Savanna Rock n’ Roll Marathon Recap

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This marathon was both one of my favorite races and also huge kick in the face to my ego. The marathon will humble you.

Nothing, not all the training in the world, can fully prepare you for what you might encounter in those 26.2 miles. – Bill Rodgers

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, then you know that this marathon training started out awesome and with intent to BQ, until we got closer to the wedding then I lost a few good weeks of training. I ran here and there in September and October but not like I should have. I just found myself with little to no time to squeeze in training in-between vendor appointments, dance lessons, thank-you cards, etc. planning a wedding is extremely time consuming unless you’re able to hire a coordinator. But we were all about low budget.
Then a week before the marathon I became very ill with a head cold or sinus infection. Something yucky like that. I drank the mess out of some green tea, emergen-c, and took RECOVERYBits in vain attempts to heal naturally. And I believe it did help me in a sense. I was starting to feel better…but pushing your body in an endurance event like the marathon, is a great way to stress it out and feel even worse after…
Anyway. Enough of all my whining and excuses. Here’s the real deal on this race.

Expo:
We arrived late so I didn’t get many pictures or swag but from what I could tell it was well organized and lines moved quickly. I was impressed with all the staff/volunteers. Friendly and efficient. Lots of big brands like NUUN, Brooks, Garmin just to name a few.
I also really liked the Brooks technical tee. Well done! Finally, a tee that fits!

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We also picked up our parking pass here. I ordered a free pass online early in advance so we could park at the convention center. The morning of the race we took a ferry from the convention center to the start. That was unique and a fun experience.

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Weather: cool 40-50s, sunny, partly cloudy, low humidity
Perfect conditions for a PR (stupid head cold arg!)

Race morning: woke up at 4 am gulped some coffee, had my bagel and EmergenC, showered, started to get dressed and realized…..
I had forgot my sports bra!!
Never have I…
So I ran in my Victoria Secrets T-shirt bra. At least I can say for once, thank you Lord for small boobs! At the end of it all it did the trick. Although I wouldn’t recommend it.
We rushed to drop the kid off with my husband’s parents (still SO thankful they drove three hours to help with little D!!) park our car and catch the ferry. Not much in-between time.
That meant no two potty breaks… Which I always need…

Start: if I had one complaint: MORE PORTA JONS PLEASE!! We ended up starting in corrals behind us due to the wait in the potty line. Oh, and when I finally jumped in a stall, there was no toilet paper. -_-
It seemed, however, that people were well placed in their corrals because I had little problem getting to my goal pace.

Course: By far one of my favorite courses! Relatively flat and scenic. Starting downtown running on street and brick. Had to be careful of the uneven brick but it made for a beautiful course. Mostly shaded with beautiful trees (covered in that southern charm Spanish moss) with the exception of running over a few bridges and the highway.

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Crowd support wasn’t lacking until we hit the highway. That was long and monotonous. Mentally tough. Even so, they still had a post up with a super loud DJ type deal.
As promised there were bands about every mile or so.

Fuel: the course offered water, Gatorade Endurance formula about every 2-4 miles, and two GU stations. I stuck with Gatorade and water. I don’t think mixing the ENERGYBits over the course with Gatorade was smart though… Ha

Miles 1-6: I started out with no expectations. I knew my training had seriously suffered and that I wasn’t feeling well so I took it easy on myself. I went out with the gameplan of enjoying scenery and appreciating the run. So the first 6 miles were casual and easy. I maintained a solid, steady pace and didn’t waver but by a few seconds. My splits were about dead on. Maybe it was the tin of ENERGYBits in my pocket keeping a nice metronome sound tempo for me.

Miles 7-13: all was still well. Cruising right along. Still not feeling well but managed to breathe between my half open nostrils and mouth. My cough started up a bit here but still managed to cruise along. I thought for a moment about jumping into the half marathon and just finishing. Just because I wasn’t feeling well. Also wondered how my husband was doing. He was running his first official half marathon!

Miles 14-18: this is where I really started to feel yuck. My pace started to slow by a few seconds and by mile 18 it really slowed by almost a minute. I contemplated quitting and dropping out. I’ve never seriously thought this during a race but after my potty break, which was a first for me–I’ve never had to stop to use the porta potty in a race–maybe it was my sickness, I really thought about it. By this point I began to feel really rough. I decided to start walking through the aid stations.

Miles 19-25: by this point it was a walk/jog. My pace just crashed, my cough intensified, and I felt awful. My body ached like I had the flu. I started to cramp from my right ankle up to my inner thigh. And then it happened…the 4:00 hour pacer passed me. But no matter how bad I willed my body to push hard it wouldn’t let me run hard. And I just broke down and started crying (which doesn’t help at all by the way if you’re already congested…)

I lost the race the moment I lost hold of my emotions. – Bill Rodgers

I’ve been reading in Rodger’s book “Marathon Man” and I’ve found so much encouragement and wisdom in his words. Did you know in his first Boston race he crawled out at mile 20 around ‘heartbreak hill’?
Even the elites have their setbacks and letdowns. But we find our strength again. We get back up. Ready to roar.
I thought a lot about my #IRun4 buddy and remembered my temporary sickness is nothing compared to what he’s going through. He can’t just drink hot tea or take an antibiotic and be better in a few days. So when I felt weak, I thought of him and on all those who are struggling through cancers or other illnesses that aren’t easily or quickly healed. I’ll be fine in a week and I have the opportunity to try again.

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Race verdict:
I would most definitely run this race again!

My official finishing time:
4:15:32 9:44 min/mile
Obviously not my goal time. But all things considered, I’m surprised I even finished.
So how did I deal with my ‘failure’? Like any other runner would, naturally…
I’ve researched the next marathon I want to run. There’s a Rock n’ Roll race in Nashville April 25th. The cool thing with this event is that I can sign up to be a St. Jude’s hero! I’ve donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital over the course of the past few years so it only feels right to sign up.
So here’s to good health and a better racing year in 2015!

Have you ever forgotten a major race day gear piece? Have you ever had a bum race? How do you deal with a lost goal?

Blessed & Beautiful Running!

PS- oh, we did get to see Phillip Phillips! My son had a great time with that and hanging on cool trees which we were shortly banned from doing…

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12 thoughts on “Savanna Rock n’ Roll Marathon Recap

  1. OMG, I can’t believe you ran a marathon in a regular bra, lol! Bet your boobs felt great the day after!

    Congrats on pushing through and finishing! Marathons are tough, doing it w/ a cold is crazy.

    Congrats again.

  2. I still think you did great!!! Way to go! 4:15 is my next goal time, but whew, that’s bookin’ it for me! I had a few friends run this race as well, loving all of the recaps!! And LOVE that you immediately signed up for another marathon, GET IT GIRL!

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