I have been eyeing up the Rock and Roll DC half marathon for a few years. It all started in October of 2010 after I completed my first half marathon, the Baltimore Half Marathon. My husband brought home a pamphlet from our gym in Chambersburg advertising the DC Half Marathon the following spring. My interest was immediately peaked at the thought of running through the nation’s capital. However, the following spring I had my wisdom teeth removed and at the end of the year we ended up moving to Pittsburgh. However, I always kept that race in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do.
Around Christmas I saw Rock and Roll was having a sale on the race. I gave it a few minutes of thought and consulted my husband. He said to go for it and I purchased a bib. I knew running a half marathon in the middle of March would be a bit of a risk. The weather can unpredictable. The weather in the weeks before the race can be brutal and it was. I did the best training I could. Some days I logged eight miles on the treadmill. Some days I ran up and down my street in a snow storm until I reached ten miles.
A few days before the race I started checking the weather. It looked like there was a chance of rain. Actually a 99% chance of rain.
I was unsure how to dress for this weather. If it was cold and dry I would have known exactly what to wear. But I was unsure how to dress for temperature in the 50’s with rain and wind. Fortunately Runner’s World has a great link where it tells you what to wear for the weather conditions. I followed it exactly, except I wore a headband instead of a hat. I have to say that this was spot on for me! If you want to try it click here!
The race started at 7:30 AM on March 14, 2015. It was already raining pretty badly at this point. My corral started just a little bit before 8:00 AM.
Once we got back to our Metro station I was still very wet, cold and very grumpy. We had to walk a few more blocks in the rain and I was starting to feel like running this half marathon was really silly and ridiculous.
We walked past a Marriot (not our hotel) and the doorman cheerfully said to me, “Welcome back. Congratulations!” I wasn’t even staying at his hotel, so he didn’t have to acknowledge me, but these kind words from a stranger totally changed my perspective on what I had just accomplished. I started to realize how grateful I am to even run a half marathon like this.
Besides the weather, this race was a wonderful experience. It’s apparent that Washington, D.C. has a large and experienced running community. I’ve never been in a race where volunteers and runners were so polite! I even noticed that runners in this race would raise their hand to signal to other runners when they were going to walk. I’ve never seen that before!
Grateful; that’s how I feel after this race. I’m grateful for our military who serves us. I’m grateful for our first responders who protect us. I’m grateful for the supporters who cheered us on in the rain when it was hard to continue to race.
I’m grateful for my husband who supports me and stands out in the rain waiting for me to finish. Thank you so much! Thank you also to my cousin-in-law Charlotte and her fiancé who came downtown to see us the day before and after the race. Thanks to my parents, in-laws and friends for all your encouraging messages. When I struggle, when I want to quit, when I want to stop, I think of all of you and it keeps me going.
In memory of my Grandma, Aletha G. Walter, who passed away May 26, 2014. Her birthday was March 14 (same day as this race.). Some of my favorite memories of Washington, D.C. are with her when we would visit my Aunt and Uncle.
Author: Sarah Warman
I like to run, take pictures and write. I've combined all three in this blog.