Rock ’n’ Roll Providence 1/2 Marathon Part 2

1/2 Marathon #10
State #9

Pre-Race/Start
We woke up to rain…as expected.  I got dressed and ate my bagel with peanut butter with plenty of time to spare.  I’m not used to having a hotel a block away from the start and not needing to check a bag.  Robert luckily bought garbage bags the night before and we headed to the start around 6:30.  We did a quick warm up and some stretching.  I got to the Corral and decided maybe I should take my phone back up to the room (sorry no pics because of this).  I had it wrapped but was still nervous about the rain.  I was back with 10 minutes to spare before the start.  Or so I thought.  I got in Corral 4 only to stand there.  I’m not sure why but the start was delayed for 15 minutes.  So much for warming up.

Miles 1-8
I had a big goal of beating my previous PR, a 1:46:04.  Basically anything in the 1:45 time would’ve been amazing for me.  I knew the weather was going to make it tough now but I had planned to keep up with the 1:45 pace group.  The start was a little chaotic.  I felt like it was more crowded than most RNR races and we seemed to quickly catch up to corral 3.  I noticed that the pacer was running an 8:15 pace for the first 2 miles and assumed we were just starting it a little slower.  Nope.  Apparently this pacer was having an off day because the other pacer grabbed the sign and took off.  He was pushing close to 7:45’s to make up time and I just couldn’t keep up.  I did my best to keep him in my distance.  This had me a little frantic.  At mile 3.

I hate to admit this but this recap won’t have much detail about the view.  I couldn’t tell you a single thing about the course other than it had more hills than I expected and more potholes than I would have liked (which means more puddles).  I remember passing through a few neighborhoods, passing Whole Foods and a cemetery.  I know that doesn’t help you much.  I literally had my head down and focused on the puddles and road and not tripping on anyone.  I will tell you that my newly-updated-with-awesome-running-music ipod shorted out from the rain at mile 4.5 (its officially dead).  It became a very quiet mental race for me.  And yes, by this point my shoes were already full of water.  I could feel it moving back and forth in my shoes.  I also stopped to retie my shoe that was double knotted….not sure how it even came loose.  I do remember seeing a sign made by someone at a water stop around mile 4-5 I believe that said next hill at mile 7.8.  That was a great heads up and I knew what I needed to save my energy for–thank you to that volunteer!!  I took my GU around mile 7-8, I’m not sure exactly where I was but think it was around there.

Miles 9-13.1
Yep.  Same story as before.  Except I can remember smelling the salt water mixed with rain.  I also remember running through flooded streets.  At this point, the rain coming at me sideways and hard (I was very thankful to have on a hat to protect me from most of it).  We did get to run through several bridge/overpasses and I was thankful to be dry for a few seconds.  I will say the cheer squads and bands totally rocked and didn’t stop.  I know they had to be miserable too.  I was told there were sponges around mile 8-9 but we obviously didn’t need them…love when races have that though 🙂

Somewhere around mile 10-oddly I am smiling 🙂

I hit mile 10 and saw runners coming my way.  Somewhat of an out and back but I knew it had to be long because I was passing runners from corral 1.  This was the only part of the race course I really remember.  It had started to sprinkle (only for a few minutes-it started raining harder not long after) and we were in the downtown area.  There were more people cheering and it was much more flat.  I was able to really focus on my pace and did my best to stay near the 8 minute mark.  I was very happy to pass my local Atlanta TNT friend Matt around mile 11.5.  I needed that pick-me-up.

I met a fellow TNTer from upstate NY and we talked for most of the last mile in.  That was another nice distraction.  My body honestly felt great.  My legs were a little tired, more heavy from the rain I think though.  I knew my PR was out of reach at this point but I was still pushing as hard as I could.  I could hear the finish line crowd and could see the mall area and capitol building and knew we were close.  I turned the corner.  To. An. Uphill. Finish.  Thanks RNR.  Uphill?  So not necessary.

borrowed from brightroom-doesn’t it look like beautiful race weather?

Race Results

591/5756 runners
174/3579 females
36/642 30-34 females

I know I didn’t hit my goal, but I am EXTREMELY happy with this.  I haven’t broken the 1:50 mark since last February.  I was also really excited to see how well I placed in my age group.  Yes, it was a much smaller RNR race than usual, but I will take it.  I think had the weather been better, I would’ve hit my goal.  I know I am getting stronger.

I borrowed another one…look at how saggy my shirt is near my sports bra…ewww.

Garmin Results

Post Race

Skipped out on the free beer and the concert.  I was drenched.  And cold.  The finish line was also well stocked (as usual, thanks RNR).  Bananas, Snickers Marathon Bars, Chips, Cytomax (skipped), popsicles, cold towels (skipped), and of course water.  I found Matt and we headed to the TNT to wait for Robert to finish.  I quickly decided to run up to my room and grab my phone and use the restroom.  I figured I was already soaked I may as well just wait for Robert so I went back down.  Met some peeps from the local TNT chapter (who confirmed that the deli I saw the “Sopranos” meeting in is known for being a “sit down” place).  Robert finished and we headed back to the room.  I was able to wring out my clothes (which were still soaking wet 24 hrs later when I went to leave) and snagged some newspapers for my shoes.

after getting my phone from room and waiting for Robert to finish-gotta love all of the umbrellas!
Matt, myself and Robert
It took 5-6 paper change outs to get them dry 🙁

We went to brunch and then I was able to meet up with fellow blogger, twitter and dailymile friend, Savitre.  It was so nice to meet her in person after attempting to in Nola back in February.  She will be a rock idol this year!

sadly we met at the food court in the mall because of the weather 🙂

Robert and I then headed out to see a PawSox game only to sit there for it to be canceled.  We came back and napped and then went out for seafood for dinner.  I wished we would’ve left Providence after the race…

Go PawSox…sad we didn’t get to see them play

Post-Post Race
I learned my lesson.  No need to stay in a town after a Sunday race.  I can handle the travel the same day.  I ended nn the trip from HELL.  I could write an entire post just based on this day but it took 13.5 hours to get home to Atlanta.  For a 2.4 hour flight.  Unreal.  You name it, it went wrong (broken plane, weather, a lady with health issues, gas tank and toilet issues).  This really has me thinking long and hard about flying to small towns for races.  It put a huge negative spin on the weekend for me.  Granted, Delta sent me a voucher (thank you Twitter and social media) for my inconvenience but still..it sucked.

Overall
Favs:
hotel to start distance
volunteers/band
popsicles and sponges for the heat (had we needed it)
medal/shirt
schwag at the expo
RNR race-I know what to expect

Not so much:
the weather
my flight
the delayed start
stuff to do in Providence

The bling:
I like the medal.  It’s not my favorite RNR medal that I have but it is cool.  I guess I have just gotten used to their design?  I think it would’ve been cool if it would’ve been an anchor design (like the shirt).  Maybe they will do something like that in the future.

the bling
the back of the shirt-I like this one!
 Final thoughts…I wouldn’t do this race again.  Not because the race was bad but because my goal was to check off Rhode Island and.  I think it is a great race to do if you live in the area or want to race the states but otherwise not a great destination for a running vacation (expensive to fly to-I used skymiles).  I love RNR events and would rather check off another state instead.  Like I said above, plan out day trips or stay in Boston for 1-2 nights.  I wish I would’ve done that.  

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Elizabeth

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5 Comments

  • That is a great race time, especially considering the conditions. Way to hang in there despite the off-pacing group and the rain and hills. WOOHOO! That sub 1:46 is yours next time.

  • 1. I can't imagine running a half in soggy shoes. That must have sucked hard core (btw, we have the same shoes :)).

    2. Your time is awesome, especially when you consider the weather!

    3. Delta sucks. I haven't had a flight go smoothly on Delta in years. Why are they always delayed and overbooked??

  • Great job Elizabeth! Sorry to hear about your travel problems… I know ALL about that.

    Excellent EXCELLENT race for August!! You'll get your PR next time!!

  • great recap and speed- sucky rain. It's CRAZY expensive to go there, so I waited till I could find a back to back race. I'm running in Newport RI in October, but I'm flying into CT, running there sat, and using a rental to drive to RI for that race then back to CT to fly out again. Hopefully better luck with this.

  • Sorry I missed you again too!! I have no fond memories of Rhode Island from before this race besides the mall lol. I agree it was not a "scenic race". I'm glad I only drove 1.5 hours to get there. Hopefully we can meet up at the next one!

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