Saturday, November 15, 2014

Savannah Rock n Roll Half Marathon Recap 2014

My very first half marathon was from the Rock n Roll series in St. Pete, FL so I decide to give Savannah, GA a try.  A girls' weekend with my Suncoast Strider running peeps.

With a new marathon PR under my belt, I wanted to run a half marathon under 2:00 hours.  I wasn't sure if Savannah would be the place I'd try or if I wanted to enjoy my run.  Because let's face it, if I'm trying to PR or beat a time, I'm not enjoying the pace I have to keep.  I picked up a free pace bracelet from the expo incase I decided to go for under 2 an average 9:09 pace for 13.1 miles.  Yikes!

photo by David
I had a great time at the Savannah Rock n Roll Expo!  Some of the vendors had discounted shirts, jewelry and PB2 for only $5.  I loved getting deals at this expo instead of everything being full price.  After a little sight seeing, dinner and hotel drama, I settled in for a fantastic night sleep.  The start corrals were literally right in front of our hotel on Bay Street.

Pre-race team pic, photo by David
The weather was a cool 46 degrees and crisp with humidity.  I had another throw-away jacket from Goodwill to keep me warm while I waited in my corral for the race to start.  I decided to try for a 2 hour finish time.  I honestly didn't think I'd get close because my weekday runs sucked since Chicago and I didn't do any runs longer than 6 miles.  My friend, Patty, offered to try to pace me for a 2:00 finish time.

My corral started shortly after 7:00am.  After warming up, I tossed my jacket about a quarter mile into the course.  Patty and I were going strong, keeping a nice pace.  I wasn't used to running with Patty and knew she ran faster than me so that pushed me a little because I didn't want to hold her back.  At about mile 3 when I started to feel the effects of my exertion, I told Patty that she didn't have to stay with me if she wanted to take off, but she stayed.

I ate a vanilla GU with caffeine WHILE I RAN.  I finally mastered that task while running.  Yeah me!!  If only I could drink water without spilling or pouring it up my nose, while running.  That caffeine GU gave me a boost!  I felt great for the next couple of miles.

I loved the course so far with even streets and cheering spectators along the way.  Handmade signs always make me smile.  This race my favorite was "You've got stamina, call me".  The water stations were well managed and the GU station was clearly visible.  At about mile 7, Patty needed to slow down but she told me to keep going.  I felt great so I continued on the course.

I needed some energy around mile 10 so I tried the salted watermelon GU.  Not my favorite, nor will I try it again.  According to my free pace bracelet, I was more than a minute behind pace.  At this point, I stopped looking at my Garmin and pace bracelet and just ran the 5K I had left.  I knew I wouldn't be under 2:00 but thought I could still PR.

The last part of the course (it felt like a mile but was probably a quarter mile) was a continuous incline to the finish line.  I had a little bit of a sprint in me as I crossed the finish line with a new PR of 2:02:26!

photo by David
You can't see the chocolate milk in my right hand but it was cold and delicious after running 13.1 miles.  I drank two!

photo by David
photo by David
We ran in support of Friedreich's Ataxia, a progressive neuro-muscular disease, for Team Gavin & Team Mike.  With permission from his doctor, Mike ran the entire half marathon!  We were so proud of our fellow Strider and his accomplishment!

Mike in blue surrounded by his supporters
It was another beautiful day in gorgeous Forsyth Park where we got to see Phillip Phillips in concert!  We sang along, danced and enjoyed life.

5K: 28:55
10K: 57:36
10 miles: 1:32:53
Division: 187/1195
Gender: 1308/7327
Overall: 2709/10603
Avg pace: 9:20
Chip time: 2:02:26

My next half marathon is in 3 weeks at Space Coast.  Will I get under 2:00???


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