Monday, November 7, 2011

Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon
November 5, 2011
Race morning started off early. Brenda and I got up at 5:30am and had plenty of time to get layered up for the cold morning walk over to the start line. So happy we were staying so close to the start. Gina, Donna, Stephanie and Charlotte stopped by on their walk from the hotel they got moved to. (long story) We got there in plenty of time for the big maniac/fanatic group shot. It was so fun to be in a race with a large group of them. I hope to be joining the maniacs next weekend! I also got to meet Kate, one of my team marathon bar members. After the photo, we went in search of the baggage check and then bathroom breaks. The lines were so long for the porta potties, so we decided to go down this ally and squat behind some cars. A couple of women came riding by on their bikes and told us that we could get in a lot of trouble for urinating in public. She was very nice though, and offered the bathroom in her office, which was right there! We made it into the corral area about 10 minutes before race start. Most of us were in corral 12. After the first wave start, we slowly made our way closer to the starting mat. It was about 15 minutes after official race start that our group got going.
Gina and I decided to stick together as long as we could. We were running 4/1 intervals, which seemed very doable in this cold temp (45ish). The first mile was straight running and it felt great. The runners had about 4 lanes of road to run on, so we were not too packed in. The first few miles were a little fast, but I wasn’t out of breath and I was feeling good, so we kept up the pace. We ran through some rough looking areas outside of the historic savannah district, but the people were friendly. Lots of people came out of their houses to cheer us on. Bands were at about every mile, which was a big energy boost to the crowd of runners. One woman in front of me ran up to the front of the band and did a cartwheel! Funny.
Miles 1 to 6- 9:18/9:29/9:47/9:54/10:03/10:04

It was great to be back into the historic district. Lots of crowd support here. At one point Gina yells to me, “There’s Dave!” I look all around me and then spot him to my side. He runs over and puts his camera in front of us to take a photo. Then asks who is with me. I tell him Gina is and runs over and snaps a photo of the tow of them, then he runs in front of us to take a photo of us. He tells us we are running fast and falls back. We yell to him to “have a great race” and continue on. Lots of great characters running in the race including a guy dressed up in a Beeker (from The Muppets) suit. Crazy! Lots of great signs being held up too, like “Run, Stranger, Run.” My favorite said: Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much ass! Around mile 9 the course started to head out of the historic district and into a nice neighborhood with beautiful older houses and tall trees that provided some shade.

Miles 7 to 9- 10:20/9:58/10:12
By mile 10, we are both wondering where the split for the half marathoners was. We didn’t want to miss it! Thankfully it was hard to miss. Around mile 11 there were signs on the road and volunteers on the course yelling out which way to go. It was nice to see the half marathoners break away, since most of the runners were running that distance. Once we were on our own, we had a lot more space to run and it was easy to get to the side to take our walk breaks. Mile 12 was run on a highway. We could see mile 24 on the other side of the road. Soon police cars started driving down it and following them was the first marathon runner heading home! He was smokin fast and looked like he was out for an easy run. Just before mile 13, we took the off ramp from the highway and ran through more neighborhoods. We hit the 13.1 mile mark at 2:11. That was a pretty good pace and ahead of our goal pace.
Miles 10 to 13- 9:58/10:14/10:05/10:12
The rest of the race was a large loop through the southern part of town. By mile 15, I noticed my left Achilles tendon was feeling strange when I stopped to walk. At mile 16 we passed the Savannah State University campus. That was a lot of fun. Lots of students were out cheering. The band was there playing too.  I decided to stop and use the porta pottie at mile 17. I told Gina to go ahead and I would try to catch up with her. There was someone in the bathroom already and one guy waiting. While I stood there, I stretched a bit, which felt good. I waited for a couple of minutes and the first person was still in there, so I decided to just keep running. It was really cold still. It seemed like the wind was getting stronger. I still had on my arm sleeves and kept ahold of my gloves in case I needed them later. I decided to run through every other walking break in hopes I could catch up with Gina. Eventually I saw her up ahead and slowly caught up to her after a couple of miles. It was good to have my running buddy back by my side! My Achilles felt better after the stretch, but I could tell I was slowing down. My muscles were really stiffening up. I need to figure out how to stop this from happening! I was eating my cliff blocks when I was supposed to and taking my endurolytes on schedule too.

Miles 14 to 19- 10:13/10:40/10:36/10:32/10:52/10:22
I managed to plod along and a decent pace for the next few miles. I don’t feel like I hit the “wall” until mile 22. My stomach was bothering me. It felt bloated and my waist pack made it worse because it felt so tight. I ate my last cliff clock around mile 24 and within a minute I thought I was going to throw up! It hit my stomach hard. I took of my waist pack and immediately felt better. I thought of just tossing it since I got it on sale for $10, it wasn’t a big waste, but decided to hold on to it for a bit. It wasn’t too bad carrying it. Gina started pulling ahead of me during these last few miles. I told her to go ahead, but thankfully she stayed near me. I think I might have really struggled to stay running if she hadn’t been there. Running directly into the wind and having to run over so many over passes was really taking it out of me! Soon we left behind the highway and started running towards the historic district and the finish. Gina pulled ahead again around mile 25, which was fine with me. She looked strong and I didn’t want to hold her back any longer. I grabbed a bottle of water from the medical tent just before the next water stop and ended up drinking half the bottle! I guess I was thirstier than I thought! This last bit was tough, but knowing the finish line wasn’t too far away, kept me plodding along. I managed to run through the last walk break and even pick up my pace a little just before the finish line. So happy to be done! And with a PR!
Mile 20 26.2- 11:09/10:54/11:37/11:12/11:16/11:57/12:29/3:29
Finish 4:37:07 a PR of 28 minutes!
Overall: 2619 out of 4722
Division: 207 out of 421
Gender: 1156 out of 2473
Gina was waiting for me after I crossed the finish line. We were both so happy about our PRs! We got out photos taken with our bling then grabbed some food and drink. I really needed to sit down and get off of my feet, so we walked over to get our bags, meet up with Brenda and then Stephanie and then walked over to the large grassy park to hang out and listen to the band playing. Within a couple of minutes of trying to stretch my legs, my calf muscles seized up. And then the front of them did too when I flexed my foot. I couldn’t unflex my foot! Brenda rolled my water bottle over the spot for me until it loosened up. I’ve never had that happen before. It hurt!

So happy I ran this race! We had some issues with housing and hotels during this trip, but the race and spending time with friends was so fun. Look forward to the next girls racing weekend!

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