Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
United States
Elite Racing
75F / 24C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 6016/15792
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 634/1937
Pre-race routine:

Nick, Jason, Jaime, PT, and I woke up at 4:45 and started getting ready. We had already picked up our packets the day before from the expo so we really only had to get dressed, slap our numbers on, eat breakfast, and head out to the shuttle pick up area. I ate a bagel with peanut butter and drank a 1/4 bottle of water before leaving the hotel at 5:20am. We arrived at the runner's village around 5:40 so we hit the port-a-potties before the lines became insane, dropped off our gear bags, and found a spot to hang out at until race time. Jaime was our official cheerleader and she took lots of pictures and cracked us up with her peppy-ness.
Event warmup:

I hit up the port-a-potties one more time and then I ate a few chomps and finished off the water bottle about 20 min before race time. We walked Nick and Jason to their corral (#5) and then PT and I walked Jaime up to the start line so that she could get a good spot along the sidelines. PT and I walked back towards our own corrals (#13 for me, 17 for him) and then I started stretching once I found a good spot. I had a sudden wave of confidence and for some reason I knew that this was going to be a really good race for me.
  • 2h 11m 44s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 04s  min/mile

I have never felt so steady during a longer race. I have been training with the 8-2 run-walk interval system and I was planning on using that but I made a last minute decision to just run the first 20 min at whatever pace I felt comfortable with and then switch into the intervals after that. The first 20 min flew by and I could have kept it up but I didn't want to burn out at the end. The course was pretty crowded which was expected but there were a few times where the people in front of me were going way to slow and it was impossible to get around them, based on the number of people surrounding me. I carried my hand-water bottle (filled with Gu2o) so I didn't have to stop at any of the aid stations which definitely saved a lot of time. I took a Gu around mile 6.7 and I followed it up with Gu2o which immediately resulted in a side cramp (there wasn't any water around) that lasted until mile 8ish. I took an extra short walk break during that time period to let it work itself out which seemed to help. Running around the military base wasn't as boring/brutal as I remembered it being last year - one of the girls that was running near me starting singing and everybody was cracking up which helped break up the time. I started to slow down around mile 10.5 and I could feel that my legs were a bit tired but around mile 11 I could hear my name being shouted and that was exactly the pep that I needed - Jaime was on the side of the road going nuts! I turned the corner and started heading up Atlantic and again, I saw Jaime, which really lifted my spirits and kept me going. I rounded the bend and started heading up the boardwalk but my legs, especially my quads, started to feel pretty heavy and I could tell that I was going a bit slower which wasn't what I wanted to do! I kicked it into high gear as soon as I spotted the finish line though and I ended up with close to a 5 min pr!
What would you do differently?:

I was ready to be done when I crossed the finish line but I definitely had more gas in the tank. I feel like I could have pushed it a bit more. My goal was to break 2:15 but my secret goal was to run sub 10 min miles... I was close (10:03 pace) but not quite there yet. I would eventually like to stop the run-walk intervals and just run the whole thing all the way through.
Post race
Warm down:

The finish line was insane as always so I took my time, picking up an ice water towel, my medal, and a freezie pop along the way. I made my way to the UPS trucks to get my gear bags because I couldn't wait to take my shoes off. I found a few fairly large blisters on my toes so I took care of them, I stretched a bit, and then I headed down to the meetup area to find my friends. Out of the 8 of us that ran, every single person hit a new personal record - awesome! I walked down to the ocean and let the cold water beat against my legs which felt great. We walked up to the PF Changs booth on the boardwalk and got our free lettuce wraps and other yummy delicious-ness, hung out on the grass for a bit, and then we made the long walk down the boardwalk and back to our hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Same as above. I am finally into a steady training schedule, I just need to mentally push myself more.

Event comments:

This was my 4th year running in this race and I am already signed up to do it again next year. Although it's a fairly large race, it's nice to make a weekend trip out of it, especially since it's on the beach. The expo is huge, there is a lot of free stuff to pick up, and the race itself is very organized. There were tons of volunteers and the post race activities are fabulous!

Last updated: 2009-05-03 12:00 AM
02:11:44 | 13.1 miles | 10m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 634/1937
Overall: 6016/15792
Performance: Good
Course: The course was mostly flat with the only area with an incline being the bridge that goes over the water (mile 2.5 on the way out, 10ish on the way back).
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5