Monday, October 24, 2011

Rock -n- Roll 1/2 Marathon - St. Louis

I had absolutely no expectations for this race. I started feeling sick on the Wednesday before so I took Thursday and Friday off from work to rest up for a very busy weekend. My friend asked me to take pictures at their rehearsal dinner on Friday and then we celebrated their wedding on Saturday. I didn't even get to bed until 1 am Sunday morning. It was a beautiful wedding.

I woke up Sunday morning very tired and still feeling pretty sick, but also excited and ready to get the race over with (and get my medal). Josh dropped me off downtown and I had a short walk to the starting line. It was still dark outside.


I was in corral 16. It was a beautiful morning.


I had been standing in my corral since 7 am and we didn't even start until 7:56ish. Each corral started about 1-2 minutes after each other. I was kind of annoyed...until we actually started running. What a BLESSING to be running with people at my pace. No one was tripping me trying to get ahead, I didn't feel pressured to run faster, I just felt really good and I think I was actually smiling.

I saw a lady trip right in front of me about a 1/2 mile in. After that, I was more cautious about my footing. The last thing I wanted to do is trip. I saw a man juggling *and running* at mile 1...I wonder how long he kept that up?


It started to get hilly around the third mile, but call me crazy, I love hills. I didn't feel winded at all, which is surprising since I was sick. I was passing a lot of people walking the hills and felt pretty proud of myself! I remember the days when I couldn't run hills so I spent a lot of my summer training on the Soulard hills. Practice makes perfect! Also, when you climb a big hill, you know you're going to have a nice downhill at some point.

I passed Josh around mile 6. I was feeling very strong and just happy.


Yup, feeling good!

I hadn't stopped for one single water break, so I made sure to grab some water before mile 8. I kept telling're almost there. I then saw a man with a sign that said, "You think you're almost there, but you're really not." Seriously?!??!

I knew there was a massive hill coming up just after mile 8, so I was preparing myself for it. I kept reminding myself, slow and steady. I actually never even seen the hill, but I had been warned. I saw the monster in the distance, but kept on. I weaved through the walkers and ran every bit of it.

I think my favorite part of the race was around mile 10, running down Russell Avenue. Beautiful homes, tree-lined street, people dressed up as pirates. I stopped again for more water. I knew I was going to have to pick up my pace if I wanted to beat 2 hours 20 minutes.

We made our way to the Lafayette Square area and then I got passed by the first marathoner. I stopped to take his picture and cheer him on.


I was running a lot faster now and really started to feel the pain. Josh was at mile 13 and snapped some pictures before I crossed the finish line. I just kept telling myself to smile because I looked absolutely miserable in the pictures from the Mo' Cowbell 1/2.


I crossed the finish line and it was so packed! I saw this girl spew like crazy. I felt for her because I did the same at the Mo' Cowbell, but I did it in the privacy of my own car, lol. I stayed away from the finishers beer afterwards and stayed puke free! Yay! I finally found Josh and he snapped some more pictures of me with my medal.


I absolutely loved this race. I felt good and managed to have a fun time while running. The support from the crowd was amazing. I loved reading all of the signs, I wish I could remember what some of the signs said, but I don't. There are a few I remember, like "Worst Parade Ever", but that's only because it's a pretty common race sign.

Start: 7:56:47 AM
5k: 33:22 (Pace: 10:45)
10k: 01:06:43 (Pace: 10:45)
10m: 01:47:35 (Pace: 10:48) -- I stopped for a few water breaks, which slowed down my pace.
Finish: 02:19:22 (Pace: 10:14) -- I just had to beat my 2 hour 20 minute goal...and I did! I can't even believe I had the power to run faster in the end.

Average Pace: 10:38

My GPS went crazy for the first few miles... My speed and elevation are both way off. The only walking I did was the water breaks (about 4 times).

I'm not sure what is next for me. I really do want to do a marathon someday, but I'm not 100% dedicated at the moment. Do I sign up for another 1/2 marathon and try to improve my time?

My memory is back...."Run like you have to poop." That was my favorite sign :o).

Also, Pain is Temporary - Pride is Forever...

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