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Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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St. Louis, Missouri
United States
Competitor Group, Inc.
65F / 18C
Total Time = 2h 19m 23s
Overall Rank = 7187/14511
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 791/1732
Pre-race routine:

Woke up around 6 am, drank a swig of gatorade. Walked to the start, ate a banana and 1/4 bagel. Did 1 pack Gu just before start. Stretched on site. Felt great to begin with.
Event warmup:

Walked 1 mile from the hotel to the race.
  • 2h 19m 23s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 38s  min/mile

I really don't know what happened out there. It was a gorgeous day, and I felt great when I started. The pace was nice, and for the first two miles I was having a ball. I knew I was working pretty hard miles three through five, but I was still feeling very good. Then, around mile 6 I just started feeling like poop - I couldn't breathe, my stomach felt sick, and I gradually started feeling bad. I think I took my inhaler around mile 6 or 7... I just could not breathe. I'm not sure if it was the air quality or what, but my entire chest felt tight. I was finding it very difficult to maintain my posture, too. I had Gatorade in my hand bottle, and two Gus, and spaced them as I had been during my training (at 50 mins. and around 1.30). I walked through almost all of the water stations (and drank water) to conserve energy, but I still was feeling terrible and Mile 8 was seriously one of the toughest miles I've ever run. At Mile 9 I was mentally feeling better - but around Mile 10, my toes started cramping up, then my feet, and they never stopped cramping for the next 3 miles. I ran with my toes flexed, landing on my heels for the most part, practically in tears, the entire rest of the way. The only time I stopped was when I saw Brian at the side of the road at mile 12. I walked over, gave him a big hug, and said "MY FEET ARE CRAMPED!" but my throat was so tight I couldn't get any voice out and he didn't hear me. He just looked at me and said, "Keep going! I'll see you at the finish!" and so I did. I kept running with my feet cramped for the next mile. I actually managed to "sprint" down the chute - the crowd was so awesome and alive. I never have run in such a big race and I really loved running through all the spectators. They really kept my spirits going. I finished and it seemed like my feet uncramped for a minute as I walked through the finisher's lane.
What would you do differently?:

I have no idea what went wrong. My training was strong, and mentally I was prepared for this. I don't even think 13 miles seems that daunting to me anymore, I just had a bad day out there. I think maybe I should have been drinking Gatorade the week before? I have no clue. This has never happened to me before. Even during my triathlon, which was longer, I never had cramping issues.
Post race
Warm down:

After I ate another banana and an orange slice, I exited the finisher's area and BAM! BOTH OF MY ENTIRE LOWER LEGS cramped up. From those little side muscles around your ankle, to the arches of my feet, to my toes, everything just cramped all at once. I was in so much pain, I squatted down on the ground and hobbled over to a tree, where a few people asked if I was OK and I basically told them to leave me alone. Then this one woman told me to sit in the dirt and put my legs up on a tree to elevate them, and to take off my leg compression socks (mine stopped at my ankle) and my knee brace. My shoes were off too. I knew I needed to find my family, so I walked in my socks over to our designated meeting point. Brian rubbed my feet while I stole his coffee. I could not get my shoes to go back on for the mile walk back to the hotel. Every time I tried, my feet cramped back up. So, once I finally got back up, I walked a mile in socks back to the hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

This was a very well-organized, well-run race. The volunteers were awesome, the course was clean and well-marked. My only complaint was that it was very confusing after the run in the finisher's area. They had us all stop to pose for a photo, and because of that I completely missed the medical tent, and an where there apparently was ice and massage - which I really could have used due to my extreme foot cramping. I didn't really see anything except the damn photographers, which caused a real back-up in the area and crowding. Other than that, it was a great race.

Last updated: 2011-09-16 12:00 AM
02:19:23 | 13.1 miles | 10m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/1732
Overall: 0/14511
Performance: Bad
Course: The course was cool, it was very urban, running through the St. Louis downtown and through a few different neighborhoods with a lot of parks. There were a good amount of spectators to cheer us on, and since it was a Rock N Roll race, there were live bands and cheerleaders along the course. For this Chicagoan, there seemed to be a lot of gradual inclines. I wouldn't exactly call them hills, but I felt like I was running uphill for a lot of the course.
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Ok
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-10-24 4:59 PM

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Oak Park
Subject: Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Half Marathon

2011-10-24 6:59 PM
in reply to: #3736407

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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
Subject: RE: Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Half Marathon

Great job pushing through! Very few races go absolutely perfectly; it's just a matter of doing the best you can with what you're given.  You showed a lot of strength with that kind of finish.

No idea what could have caused the cramping, but you might be right to look at pre-race hydration/nutrition (as in, the 48 hours before race day).  Especially if this isn't something that's happened before...

Still - be proud of yourself - awesome effort for your first half marathon!!

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