Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll USA Recap

First of all - THANK YOU for all of the kindness that's been shown to me since my buddy Max died yesterday. I've gotten so many sweet texts, snapchats, calls, emails, messages, cards, and even a 6-pack of beer! It's nice to know that the significance of this furry friend in my life was noticed by the "real" friends in my life, too! 

And now on a brighter note...the Rock 'n' Roll Race Weekend Recap! (it's really long - but I always get annoyed when bloggers do a whole blog for the expo, then another whole blog for the race - so it's all in one here!)


My fellow boot camp friends, Mark, Julie, and I headed south for a trip to the Expo for packet pick-up first.  We had fun wandering the Expo and picking up samples and checking out all kinds of fun running products! Julie and I stopped to chat with this guy for a few minutes and then discovered he was "Big Vinnie" from The Biggest Loser! Remember Vinnie? He was the 450 pound country singer who wore overalls. Now he's "big" for another reason - he's a lifter!

We walked away with plenty of good samples, and may have tried enough Power Bar pieces to make a full meal. I was particularly interested in trying Sport Beans, since I've been looking at them as a fuel option. We drank lots of Nuun Hydration samples, drooled over other race medals, and chatted up the Spartan Race guys. It was a great event - though I was disappointed in the Brooks section. Apparently at the Philly race, they had a lot of fun activities that they didn't have in DC. I guess that means I'll just have to run RNR Philly!


 
After the expo, we headed to our hotel and ended up eating dinner there. We carb loaded and hydrated simultaneously with some beer - haha! We met up with some friends of Julie's, Aaron and Jenny. Jenny was running her first marathon - and she rocked it with a 3:39 finish time!! 

Before we knew it - it was race morning!! There was a Starbucks in our hotel lobby, whose hours said they'd be open at 6am.  Julie texted me from the lobby at 5:30 to say it was open - and I seriously JUMPED out of bed and started heading there. Mark had the same reaction when I told him it was open. Clearly, we like beer and caffeine before we run.
(Me, Julie, and Mark before the race)
 
 
Julie and I just met 2 weeks ago. We both attend the same boot camp, but not the same class time. Some members of the group met to do a long run, and since Julie and I ran about the same pace and had the same time goal (under 2:00), we decided to stick together. We lined up in corral 6 (Julie's corral - I was technically 13...and speedy Mark was up in 2).

My college roommate, Kristin, and her husband, Justin, live in DC so they were at mile 4 and mile 10 with their cameras ready! 

Julie and I were really trying to start slow - which in the end, may have backfired on us and we started TOO slow. Our average pace needed to be 9:09, and I figured if we did 9:30ish the first mile, we could get faster each mile and be fine.  But - we did mile one in over 10 minutes. Then, we were running 8:45 miles for the next few and my legs were just not prepared for that pace. 

My pace bracelet had splits for both 1:59 and 2:05, so at about mile 6.5, I dropped back and settled in for my secondary goal of 2:05. I pretty much felt like death and was hurting most of the race. In fact, this is me at mile 10 and I believe I was just saying "I really needed to see you guys because I feel awful!!!".


(and for those thinking I always smile when I run - at one point in the race I heard a spectator say "Wow - her face looks miserable" when I ran by. I am not always smiling - I am just good at locating cameras!)


After the race, we all celebrated in the beer garden! Each of us got a PR (personal record) - Julie came in at 2:01 and Mark smoked us at 1:32. 

While I didn't make my BIG goal of under 2 hours, I had set myself the "secondary goal" of under 2:05 - and I did it! This time took almost 12 minutes off of my performance in Baltimore, and had me running at a pace I used to dream about for a 5k - let alone a 13.1!

 
And of course, we had to rehydrate the same way we pre-hydrated - some good beer! Julie's family met her at the finish line, so she went to do some touring with them. Mark and I spotted this Capitol City Brewing Company and enjoyed some DELICIOUS food and beer! We both left with growlers of their Prohibition Porter.  If you ever spot one of these places - stop in!

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