Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half-Marathon
|November 6, 2011||Posted by Katy under Blogger Meet-up, Blogging Community, Desserts, Dinner, Lunch, Race recap, Restaurant Reviews, Travels|
Half-Marathon number three- CHECK!
Overall, I rocked Savannah and outdid my expectations but hit some huge battles towards the end.
There were a few hiccups with the shuttle bus as to where we were supposed to be dropped off, but we still made it down to the start with plenty of time.
It was pretty cold out and with the wind coming off the river, we all headed into a nearby hotel to stay warm and relax. We met Shannon who was super sweet and so nice to talk with.
Then it was time to go to gear check and then our corrals. I was in corral 5 which was fairly close to the start line.
Surprisingly, I was not too nervous. I had a lot of nerves in the days before race day, but yesterday I felt pretty calm. I knew that I had a long road ahead of me, but I also knew that I could finish.
My goals going into the race were to start off slow and then miles 4-10 to treat it as a training run and the final 5K to just finish. Well, I sort of followed that plan.
Once I crossed the start line (roughly 4 minutes after the official start), I went into race mode.
The corral start was a lot less congested than I had originally planned. I thought it was going to be crazy crowded but everyone was running their pace, with everyone being conscious of each other.
I immediately started my iPod (to zone out) and ran at what I thought was an easy pace. When I looked down, I was surprised that I was running a 7:15 pace. Needless to say, I pulled back the reins so I didn’t burn out after a few miles.
The first 5K went by in a blur. My pace was fairly consistent and I felt good and strong.
Mile 1- 8:52
Mile 2- 8:53
Mile 3- 8:43
(During mile 5 stopped and put my camera away so there are no more photos from the course. My camera is on its last leg and the battery pack kept opening up. )
I had heard ahead of time that the first few miles were not in the best part of Savannah, but they were actually my favorite miles. I loved how the neighbors sat outside their houses (I even saw a couple in matching Snuggies ) and cheered for every person passing by.
Like many runners we talked to after the race, I thought the course was not that interesting. It was flat for the most part, but it was boring. The spectator support and bands scattered throughout the course really helped boost my morale, but once I ran past it all, I was bored again.
I was feeling really good after the first three miles and was honestly surprised that I was keeping a sub- 9:00 pace. I have been unable to do that during any run prior to this race and felt really really good. I ditched my original plan and decided to see how long I could maintain it. Three more miles went by in a flash.
- Mile 4- 8:51
- Mile 5- 9:01 (putting camera away)
- Mile 6- 8:51
I started slowing down after the 10K mark, but I was still feeling good. I was a bit thirsty so I grabbed water from every water station and quickly walked through them. I also took an unplanned GU at around mile 7.5.
For some reason between mile 5.5-7.5, there was no water station. There were water stations roughly every 1.5 miles and I got so frustrated during mile 7 I actually said out loud “Where is the freaking water station?!?!?” and got a few looks from other runners. I guess being thirsty brings the cranky side out of me.
- Mile 7- 9:15
- Mile 8- 9:19
- Mile 9- 10:02
Mile 10 was when things started to go downhill for me, and fast. Shortly after I hit the 10 mile mat, my vision started to get a bit blurry. I have never experienced this while running before so it was a little scary. A medic on a bike actually rode up next to me to ask if I was ok and urged me to walk for a minute to see how I felt.
Walking helped a little, but I was still having some vision problems, but decided to keep going. I saw my time on my watch and realized that if I could stick with it, I could possibly come in under two hours. I continued the best I could.
However, I hit a WALL at mile 11. I have never hit a wall in a race but it was awful. Suddenly my legs rebelled against me and I found myself taking more walking breaks than I anticipated. I felt like I was walking faster than I was running!
I kept repeating to myself- “Wall? What wall? There is no wall!” and “I am stronger than I think I am“, which I had written on my arm prior to the race. These mantras helped, and I picked up the pace during mile 12 but hit the wall again during the final mile. I was so frustrated that I was walking so close to the finish that I was holding back tears.
- Mile 10- 10:01
- Mile 11- 10:30
- Mile 12- 9:57
Finally I saw the crowds and turned the corner and sprinted (6:05 max pace at the very end) to the finish line.
- Mile 13- 10:25
- .16 nub- 1:22 (8:48 pace)
- Garmin Time- 2:04:07
- Official Time- 2:04:19
Apparently I didn’t look too great as soon as I crossed because I was quickly wisked to the medical tent. I was still fighting some dizziness (due to minor dehydration) and was having some stomach problems.
I sat in the medical tent for 15 minutes rehydrating and regrouping. The volunteers kept trying to get me to eat but I kept telling them that I would throw it up if I ate. I’m ashamed to say that I probably wasn’t the most polite person.
Once I felt good enough to walk around, I grabbed two bags of ice, food, water, and a “cape” and headed to the family reunion area to sit in the sun and ice my ankles.
I tried using my phone to contact Danielle who I knew was probably finished by that point, but due to all the runners using their phones, I couldn’t get service. After about 40 minutes, Danielle and I finally met up.
We still had to wait for Meghann and Ben to finish so we relaxed and talked about our races. Danielle rocked her half-marathon with a PR!
A little after 11:30 we headed over to the finish line to look for Meghann and Ben. Before we knew it, they were crossing the finish line, completely crushing their time goal!
We quickly met up with them and grabbed a group shot.
We then searched for food to refuel after our races. We found a cute little cafe that had a good mixture of hot and cold foods. I wasn’t too hungry (long distances kill my appetite for a few hours) so I kept it light with a bowl of tomato bisque and a side salad.
Then we headed back to the hotel for showers and a little relaxation before heading to dinner with a big group of bloggers.
(I look so awkward in that picture! Why?!?! )
We met at Moon River for dinner. It was great to mingle and catch up with all my blog friends while eating good food.
Afterwards we all went our separate ways and the four of us went back to the hotel where I crashed and I crashed hard!
This weekend was perfect and just what I needed. I am going into an extremely stressful week with my senior recital on Saturday so it was nice to disconnect and escape reality for the weekend. Of course coming back to Jacksonville was a bit rough, but the end is in sight.
Why can’t we all meet up and race every weekend?