed to find my stride. I remember telling Jocelyn that I didn’t know what was in that Bonk Breaker bar I ate before the race but I felt like I could seriously bounce off walls. I had so much energy!
Miles 8-10 were pretty good. There was an awesome high school drumming corps or something at mile 8 that I just wanted to take with me for the rest of the route. They gave me a huge boost in energy. Then the part I was most looking forward to, a 1.5 miles stretch along Constitution Avenue, running towards the US Capitol Building, did not disappoint.
Miles 11-13 were by far the toughest. I started to feel my first aches and pains between mile 10-11 and by mile 11 my legs were in full on rebellion. I hadn’t run more than 11 miles during training so I was in no man’s land at this point. We were running through residential streets and people had come out from their homes with boom boxes blasting some pretty decent tunes that helped to keep me inspired but I was fading fast. My Garmin was a full .2 miles ahead of the course markers so every time that beep came to tell me I’d finished another mile my heart broke a little when the mile marker was still nowhere in sight.
Once we got to the point where marathoners were splitting off from the half marathoners, I knew there was only about half a mile to go. Based on my pace it was somewhere between 5-6 minutes. I was becoming seriously exhausted and wanted nothing more than to stop running. I also told myself I was going to sprint the final .1 miles when I hit 13.
As soon as I saw that 13 mile marker that’s exactly what I did. I lengthened my stride and ran as fast as I could through a sea of people who decided 13 miles was good enough and they’d slowed down to a jog or even a walk. I thought “What the hell, are you crazy?? You’re 30 seconds from the finish line and NOW you want to walk?” I was bobbing and weaving my way through as quickly as possible. When I saw the finish line I pushed myself as hard as I could and was determined to cross that line having left everything I had on the course.
I threw my arms up as I crossed and I’m hoping that if I have one decent race photo, that’s it! Except that I just checked and no, that’s not it. In fact here I am still bobbing and weaving all the way up to the finish line! That’s me at the top in bright pink.
I stopped almost immediately after crossing and checked my watch…2:27:50. Well under my goal of 2:30! I was so proud of myself. Jocelyn crossed right behind me and gave me a huge hug. It felt SO good to finish and to have a friendly face right there.
Official race time was 2:27:48. I was impressed my Garmin was nearly spot on. I somehow manage to be 5-10 seconds off during NYRR races.
Unfortunately what we didn’t know is we started a good 5 minutes ahead of Betsy and then she managed to pass us probably somewhere around mile 10 or 11 and finished 2 minutes ahead of us. We completely missed her at the finish line where she waited for us for 45 minutes because she is such an AMAZING person and friend. If we had only known! She deserves a medal for that alone.
Overall I have very few complaints. The water stations were managed incredibly poorly, that would be my one huge complaint. I had to skip water at two of them just because there was 1) no water and/or 2) it was DIY and I wasn’t going to wait in line to fill up a cup of water. Other than that, everything pretty much went off without a hitch. I couldn’t have asked for a better first half marathon experience.
Next up….BROOKLYN! Training begins on Tuesday. No rest for the wicked!
TL;DR I FINISHED THE RNR USA HALF MARATHON IN 2:27:48!
52 Notes/ Hide
- johnnarock said: Way to go! Brooklyn, here you come! (That doesn’t work syntactically, but you know what I mean.)
- notovernight said: The hill at mile 7 sucks, Saturday was my first time running the whole thing
- 007runner likes this
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- rachaelfightsback said: YOU ROCK!!!! This is amazing and I’m so glad you busted through and kept going. I also hate when people walk at the finish!
- latinarunschicago likes this
- shrinkingmomma said: Great job! Congrats!
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- losing2playagain said: Congrats lady! So proud of you!!!
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- agirlrunsinbrklyn said: Congrats!!! You rocked it! Great job getting your goal with time to spare!! PS jealous you’re running in the Brooklyn Half. I was considering it but was dealing with a knee issue when registration opened and knew I couldn’t be ready:( Congrats!!!!
- just-being-jacqui likes this
- shortmom said: Way to go!!!!! Super proud of you!!!
- shortmom likes this
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- missmarisol said: Yay! So proud of you. You did it!!!
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- fromthebackofthepack said: So glad I got to be there with you while you KILLED your first marathon. Amazing job. now we just need to make sure you have chocolate covered power berries before Brooklyn!
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- onwardsanddownwards said: Yay! Great job!
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- melanieisdoinglife said: That is a nice job!! You killed it!
- kate--runs said: Nice!! Jealous that your race photos are up already!
- fitnessinablog said: AWESOME!!! COngrats!! I remember on my first half - i bonked at mile 8!!! You def had much better plan + training than I did :) looks like I will cya for brooklyn!
- benitle said: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! Well done! You even beat your time goal by almost 3 (!!!) minutes. That’s a massive accomplishment. This is awesome. Bring it on, Brooklyn!
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