Friday, November 9, 2012

Rock 'N Roll Savannah 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Thursday afternoon/evening
Nikki and I headed to the airport to fly into Savannah to meet Deb so we could all run the Rock 'N Roll Savannah 1/2 Marathon on Saturday.  This is the first time that all three of us didn't travel together as Deb recently moved back to Chicago.  It was a bit different but it worked out that we arrived within an hour of Deb so we just waited for her at the airport and then grabbed a cab to our hotel.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn Historic District.  It was a very nice hotel and the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful.  They give out bottled water to their guests at no cost which was a nice added bonus.  Once we were checked in we went up to our room and made a tentative plan for the rest of the weekend. 

We had breakfast in the hotel Friday morning and then I had to make a few calls to work to discuss the power outage and its affect on my products in the school kitchens.  Once all of the phone calls were made we went down to catch the ferry to head to the Expo.  While we waited in line we discussed our plans for lunch and dinner for the rest of the weekend.  Deb mentioned that we should probably head to Paula Deen's after the race as it may not be as crowded and we would be more likely to get a table.  We all agreed and Deb went ahead and made reservations for Friday's dinner at The Olde Pink House. 
Waiting for the ferry
Once we made it to the Expo we picked up our packets and did a bit of shopping. I bought an Iphone holder to go on my Ifitness belt and it really worked great on race day.  As we walked around to the different vendors and sample their products we realized how hungry we were so we decided to head back to the ferry line and stop at Vic's On The River for lunch once we made it back to the other side.  We decided to share a fried green tomato appetizer and it was very delightful.  I chose the Shrimp Po Boy sandwich and it was spectacular.  I had developed a pretty bad headache by the end of lunch so we headed back to the hotel so I could take some advil.  I decided to rest for a little bit and Deb asked me if I just wanted to rest for 20-30 minutes before we did anything else.  I must have looked pretty bad and I immediately agreed to the rest.  I was very relieved to realize my headache had subsided when I started getting ready for dinner.  The restuarant was right behind our hotel which was an added bonus.  Once inside we had a really great waiter, although his hair style did resemble that of Justin Bieber!  We all decided to try the Pink Lady, which is their signature drink.  It was a wonderful drink but if you aren't careful, it could certainly sneak up on you.  I had the seafood special for dinner which include angel hair pasta in a lobster sauce topped with lobster and shrimp.  It was also supposed to be topped with mussels but I am not a fan of them so they gave me extra shrimp.  Once again the food did not disappoint.  After enjoying dinner and wonderful conversation we headed back to our hotel to get everything ready for Saturday morning.  We decided we could sleep a bit later than usual because the race didn't start until 8:00 AM and the start line was literally right outside the front door of our hotel.  I slept pretty good until I woke around 4:30 AM to some noise, including a beeping smoke detector with a low battery.  At this point, I put  my ear plugs in and went back to sleep.  I guess the ear plugs really worked because I didn't even hear my phone alarm go off.

Once the alarm went off I headed downstairs to the continental breakfast, which started earlier than usual due to the race, to grab some coffee, a bagel with peanut butter, and a banana.  I headed back up to the room and tried to silence the beeping smoke detector but I had no luck.  As we were getting closer to the start of the race I mentioned to Deb that she was going to need to get dressed eventually.  Shortly after this, Nikki was brushing her teeth so Deb started a converstaion with me.
Deb:  Nikki is taking awhile, so I am just going to tell you that I'm not doing it.
Me:  You're not doing what?
Deb:  The marathon today.  I am going to make it up and I still want to do all 50 states but I'm really frustrated and feel like a failure after Minnesota.  I haven't had time to train properly so I am going to come back and make it up.  I just want to have some time to train to improve.
Me:  You spent the money to travel here and to run the race, get up and get dressed.  I will walk it with you.
Deb:  You don't have to do that.  You should run it.  You are going to make me cry.
Me:  No, I am walking it with you.  That's what friends are for.  End of discussion.
Deb:  I don't have workout pants.
Me:  No problem, I have an extra pair.
At this point, Deb gets up and gets dressed.  We all head to the start line, jump the fence and wait in our corral.  Deb does tell me again that I should run it.  I reminded her that I had rolled my ankle recently so it was probably good for me to walk anyway, plus friendship is way more important than any time on a clock.
Start line right outside our hotel
We started the race running and stopped to start walking around the 1/2 mile mark.  I was really enjoying the walk and I was getting to spend quality time with Deb since she no longer lives in Ohio.  It was clearly a win-win situation here.  We were admiring the beauty of Savannah and discussing future race plans.  At mile 5.5 we came across a beautiful church.
gorgeous church
We continued on with our walk, had wonderful conversation and cheered on others.  At some point Deb mentioned that I should just run ahead because afterall she was out there so she was going to finish.  I immediately shot that down.  I reminded her that I was going to walk the race with her.  Just before mile 10 we heard someone go down.  We were both afraid to turn around because it didn't sound good.  We turned around to check on the runner and he was able to get back up.  A cute southern lady tried to break the ice by yelling out "that was a 9.5 on the fall scale".  It made for a good laugh.  Once we hit mile 10, our legs and feet suddenly didn't hurt anymore because we saw the most inspiring man.
Just amazing
He sat down to rest for a bit and as we walked away Deb mentioned that she wished there was a medical tent where we could swipe a wheelchair because that man certainly deserved to finish this race.  I don't know if he continued on to finish but my gut tells me he did.  Shortly after this my phone rang.  It was Nikki letting me know that she had finished and she was going to come back out on the course and finish with us.  I few minutes after we hit mile 11 we saw Nikki running towards us.  Deb and I both said, she's running, really?  We all kept moving forward together.  Soon after this, the full marathon runners merged with us so it was wonderful to be able to cheer them on as they went by.  Some of them looked to be in pain while others looked like they weren't even breaking a sweat.  We were just before mile 13 and I told Deb we would finish this how she wanted.  I said we could either walk it or run it.  She looked and me and said this is going to hurt.  We proceeded to run to the finish line.  It was wonderful to spend 3:47 minutes with Deb.  I am so glad that I didn't let her bail on the race.  I know her very well and I know she would have been more disappointed in herself if she didn't have the courage to start.  I am very proud of her achievement and let me tell you it is very hard to walk a half marathon and she doesn't give herself enough credit!  Once we collected our medals and some water we started our walk to Paula Deen's restaurant to put our names in for a table in the hopes of eating lunch there.  We made it to put our names in around 1:30 and we would be able to get a table at 2:30.  We took the reservation and then headed to Sweet Carolina Cupcakes for a tasty post race treat. Yes, we had dessert before lunch and loved every minute of it.  Afterall, I am pretty sure we earned it!
Nikki decided she was going to head back to the room for a bit and Deb and I stayed at the cupcake shop and chatted with the worker there.  He was very friendly and Deb and I agreed that he would be fun to go out with.  Nikki made her way back to the cupcake shop and we headed across the way for a cold drink while we waited for our reservation.  At 2:30 we made our way to Paula Deen's and were seated almost immediately.  Nikki decided on the buffet and Deb and I shared a pulled pork sanndwich and a crab cake sandwich.  Our sandwiches came with jelly roll fries which were fantastic.  Of course I'm sure part of that is the fact that they are essential fried in butter!  We also had some potato ham soup.  The food was good.  It was your typical southern cooking.  I am glad that we got to have the experience though.  With lunch finished we headed back to the hotel to shower and rest as we had a 7:00 dinner reservation at Boar's head for dinner.  We spent the next part of the afternoon reading and talking and napping.  Once I was done napping I was following the Notre Dame game on facebook and through text messages from friends.  As 7:00 was approaching I tried to wake Nikki and Deb to no avail.  I decided we could just eat elsewhere if need be.  Once they finally woke up it was closer to 8:00.  We got ready and headed to Boar's Head to see if we could possibly get a table.  Fortunately there was no wait at all and everything worked out.  I enjoyed some she crap soup and shrimp scampi.  The seafood I had on this trip was by far some of the best seafood I have ever encountered.  Many people had told us to do a ghost tour if we had the chance so that is the last thing we did before calling it a night Saturday.  The tour was okay and I'm glad we did it but I almost think a daytime tour of the city would have been more enjoyable.  After the tour ended we headed back to the hotel to pack our bags for our trips home.  Bags packed and lights out for our 4:30 AM wake up call to get to the airport.
We all woke up pretty easily to the alarm however none of us really wanted to get up.  A quick taxi ride to the airport and we were all headed back home.  As Deb was boarding her flight that left an hour before Nikki and I's she said "let's all register for Indy tomorrow".  We were all good with that as we had talked about it over breakfast on Saturday.  Although I asked Deb if that meant she wasn't going to do Phoenix in January and she assured me she didn't say that.  She was just mentioning Indy because we had all agreed on it! 

Once again it was a great trip with wonderful food and awesome friends!  State #11 complete...bring on #12!!

We all registered for the Indy 500 half marathon in May and I started my training plan for my next goal race.

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!


  1. Ahhhh I was still going to do that Indy half as well, and so are a few of my friends! Thanks for the reminder to register!

    Great job on the half. I agree, walking is harder when you are a runner. You use different muscles. I walked 5 miles for Cancer with a friend/newphew, etc. and I was really feeling it!

    1. Indy always sells out so you might want to register soon. :)

    2. Yeah I was going to do it this month!

  2. And I'm not as good on my states as you are (probably bc I was doing it I only have IL and OH. lol) Indy at least will be another...maybe one in WI...

    1. You are too funny. We haven't done WI yet. :)

  3. Congrats Jodi! I really should do that race, I live way to close not to put it on the schedule!