Rock N Roll St. Louis Half Marathon 2011

 

Good morning! Have you all had a chance to enter my Shutterfly cards giveaway? It’s a fun one! Who doesn’t love Christmas cards?! Also while on their site be sure to check out the photo books, I love them, so much better than just printing pictures for an album.

So yesterday I went on my first post race run and it wasn’t very pretty. The top of my left foot started to hurt so I just did two easy miles and came home and did some googling. I saw a cause for this is too tight of shoelaces and it hit me that was probably the issue. I recall on Sunday when I started the race that my shoelaces were way too tight but I never stopped to adjust them. Fingers crossed that’s all it is! Ok, anyway on to the recap!

My alarm went off at 5 am for the race. I had only slept about 4.5 hours, and it was cold. All I wanted to do was stay in my warm bed! I forced myself up and dressed and ate a clif bar.

DSC00103

DSC00104

I was ready early, so I just started packing up my things until it was time to go. I knew I was going to be in a HURRY to get out of there after the race so having everything packed was a good idea. Don’t I look sleep deprived?

DSC00105

We headed to the lobby to wait for my skirt helpers cousin to pick us up. I nearly fell asleep on the couch waiting for her to get there! I was so grateful to have a ride to the race, I don’t know how we would have gotten there otherwise. We parked in the garage and walked the couple blocks to the start area. We jumped in a potty line and it was LONG. I figured the ones down further were shorter but since I was with other people I didn’t really say anything. After waiting a few minutes, Heather texted me and I told her about my long line. She said she was down further and there was no line! I told the girls with me and they wanted to stay put, so I decided to leave them and go find Heather. There were SO many people (21k!) it was hard to squeeze by and get to her, but I finally found her!

2011-10-23071954

After a quick chat I realized it was after 7:20 so we said a quick goodbye and I headed to corral 10. The corral wasn’t crowded like I was expecting, so I worked my way up to the front and of course found someone to chat with. It was a guy running his first full…and he had never run a half, WOW! Here is the view from my corral, you can see the arch in the distance:

2011-10-23072505

aannnddd all the other corrals behind me:

2011-10-23072534

Finally, we sang, the gun went off, and Corral 1 was off! Of course, we didn’t start until about 11 minutes later, but it was exciting moving up to the start little by little!

2011-10-23074518

2011-10-23074713

Here we go! It was chilly at the start, but it felt good once I started running. My Garmin IMMEDIATELY started spazzing out going in between the tall buildings and I panicked because I wouldn’t “really’ know where I was on the course. About a half mile in, I heard people right behind me talking about Disney, so naturally, I started listening. They were talking about the marathon! I started chatting with one of the guys who as running alone, and found out he is a TNT coach (not for this race) and will be coaching a team in Disney in January and had never run that one before and wanted to know what it was like. So, I was happy to oblige. Hehe.

We talked and talked and I kind of forgot I was running! I told him to feel free to leave me at any time. He was running the full and waiting on the 4:30 paces to pass us. He told me about how much he loves TNT and I told him how I just completed my first TNT event. he was so friendly and encouraging and it really made those first miles (and hills!) fly by. I honestly wasn’t even paying much attention to my pace at that point. But I knew the 4:30 pacers hadn’t passed yet so it couldn’t be THAT bad. The race split off for the half and full around mile 8, and at about mile 7.5, the 4:30 pace group passed us and I told him to GO and thank you for running with me! I was so happy that I was already 8 miles in and just now having to really “pay attention” to the race. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos from the first 8 miles except this one form the 5k mark. Can you spot me?

stlouis1

I started paying attention to the beautiful neighborhoods we were going through, and I also started to notice the hills were getting BIGGER and my IT band was getting unhappier! More specifically, up towards my right hip was throbbing with every step. Ouch.

2011-10-23091538

There was a long steep uphill before mile 9, and lots of spectators! Lots of fun signs to read as well. I think my favorite was one that said “Almost There…(that’s what she said)” I literally laughed out loud, too funny!

2011-10-23091730

Other than my hip I actually felt pretty good! I was surprised considering this was my 3rd half in 4 weeks and I was running on expo legs and 4.5 hours of sleep. I loved the pretty leaves changing color and while it has warmed up some, it still felt good weather-wise.

2011-10-23094927

I hit mile 10 and started my run/walk intervals of 4 minutes/30 seconds. I was proud I made it that far without having to implement them. The hills picked up around that point and I was ready to be done and so was my hip. When I hit mile 11, I knew I wasn’t going to get a sub 2:15 (which I was shooting for) and I will admit though not like me, I slowed up a little. I was just so exhausted and worn down and in a LOT of hip pain. Live to run another day, right?

So I make it to mile 12, and then someone yells “Only a half mile to go!” Since my garmin was screwy, I just had to take her word for it so I kicked it in. Um..mistake!! I went on and on…more people saying “only a half mile to go!” Other people running started saying “WHY do spectators keep telling us that, we have more than that to go!” CRAP. oops. I slowed again. I can’t kick that long. Then, I heard cheering. Huh? I look to the right on the other side of the median and see a truck and then bikers go by, and then…he whizzed by us….the first full marathoner. You have GOT to be kidding me! Granted, I am sure he was in corral 1 and started 11 minutes ahead of me, but STILL! We all cheered and clapped as he passed.

Did I mention the last half mile was all uphill? Cruel, Rock n Roll. Just cruel. I think they take pleasure in it because Providence ended uphill too! I mean, look at this poor guy I was behind. he thought it was cruel, too I am sure.

stlouis2

yes I am holding my phone and yes I tweeted and texted while running. I finally made the last turn and saw the finish line UP ahead up a hill. I gave it some gas and passed several people just so I could be DONE!  (Note guy in agony in bottom right corner. Hopefully I passed him.)

stlouis3

I finished in respectable 2:21. 2:21 was LAST October’s PR, with NO hills, NO expo, and NO 3 halfs in 4 weeks. I must say I am pretty proud! I literally stopped my Garmin, grabbed my meal, and pushed through the masses of people. I had to get to the airport ASAP! Of course, people are hobbling, walking slow, clogging up the chute so it was quite the ordeal for me to get out. I asked some lady to take my picture though.

2011-10-23101422

Clearly I am incapable of putting my bib on straight. Anyway, I had 10 blocks to walk to get back to the hotel and it was 10:15, my flight was at 12:25. Crap. I started running. Other runners walking back to their hotels made comments like “you should have entered the full!” or “13.1 not enough torture?” My hip was killing me but I didn’t have a choice, so I just kept going. I wasn’t EXACTLY sure how to get back to the hotel but I knew it was by the arch so I just kept running. I finally made it back, up to the room and into the shower. I was SO glad I had already packed, so all I had to do was shower change and go! I called the front desk and had them call me a cab so it would be waiting. but not before a quick pic of my newest bling.

2011-10-23104959

Luckily, I made it to the airport with a few minutes to spare, and all was well.  Overall, I enjoyed this race. The course was really pretty, I had good company, and a good time. I disliked the hills of course, and having more sleep and being fresh would have been nice, but overall not a bad race, St. Louis! Way to go!

QOTD: Have you ever had to hurry to catch a flight? Did you make it?

Comments

  1. The first 1/2 of the race was such a tease with only a few minor hills. I was talking with someone near the end of the marathon who said they wished we could run the course backwards next year. It felt like we’d go up a huge hill, then we’d only go downhill for a fraction of the time we spend going up.
    Great job on 1/2 number 8! I signed up for the 1/2 again there next year, so I hope you’ll be back at the expo!

  2. Great job, Heather! That’s so wonderful how much you’ve improved in a year! And I don’t think anyone is capable of putting a race bib on straight :)

  3. Great job running through the pain! I’ve had IT band issues lately so I know how that feels! I really, really love the medal. RNR does such a good job with their medal designs.

    I’ve never had to rush to catch an initial flight, but I’ve experienced very stressful attempts to catch a connecting flight when my first flight was delayed. Twice in Heathrow airport in London. The first time, we missed our connecting flight to Greece. It was so stressful but we got to hang out in the cool Terminal 5 part of Heathrow and got free food vouchers. The second time (on the way back from Greece, trying to catch a connecting flight from London to Washington DC), a British Airways employee was waiting for us as we got off our first flight, speed-walked us through the airport and got us in front of all the lines, and we just barely made the connecting flight! I was so grateful for that employee!

  4. I love how you run with your phone and give updates along the way :) Keep running strong!

  5. Great Job! you are a 1/2 Marathon rock star!

  6. You are totally rocking your races…expo legs and all! WTG and GREAT job!!! (and I’m more than a bit jealous of you… ;) ). BTW, I’m really digging the black plaid, more than any of the other fall prints now, I think! It’s schoolgirl, yes, but so cute and timeless. Maybe I need one? Is that running or athletic? Love it with the sleeves, too. This may be my favorite of your fall outfits!

    Also, yes, I have barely made a flight before…to the point where Southwest was announcing my name over the intercom to please come to gate X! I was RUNNING to the gate!

  7. Great job!!! I’m looking forward to my first RNR half in Nola, you’re doing that one too?!?

  8. I was getting stressed out reading your post hoping you made it to the airport!! Yay for making it with a few minutes to spare!! Last Christmas my flight home from WDW was delayed over an hour and a half for mechnical reasons and I missed my connecting flight by minutes. United was so unhelpful and I ended up crying in the bathroom because I was so exhausted at that point and the gate agents were had been so rude.

    You are seriously a half marathon queen! Amazing job!! Especially after working the expos!

  9. Wow, you were cutting it close! I would have been so stressed out trying to make my flight. Great time especially with all the races and traveling you’ve been doing!

  10. First, I love your skirt and the matching arm warmers!

    Second, three halfs in four weeks? You are my hero! Amazing. I can’t imagine having the mental strength (not to mention the physical ability to do that).

    Impressed you had the timing down so well to shower and get to the airport. Pays to be speedy! :)

  11. Fantastic recap. Love the photo of the guy who looks like he’s in pain. He shows up in both shots… and you look all calm and composed. Nicely done.

    And that medal is pretty cool. I’m impressed. Usually the RNR ones are pretty simple, but that one is way cool.

  12. That course was pretty ridiculous. If you compare the elevation they claimed with the ACTUAL elevation, it’s way off. I have both pictures on my blog. They are liars!!!

    You are seriously a half marathon machine! I wish I got to run as many as you do!

  13. SO impressive! One day I hope to run a half marathon- shooting for a half in May maybe, so I have a bit of time to train. I’ve gotten up to 5 miles in training so far. You are AWESOME at the half distance…seriously! I have had to run to catch a flight. Once last year they held a connecting flight for me, and were just starting to close the door when I got there. Whew!

  14. I know this is an old post, but I stumbled upon it just now. I am doing the RNR St. Louis for the first time this October 2012. Any advice?

    • I can’t really think of much I didn’t mention in the race recap…pretty course, kind of hilly for this southern girl, well organized for an inaugural event, good luck!

  15. I just started following your blog this year and love it. I live in St. Louis and would love to say hi if you come back to town! I ran the R&R half last year also. Wasn’t the hill at the very end a cruel joke?!

Mentioned elsewhere:

  1. The Boot | says:

    […] up…it started hurting SLIGHTLY, more of just pressure on the top of my left foot, during the Rock n Roll St. Louis half marathon. I rested a couple days after the half, then ran an easy 3 miler in which my foot hurt AFTER I got […]

Leave a Comment

*