Another year another race. This year I started my half marathon session with the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon in Washington, DC. As a new runner to half marathons this was my third half in my running journey and I couldn’t be anymore excited and happy about starting 2015 with this Washington, DC race.
Going into the race I didn’t feel as prepared as I had times before, only running up to 10 miles during my training session but still staying dedicated to running 4-5 times a week to maintain my running base. Due to time, travel, and many other issues I wasn’t able to do my research on the course, elevation, and water stops. Previously I was able to take the time to review the course, learn where the elevation areas were along the course, and prepare my body for certain water stops. Even with these little setbacks and unclear route information I kept a positive outlook on the run and stayed excited about running in Washington, DC and not trying to set a PR (Personal Record).
Race morning wasn’t the best with colder weather and rain, something I had not trained in once again due to living in NC. Due to the weather I wore a few extra layers to stay dry and warm along with starting at a pace that was comfortable while focusing on my music, yes I listen to music and love every second of every song. While staying focused and determined I was able to continue my pace along the first 6 miles and reminding myself that whatever goes up must come down at some point. If you aren’t aware, mile 6 of the Rock ‘n’ Roll course has a huge hill and when I say huge, I mean people stopping to walk but not me! I stayed focused and knew this was the only major hill in the race and that no matter what I could complete it, even if I had to slow down a little. With the great bands, crowd support, and cheerleaders I was able to conquer the big hill and continue at my starting pace realizing I was already at mile 10 and nicely starting to coast downhill towards the finish line. It wasn’t until about mile 11-12 that my body began to get tired and I was mentally starting to lose it so I popped a GU, Peanut Butter/Chocolate the best one out there to help give me that extra boost of energy to finish the race.
Coming down to the end I kept telling myself to keep going, push even harder, and never give-up. These little reminders along with the great crowd support during the last half mile kept me pushing towards my fastest pace of the race. Once crossing the finish line I was drained by impressed with my time and even more excited that the race was over. Even though this wasn’t my fastest half marathon I did complete the race in 1:55 and would highly suggest this race to anyone who is either just getting into half marathons or looking for new race series, I would even run it again 🙂 I look forward to running more half marathons this year with iRun.Fit.
– Melissa Smith