November 9, 2011

Rock N Roll Savannah Half Marathon Recap

  I think I will split my weekend up into the actual race and the rest of the weekend, because it honestly deserves it’s own special post! We arrived in Savannah on Friday and made our way to the Expo, which had terrible logistics. The only way in or out was a bridge or a ferry, since it was on it’s on island. We honestly sat on that bridge for an hour trying to get to the Expo– it was a nightmare. But once we got inside, it went smoothly. I picked up our parking pass for the next morning and of course, had to stop by and purchase a new Running Skirt and some Nuun. I have started buying coffee mugs from places I go, so I wanted to get one for this race, but I didn’t see any, so I ended up buying a new Running Skirt as my race prize. :) Dad and Karen gave me some money to buy something at the Expo and then I received my very first check for blogging (holla!) and so those two things helped make the purchase of the skirt. :) Thanks Dad and Karen!!

Anyway, after dinner (More on THAT later!) we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the race. We set the alarms for 4:30. I think I was the only one who slept. My nerves never really kicked in, plus I was super tired from getting up at 4 am that morning to drive down. We got dressed- in 30 minutes! (FOUR women!) and headed to the convention center to park and catch the ferry to the start line.

Kelsie and myself on the ferry

Sonja and Lindsey

 We had access to the VIP area(more on THAT later too!) and enjoyed a yummy breakfast and a potty break before heading to the start line. I made a last minute decision to check my throw away t-shirt.. I’m still not sure how I feel about that one because it was COLD.

It wasn’t so much the cold that hurt it was the WIND. Straight in your face, cut you like a knife, wind.

Lindsey, Kelsie and I were all in corral 18 and Sonja was in corral 22. I ended up seeing my friend Crystal in our corral and she huddled with us. I was super jealous of her jacket and thought about trying to gank it, but she had about 4 inches on me, so I decided to not. 

The first corral started at 7:30 and we started close to 8– I thought the corrals went pretty quickly- compared to the way Disney does it.

We were running into the wind and it was COLD. SO cold, that my Garmin was a tad bit loose on my wrist and when it slid up and down, it hurt so bad I felt certain it would bruise me. We made our way on an overpass bridge and I have never understood how people say the miles few by, but they honestly did. We ran in pairs, Kelsie and Lindsey together and myself and Crystal. Before we knew it, we were making a turn (away from the wind) and it was the 5K mark! We knew we wouldn’t be able to run the entire time, but we told each other that if we felt like we could pull away from the group, DO IT. It worked out that we ran around the first 4 miles without stopping. We started doing 1.5 miles of running with a minute or so of walking and it worked out that we were basically walking through the water stations. We did run through some rougher parts of Savannah, but theses people came out to SUPPORT. Cheers and high gives and “Good Mornings!!” all over the place! Crystal split from us around the 5K mark and we started feelings our aches around mile 6. I just kept telling myself “If it feels good, you ain’t doing it right” and “If it were easy, everyone would do it” and it seemed to help me. We were encouraging each other every step of the way and Lindsey was on it saying “we’ve got 1/2 mile until we walk!”

Two Marine Corps passed us- one with an American Flag and the other with a Marine Corp flag. And the girl in front of us, her shirt said “Faster. Mustache.” with a pic of a mustache on it. Get it?? Mustache? Must. Dash?

No matter how we were hurting, this race was flying by! As we rounded the corner to mile 7 we started seeing more crowd support and some extremely funny signs like “Go Stranger GO!” and “She farted. Run FASTER!”

As we rounded into mile 8, I could feel myself fading, but we turned a corner and WOW. Crowds everywhere!! I started high fiving and giving the Alabama (And LSU) peeps ROLL TIDE’s! We were supposed to walk around mile 8, but we just kept on because the crowd was so energizing. I could see Lindsey struggling and I instructed her to get over and get some high five’s immediately! She did as she was told. ;)

We saw even more awesome signs and just remembering them makes me smile.

“Longer. Harder. Faster. It hurts but you get it over with quicker. (That’s what she said.)”

“Your feet hurt from kicking so much ass!”

“May the Course be with you.”

We hit mile 10 and well what do you know? You’ve only got a 5K left at that point! We were hurting but we were so close to making our goal of a sub 2:30 and John kept texting me at my splits saying “You’ve got this! You’re going to make it!!” And it was so awesome to have that support. (Side note. Yes I ran with my phone in my hand. Yes I responded to texts and tweets as best I could while running. It’s a talent, really.) We were running through a gorgeous part of Savannah with historic homes and Spanish Moss hanging off the trees. And then? A wind kicked up like nothing I’ve ever seen and blew dust everyone including into my eyeballs. That didn’t feel good. It’s here where we split from the marathon group and I expected it to thin out. It did not. I spotted a guy in a scream mask staring at me with a sign reading “I told you to run faster.” Yes sir.

We hit mile 12 and it was going to be close to make that sub 2:30 goal, so we decided to empty what we had in our tanks and run with our hearts. We split with each other here. I could still see Kelsie but I lost Lindsey. It really bottled necked through here. It was strange, I knew I was so close to the end, my body wasn’t about to die, my breathing was fine, but it was almost like the nerves of crossing the finish line got to me, and I had to stop and walk. As we came through the shoot, I was in a complete zone. I wouldn’t have noticed if the crowd was naked. We were passing people on the sides and I pretty much hurdled a photographer to cross the finish line- I’m sure they got a lovely shot right up my skirt. :) I crossed the finish line and it was AMAZING. Y’all. BEST RACE EVER. I felt so good and strong the entire way. I am not ashamed of my time and am extremely proud of it. I trusted in the training from T at Racing with Babes and she did not lead me astray. 2:31:09 Finish Time. I cannot believe it.

Splits were this–



10mile– 1:55:45- right on track with my training

Post Race Mimosa is a MUST.

Here are some of the least terrible of the race pictures.. seriously. I have never seen worse race pictures. I look terrible in every one of them. Oh well.

P.S. We had TONS of compliments and comments on our shirts. You don’t know me… But you will.


Leave a comment to Rock N Roll Savannah Half Marathon Recap

  1. Nice job, Rachel! How exciting that you felt so strong the whole way! I’ve loved reading all these recaps from different people, and it really seems like they didn’t think everything out for the expo and some of the routing. I’m running the RnR Inaugural St. Pete 1/2 in February, so I’m hoping there aren’t too many glitches. Did you end up finding SR? I hope so. I read on her blog about not making it to the dinner meetup. That stinks.

  2. Okay, how cute are YOU? Rockin’ that houndstooth running skirt girl!
    Great race recap, great race! Way to go!!! Congratulations on running strong!!!

  3. You are too cute! Looks like so much fun!

  4. This makes me so proud and happy for you! Awesomeness abounds :) And I love the death grip you have on your phone in that last pic– a talent for sure! I’m committing to run the DC Half– I hope it’s still in your plans as well! Also, how can I get in on the training plan you used? You seem like you were really happy with the results! Congrats on the finish :)

    • YES! I am all signed up for DC– if you sign up on Friday, you get $20 off your race fee. :) I am also doing Nashville. I got the race plan from the Race and Relax group that I was with for Savannah.

  5. Hi! I left you a long rambling comment a few posts back but now realize it was on your old blog so you probably didn’t see it. Anyway, Natalie (from my crazy busy life) told me to come say hi. I’m a newbie runner and plan on doing my first half next May. I’m scared. But Natalie was right, you are inspirational! You totally rocked this race! I would have been complaining about the cold the whole time. Way to go, and nice to meet you.

    • It’s scary to run your first half but it becomes addicting! I’ve done 2 (quite poorly though) and I’m gearing up for my next 2. Good luck on all your training!!! Rach is definitely an inspiration!

  6. You did so awesome! And your outfit was fantastic! That 2:30 half is so yours! Excited to see where you take your training!

  7. Sounds like you had a great race! I’m so happy for all of you! You sound like the best person to run with because of all the motivational talk (suck it up and run!!!) If you’re in town for the RnR St Pete, we definitely need to meet up! Can’t wait to hear about all the fun you had outside of the race.

  8. Congrats on finishing another 1/2 marathon. I wish I was a runner. Maybe someday!

    (newest blog follower!)

  9. […] about 2 hours before kick off. Since I wasn’t here 2 years ago because I was running in Savannah, I’ve been told it was my fault we lost […]

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