I have to start by sharing that I had a PR in this race!!! I ran my half marathon in a time of 2:39 and I am so thrilled. I ran my first marathon earlier this year in 2:49 so taking 10 minutes of my time was a very proud moment. I know there are people that run so much faster than I do but I only started running 1 1/2 ago. I had no training growing up and have really taught myself all the tips and tricks.
The night before my clothes were laid out and ready to go. I am not sure why at the last minute I went with the official race shirt but I am glad I went with the change. This was the first time I wore a skirt/legging combo and I loved it. It will be my go to piece for all long runs in the future!
So lets start from the beginning. I had a great night of sleep and our hotel, The Hilton Savannah Inn. Very clean, warm, and friendly. I woke up about 5:00am to get moving. I knew the weather was going to start out in the low 50s so I planned to keep my jacket on just until the start. I can run in short sleeves in the 50s and warm up as I go. For new runners, as you train get to know what your body can handle with weather. There are also tons of tips on how to dress warm without tossing your good runnig gear that you can read about online.
Then we were off to a quick 6:00am Starbucks pick up to load up on caffeine. I didn't eat anything before the race and only took in a small amount of coffee. Then 15 minutes before the start I ate a chocolate GU and 4 oz of water. I will talk more about what we at the night before in futre post.
Once we arrived to the race Eddie dropped me off a block from the street where all the corrals were lined up. I would say that is great service! Our hotel was only 4 miles from the start line but I didnt want to walk that distance before the race. Eddie and Trey went to find a parking spot and I went to corral 8 to line up. I was so happy to see them walk up to me about 10 minutes before the start. It really calms my nerves to have my family talk with me before the start. Here are a few shots of everyone lining up. Amazing to watch the street fill up with runners.
This photo is one of the first as I lined up. The sun wasn't even up yet.
I love seeing all the runners and the sun start to come up!
Once Eddie and Trey made it I was thrilled. As you can see below they both did a great job chatting with me.
That's my Trey telling me what an awesome job I was going to do!
I picked out to running podcast to start off listening to. I hope to load the start and finish video in a future post.
I loved my running skirt. The official running shirt was very light and comfortable.
What a sweet boy getting up at 5:30am to support me!
There's my boys! Dallas was not able to make this trip but she was so sweet and woke up at 4:30am her time and sent me all kinds of well wishes! Made me so happy to have support coming from every direction.
Such awesome supporters!
It was exciting before the race seeing the news helicopters flying above.
This race I did something a little different and some people might not agree with me but it worked for me and helped me set a PR. Running is so mental for me and I really like to feel its my run and I can run it how I want. I like to put my running app on and let it tell my pace and I work towards keeping it. I wanted to finish the race better than my first half marathon which was in March of this year. I ran it in 2 hours 49 minutes. So this time I was going for a 2:30-2:45. I put my running app pacer at a 13:00 minute pace because I knew I would keep better than that and hearing her tell me I was 1 and 2 minutes ahead of my pace would energize me. Also if I did go into a 13:00 minute pace that would have me finish at 2:50 which would be a minute over and I knew I would not let myself hit that. My plan was to watch for the 2:30 pacer and she came by me around mile 10. Then I paced myself with her for a good while to help carry me to the end.
I lined up with my corral which was a group that would finish sooner than my estimated time but would help me run my best and it did. As you can see below my time for the 13.1 was 2:39 and I was very happy with that.
I was very pleased with keeping an 11 minute pace for the first three miles because take a look at the hill we took on at .50 miles into the race.
I knew I needed to work harder on training hills!!
Mile 6-9 I kept a 12 minute range pace so my goal for my next run is to keep those in an 11 minute range. Now on mile 10 you see a 13:50 because I had to make my 2nd potty break. It cost me 2 minutes. I have thought about that 1000 times wishing I would have kept running. I had my first break at the 6 mile so I lost about 1 minute there. I was definitely hydrated and I would rather need potty breaks then cramp and feel sick from not being well hydrated.
I am so thrilled I kept an 11-12 minute pace and only had a 13 due to a potty break.
Here are some photos during the race that my family took. I love that every photo I can remember just how I felt during that time. I came up on mile 6 and saw Eddie and Trey standing on the side. I have never been so happy I actually had tears coming down my face.
Here is a picture of the lead truck and lead vehicles.
They did a great job with the water stations. Anytime I hit a station and wanted water I would yell out, "Water." They would tell me where at the station the water was located. With my first GU I made the mistake of taking it with Gatorade. Chocolate GU and lemon-lime Gatorade is not a good mix so it was only water from that point on. They were always fully stocked and the volunteer's were so sweet.
This one above is a little funny that the trash can has more cups around it than in it!
I took a GU 15 minutes before the race then at mile 5 and then 1/2 a GU at mile 10. I have never felt as great in a run as I did with this one!
One of my favorite parts of the race was when we ran by the Catholic Church and the men were playing the bag pipes. I had tears coming down my face because it was such a moving sight. Do you know how hard it is to cry and run at the same time! To help you know why its not just the day of the race, its the journey leading up to it. Its the hours and weeks of training. The Saturday mornings that you get up for the long runs. The support of your family as you run late for dinner because you need to get one more mile in.
I loved everything I saw along the way. It was so moving seeing a runner that was around my age that lost his leg and ran the race with such determination. I was so proud of him. We also met this runner that carried the American flag during the complete race.
The downtown streets were so pretty with the trees, the buildings, the people cheering us on.
My only fear was missing the split between the full and half but they did such a great job making sure you knew it was coming up. They had two ladies on megaphones yelling out that it was coming up. Then you had poles with the lanes clearly marked. This was one turn I didn't want to miss.
I can tell I am getting stronger with each run because this half marathon I was able to walk the long gate walk and pick up my snacks without my legs giving out.
A bagel never looked so good!
The funny part is when Eddie, Trey, and I went to sit in the park my legs would not bend. I had to try three times to sit. I had to have Eddie help push my knees out from unde me. Even with that I still felt great!
The moment I spent all those weeks training for....the medal!
Over all this race was amazing!!!! I enjoyed the route because no matter what area in the city we ran everyone cheered us on. The volunteers were awesome. Everything was fully stocked. The event was well organized and the city was amazing. Everywhere we went there were signs and stickers that said welcome runners! I would highly recommend this run!