I ran in my 2nd Rock n’ Roll DC 1/2 Marathon on Saturday! It was a chilly one for sure! After a few 70 degree days last week I was pretty bummed to see that race day was going to be freezing! Luckily, I was able to take the metro in to the city to the start line so I was only outside waiting for the race to start for about 30 minutes. In those 30 minutes I think my toes froze, I couldn’t feel them for the first 2 miles, which is definitely a weird feeling while running. But after about the 3rd mile I was completely warmed up and I really didn’t notice the cold again at all. I was layered up pretty well with my thickest running tights, a tank top, long sleeve shirt and jacket as well as a throwaway sweatshirt that I tossed right before the race started. I also had 2 pairs of gloves and a headband to keep my ears warm. Looking around at the start I saw some people in t-shirts and shorts… I do get that some people have a race routine where they always run in the same clothing, but it was 27 degrees at the start… some people are crazy 🙂
Walter and I are now 2 weeks into our Whole30, so fueling for this race was a little different than normal. I usually turn to carbs for fuel before races – pasta for dinner, toast for breakfast, etc. But being on the Whole30 I had to fuel a little differently. For dinner the night before I had a chicken breast, 1/2 an avocado, a fried egg and a sweet potato. I think the meal served me well, I woke up feeling energized and hungry enough to eat a banana with coconut almond butter before heading out the door. While on the metro I had the RXBar posted above. RXBars are my new obsession! I have been having the Whole30 approved flavors for breakfast almost every day and they are all so good!
During the race I couldn’t have the gatorade or GU along the way at the aid stations due to their sugar content. But I obviously was able to have water and I carried Trader Joe’s fruit wraps for in race fuel. I only ended up eating 1 between miles 6 and 7, but it definitely gave me a much needed energy boost! They are drier than the fuel I am used to eating, so I timed it for right before an aid station so I could wash it down with water as I passed through.
Overall, though my pace clearly got slower as the race went on, I felt like my energy level remained pretty consistent. I don’t think being on the Whole30 really had a direct impact on my race, however I think eating healthier in the weeks leading up to a race is always a good idea and helped me show up to the start line feeling more prepared.
The race was relatively flat, with the exception of 1 big hill around mile 6. Luckily that part of the course was lined with the most spectators encouraging you up the hill. In the past year and a half I have really cut back on my strength training, which I think directly links to me struggling extra hard with hills. I just re-joined a gym with BodyPump, my favorite strength training work out, and I am excited to start pumping again more consistently!
I was lucky to have Walter and Layla brave the cold to meet me at the finish and get me home to a warm shower!
I know this is not quite kosher, but I stopped my watch when I hit 13.1 miles. I guess I did a lot of zigzagging throughout the race and ended up running closer to 13.5 miles, if you are a swimmer it is the equivalent of circle swimming during your race 🙂 It seemed like each mile I was zigzagging from one side of the street to the other and the mile markers on the road vs. my watch were getting farther and farther apart. Since I was more interest in my time for 13.1 then any official race outcome I figured I would go by my watch time!
As I mentioned this was my second time running this race, I ran it 4 years ago (I could have sworn it was 3, but when I looked up my results it was 4 – time is flying!) and got my PR in 1:34. Rock n’ Roll runs a very efficient race. Aside from the fact that I wish they would mail me my race packet, I have no complaints on how they run their races. They are also pretty reasonably priced for what you get and they have a lot of good deals if you sign up early. They offer races in lots of different cities – you can check out their race calendar here.
The post race is a little disappointing on the Whole30. No chocolate milk, no beer at the finish line and no big bowl of ice cream later in the day…. but the potato, turkey and egg skillet above was our late breakfast and probably a much better way to recover. I do feel that my muscles are recovering faster than from previous races and I attribute that directly to my current diet.
So, if you are running a race during your Whole30, I wouldn’t really worry about it. Just be prepared to alter your pre-race fuel and show up at the start line with your own, compliant fuel in hand!