Savannah Rock N Roll Marathon Race Recap

Early on in the marathon I overheard a runner tell her friend in shock that she knew someone who was running their second marathon that year, like it was a completely unreasonable thing to do. I guess I’m unreasonable.

In the last 53 weeks I’ve run three marathons. I think it’s safe to say that I like these things.

Since we had to be parked by 6:30 that required an early wake up.
I’m not sure what kind of face I’m making but I guess I’m excited? 🙂

We arrived in plenty of time to stop by Panera to use the bathroom before heading down to Bay Street. (Both Mom and I were represented Greenville with our shirts; another Greenville runner recognized us. She was going to run NYC but changed to Savannah.)

Once at Bay Street, Mom had plenty of time to take pictures.
This was after Mom tried to take the same picture of me for the 4th time.

I refused to turn around. This is my best side after all.

Finally, 8 o’clock arrived and the corrals started to be released, about a minute apart. Sooner than I expected we were at the start.
(not quite at the start but close)

I positioned myself at the beginning of the corral so I wouldn’t have to maneuver around slower runners. I realized as I stood at the start line that it would also leave open the opportunity for starting out too fast.

Something was funny. I just not sure what.

Almost to the start line

When it was time for corral 12 to start I couldn’t believe it. Marathon #3 had just started.

I kept glancing down at my Garmin in those first few miles to make sure that my pace stayed right around 10 minutes. I didn’t want to risk going out too fast. It felt too slow but it was definitely the right choice.

As mile 7 approached and we ran along Oglethorpe I looked along the sidelines to find Mom. I didn’t find her but she saw me. Turns out she was standing up on the stairs of an attorney’s office.
(Ignore the large person standing right in front of me.)



I still felt strong through the following miles. I followed a pattern of fueling eating a Gu gel every 3 miles. I drank Gatorade at the water stops with Gatorade before the half split and then took two cups at every water stop from then on.

Speaking of the half split, that’s probably the loneliest it ever was on the course. We went from running with thousands of half marathoners to a highway overpass devoid of all spectators and bands. Thankfully this didn’t last long.

When we left the overpass we ran past Savannah State University for a few miles before heading back onto the campus.

I don’t know if this part of the course is different or not but I loved it, even though it’s when the race became a mental battle for me. The students were out at many of the intersections cheering. (I could have done without the multiple speed bumps.) The last the we did on the campus was run around their track. (Anyone up for Eugene?)

I think my mental admonitions made me run just a bit too fast through these miles which just happened to be my fastest of the race save the last 1.5.

What got me through those last really tough 8 miles? Two things. 1. A mantra: “I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful.” (Bonus points to anyone that recognizes that movie quote.) 2. If I need to I’ll walk when I fuel at mile 21.

I kept going, chanting my mantra as many times as I needed. After grabbing some sort of liquid around mile 20 I powered through mile 21 without walking.

My next goal? Mile 24.
I knew once I got there that I’d be able to finish. I also knew that a PR was easily in reach. The only question was just how much of a PR it would be.

Around mile 23 I remembered my music, a fleeting thought that maybe some tunes would pump me up. I didn’t grab the headphones though. I’d made it 23 miles without the music. I was going to finisht the whole thing. (I still can’t believe I ran a marathon without listening to music. I think I might make this a habit. Who knew I’d turn out to be the kind of runner who doesn’t need music?)

I got to mile 24 and knew that my reach goal was oh, so close. I figured I would at least run fast to try. Mile 25–9:49, Mile 26–9:02. .47–7:53 (where did that come from?)

Did I make my reach goal? No. But I came oh so close and I could not be more happy with my run, especially my spring to the finish. My mind won that battle because my legs were screaming for me to stop.
I wanted to pass her so bad!

So close!

In the act!

Mission accomplished! 4:21:53

Could I have run faster if I’d eaten a little more before the race or if it had been cooler? (The heat was a bit ridiculous for November.) Maybe. Those aren’t things I could control.

I’m so incredibly happy with today’s run. I can’t wait to do it again in June!

One final shot of my best side



Filed under marathon, race recaps

21 responses to “Savannah Rock N Roll Marathon Race Recap

  1. Keith Hodges

    I really appreciate you taking the time to journal your journeys. I’m taking notes from you as I prepare for my first marathon in January. The most I have run so far is 15 miles and my respect for the marathon distance is growing. By the way, what Garmin are you using? Now that you have had it for a while would you buy it again or would you get something different or another model? Would appreciate any insight you might have. Again, congratulations!!!

    • Thank you so much Keith. I have a garmin 205 and I love it. If mine died I would definitely get the 205 again. If you’re interested in heart rate monitoring than I would recommend the 305. It’s exactly the same as the 205 but comes with a strap to put around your chest that measures heart rate and communicates with the garmin.

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Leigh Savage

    I met you (briefly) after the race (the random woman saying she had seen your blog). It was fun to read your recap! I loved that section with the college as well! (Except the woman on the loudspeaker kept saying we were almost done – which we were not!) Congrats on a great race!

    • It was great meeting you too! I almost forgot about that woman that kept saying we were almost done! I heard her say it when we passed the campus around mile 15. When I got to the campus it was a different woman on the loudspeaker and she kept saying it! Just shows that they’ve never run a marathon! 😀

  3. Congratulations on an awesome race lady! You’re such a rock-star and certainly a motivation & encouraging factor as I get close to officially starting my full marathon adventure!

    Awesome run! 🙂

  4. CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS!!!! I am SO happy for you that you got a big PR! It sounds like you had a blast and ran the race you trained for! Great job!

  5. Bill O'shields

    That was a very interesting article , thanks for taking the time to write it . I know what you mean about marathoning , I’m running Kiawah next month , 5th in 13 months and 9th since November 2009 . Happy running !

  6. haha! i love the shots of your best side and love all the smiles during the race!

  7. Running through Savannah State University is definitely a new addition, sounds so much matter than the miles and miles of highway we dealt with last year. Now I’m jealous and sort of want a redo with the new course. 😉 congrats on the awesome finish!

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  13. Elizabeth Slocum

    Just came across your blog. I am on the fence of making this race my next marathon. I am on a great running high and just had a PR at the Raleigh RNR. In March I did a ok half, but think my time could have been better if I had not dont the Saturday/Sunday Challenge. It is the 8k on Saturday and Half on Sunday (Shamrock in VA Beach). I did my first full almost 4 years ago and want to do another. I am also doing a relay in October here in NC (Tuna 200) so my milage will have to stay up to make this successful as a team runner and enjoyable. What are your thoughts of making this my next full if, lets say, its my last. There seem to be lots of my friends on board to go as well, BUT for the HALF Grrrrrrrrr.
    Thanks for your thoughts and opinion.

    • It’s definitely an excellent race in a beautiful city. I loved it. My all time favorite is San Francisco though. It’s a tough race but I love it.

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