Two words: Womp. Womp.
I didn't reach my time goal, folks. I've been oscillating between being completely okay with that and being completely disappointed. I had a lot of fun, don't get me wrong, but I wish that I had it in me to run faster. (Being sick probably didn't help.)
I've run this race twice now - once when it was still The National Half-Marathon and last year when Competitor group took over and gave it the Rock 'n' Roll branding. One of the best things about the race is that it takes runners through DC neighborhoods and, pre-Rock 'n' Roll, residents seemed to come out in full force to cheer. Last year, people still came out but, with the bands and the designated cheer areas, the race didn't have the same feeling.
This year, instead of starting at RFK, the race started on the Mall, took runners across the Memorial Bridge, before taking Rock Creek Park to Woodley Park. I felt good during those miles but, to be honest, I missed being able to run from RFK through the neighborhoods east of the Capitol. And, while I generally don't mind running through Rock Creek Park, there's not much crowd support.
Once through the park (small victory: I made it up Shoreham Drive without stopping), the crowds were much bigger. This was good news because I probably would have stopped to walk if not for so many people watching. It took me about half a mile to recover from the trek through the park but once I was in Adams Morgan, I tried to pick up my pace.
I started to cramp up and slow down around Mile 8, and by Mile 9, I knew that a sub-2:00 race was unlikely but I figured that I could at least try for PR. Steve and Ned were out on the course at Mile 10, and it was so wonderful to see friendly faces!
I powered through the last bit of the race and, sort of angrily, turned off my Garmin when it hit 13.1 miles at 2:09 -- about a 10th of a mile before the finish.
My official time for the race was 2:11:38. (Current PR: 2:04:31 - Rock 'n' Roll USA 2012) Totally fine but I really wish that I could write about how I totally crushed my PR and finally ran a half-marathon in under two hours. Hopefully, I can do it at my next half.
Until then, it's time to get ready for my third Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run.