The 2018 Rock n Roll DC Half was awesome, my fourth half marathon overall and a course and personal record! It meant a lot to me because it was my last race in DC for a while and because this city is where I started running more seriously. The course went through neighborhoods I used to live in (two blocks from the first apartment I lived in after college!) and routes I used to take to and from work before I moved to Alexandria. With awesome views of the mall, Rock Creek Park, DC’s residential charm, the Capitol and more, it was a really memorable race that capped off my time living in the area.
If you’ve been following my Training Thoughts or Instagram, you may already know that a friend of mine from college who’s currently based in Philly came down for the race and that we both signed up for it way back in August 2017. After getting both our bibs at packet pick up and checking out the expo, I picked her up at Union Station. In addition to completing the race, we had an awesome weekend of catching up, playing tourist, and having deep conversations.
I wasn’t feeling very optimistic on race morning, but I kept overall outlook in check by just refocusing on the present and soaking the day in, a chilly March morning (around freezing) with a finishing temp in the 40’s. It’s always so exciting at the beginning of the corrals, especially with races as big as the Rock n Roll Series, the announcers are a solid hype team and I am here for it!! My friend from Philly and I ran probably the first 4 to 6 miles somewhat together (she’s faster than me), but this helped my overall pace towards my final PR. Other than actually running the fastest half I had run at that point, my mental game for this race felt really sharp. Any negative or distracting thoughts I had I was able to easily let them pass through without weighing me down. The sunny clear skies were inspiring, and honestly, running through my old stomping grounds and knowing the course really well was a big plus.
A friend from high school, who’s apartment was literally on the course, joined me for miles 10 to 12. Her company was awesome for these last few miles. She gave me an awesome pep talk about finishing strong, not just the race, but also my journey in DC, how hard I’ve worked to get there and how much I’ve grown. She broke off at the beginning of mile 13, saying I’m going to finish strong, again in this last bit of the race, during my last few weeks in DC.
I’m so glad I got to run this race again before moving out of the DC area. So much has changed from when I ran it last year, and some of those changes have been real tough, but I know that also means I’ve had these opportunities to really grow and learn as a person and as a runner. DC, see you in October for the Marine Corps Marathon!
Congratulations to all the runners! What other events are on your 2018 race roster?