I’ve never really been one to post “race reports”…that is, with the exception of The Race (a report that I go back and read every once in a while myself, so I can reminisce on one of the single most greatest days of my life). I’m not really sure why that is, but my guess would be…I had run a number of races prior to starting this blog and training for a full marathon and didn’t really have a Dear Diary sort of outlet available for them, so never really got in the habit. After the big Kahuna, no other race really seemed up to par and worthy of a full-fledged, mile-by-mile post letting you know at exactly what marks I hit the runner’s high, and exactly what ones I wanted to break down and cry.
So for my non-race report on my first ever Rock and Roll experience in DC this weekend, I’ll just sum things up as I would any other weekend run and weekend fun (read: with a quick mention of having covered the miles, and a far bigger focus on the other fun things that sandwiched in the 13.1).
*One exception: because I had read SO many rants about the RnR series and how horrible/unorganized they are, I feel like I should chime in here for a hot second. I was worried sick on Thursday when I realized I had put ZERO thought into planning how to pick up my race packet, and the bus I had scheduled had me coming in way too late to make it to the expo at the DC Armory before it closed Friday night. The web site
was covered had very hard-to-find mentions about friends picking up packets, all of which made me think it would be easier to skip the race completely rather than try to come up with a way to get my printed waiver, photo ID and $20 to a friend in DC to pick up packets for both me and my cousin. In the end, I hopped an earlier bus and picked up the packets myself, pain and hassle free. Dear RNR, you made yourself out to be bad guys for no reason. Just remove that “$20 fee for all additional packets over 1″ on your web site and you’ll instantly make a lot more friends.
The coolest part about taking an earlier bus down to DC was that it landed me in the seat in front of Samantha. As we slugged along in rush hour traffic on the beltway, we discovered we were both heading to the same place, for the same reason, and decided to share a cab as soon as Megabus deposited us at Union Station. It wasn’t until right before we parted ways at the Armory that we realized not only were we both NY “running” bloggers, but both readers of each others blogs. Small and awesome world!
I grabbed the race packets, swung through the expo (which was already closing down) and hopped right back on the metro to meet up with my cousin (who stuck to the later bus) in Dupont. From there, we walked to my old roomies apartment and shortly after made our way to dinner followed by a reasonably early bedtime.
The next morning, cousin and I got decked out in our St. Patty’s Day finest (greeeen I <3 NY t-shirts, knee-high American Apparel green socks, shamrock sweatbands and neon green shorts) and munched on some flavored Honey Stingers on the walk to the metro…whichhhh (even on a giant and crowded RACE day), took 20 minutes to arrive and then another 20 minutes in delays to get us to RFK. Not cool DC Metro, not cool.
My cousin’s hip had been hurting her so we started off the race REALLLYYYY slow, but after the first four miles, the half marathon [not-so] newbie* found the runners high and she decided to TAKE OFF. We more than made up for the slow start by zipping through the rest of the course and finishing at 2:00:05. PR? Nope. But still a new record–first time I ran a race with someone start to finish And it was awesome! The music was fun and the crowds were great, and I LOVED how many times people saw our matching tee’s and screamed “We love NY too!” My cousin and I gave them a robust cheer every time.
decked. out. nyc style.
*In every single race report I’ve read today, there’s a comment about the crucial hills in this course. My cousin, who was apparently just built to kick ass at races said, and I quote, “hills? what hills? that was nothing.” If Saturday was her running post-injury, I’d hate (read: LOVE) to see (from afar) what sort of damage she can do on a good day!
Afterwards we met old friends, my sister Squigs and new friends at my faaaavorite old haunt, Chadwicks in Georgetown for the champagne brunch. Afterwards, feeling all sorts of bubbly, we walked along the Potomac river and up toward the monuments. Thanks to the glorious weather (yeah, racing in 78 degrees is NOT something I’m used to in March) this non-winter has been giving us, the Cherry Blossoms were out early and we got a lot of key photo ops near the Tidal Basin, AND got to see the newly completely MLK memorial. I never get tired of being touristy in DC, so it was a great afternoon.
After finally showering up and suiting up we were back on the metro to meet up with even more friends in Arlington, for dinner at Mexicali Blues. The thought process was, it being St. Patty’s and all (yes, I was STILL wearing a headband with bouncy leprechaun hats jumping out of it), we might have better luck with low wait times at a Mexican place. But we were wrong. No worries though–there were many a margarita, corona and loads of good company to help pass the time.
We called it an early night again and after walking around Dupont yesterday morning, boarded the bus back to the city. I was exhausted, but still had a lot ahead of me when we rolled in at 5–the JD and I had concert tickets to see the Head and the Heart at Terminal 5. The show was sooo good–just minus the fact that it was on a Sunday after a super busy weekend down south, AND I had another 6 am wakeup call this morning.
I was leading my first downtown tour as a city running guide! It was an awesomeee run that started in the West Village, followed the Hudson South, snaked back through the financial district with stops at Wall St and the infamous bull, then went and out and back to Brooklyn via the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. I maaay or may not have accidentally turned the entire a.m. experience into another 13.1 mile run, but it was an awesome way to kick off a Monday!
Now I’ve just got to figure out how to keep my eyes open the rest of the day at work, because it’s been a pretty rough battle thus far…
Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend–be it in DC, here at the NY half or elsewhere! And have a very happy Monday!!