Elyse Braner Recaps the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

1:16 PM, Mar 19, 2012   |    comments
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Race day is my favorite day. So when I woke up on Saturday morning, I was eager to quickly get to the race start. I had my race outfit ready to go: black lululemon speed shorts, pink sports bra, pink racing shoes, and my pearl necklace. Once I pinned on my race number, #258, I was ready to go.

When I arrived at the race start with my training partner, I could feel myself quickly slipping into focus mode. I dropped off my bag and started my warm up. I was starting the race in the first corral, so I had a decent jog from athlete's village to the start. We did a few warm-up striders on a side street near the start, and slipped into the first corral.

We were both concerned about the above-average temperature and humidity, but I was still determined to go after my race goal of a sub-1:30 half marathon.  I had run a 1:30:41 three weeks before at the Hyannis Half Marathon in Cape Cod, so a sub-1:30 was definitely in the realm of possibilities.

The gun went off, and my training partner set a reasonable pace. I knew if I stuck with him, I would run a more evenly-paced, smarter race. I was on perfect pace, until I hit the 10k mark in Dupont circle. I lost my pacing on the large uphill. A few hundred meters after the hill, I picked up my pace again, as I could hear the energy from the lovely lululemon girls at their cheer station in Adams Morgan.

For the rest of the race, I maintained my race pace as best as I could. The uniqueness of the course made the race feel like it was going by quickly. Every turn brought you into a new neighborhood with a different vibe. The crowd support was phenomenal, however, the warm temperatures proved difficult in maintaining as fast a pace as I would have liked.

At mile 12.5, I knew that I was almost there, and I sprinted in as fast as I could, with a smile on my face.  I finished the race with a time of 1:32:13. It was about two minutes slower than I had hoped, but I was still happy with my time. I enjoyed the course. I worked with my training partner. I enjoyed the music and the crowds. I raised over $1200 as a charity runner for Girls on the Run, and I ran the best time that I could have for that day!

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