Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rock 'n Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Recap

As you know, I traveled up to my home state for some family time and to run the Rock 'n Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon!
I got to Virginia Beach with about 5 minutes left in the expo!  I had just enough time to check in, grab my bib, t-shirt and swag bag.  They started to turn the lights out in the convention center while I was there!
The expo looked like a lot of fun, so I'm bummed I didn't get to enjoy it.

On Sunday morning, I made it to race with about an hour to spare before the start time.  There were some refreshments beforehand, plenty of port-a-potties to use, and the gear check was incredibly easy.  You put your gear in a UPS truck organized by last name, and they lined the trucks up at the finish.  So convenient!
Another great organizational feature was that your corral number was included in the bib number.  The volunteers were making sure that everyone was in the right corral for the wave start.
The energy at the starting line was high, and the wave start went very well.  They started each corral about every minute or so, which left plenty of space without making everyone wait too long.
Live bands were set up about every mile on the course.  They provided great energy and motivation throughout the course.  In fact, one of the bands starting playing a Fall Out Boy song when I was really struggling, and it really got me going!

There was also A LOT of crowd support along the course.  The course went through a lot of public areas and neighborhoods, so people were set up almost everywhere.  Lots of people set up sprinklers to spray runners, some handed out freeze pops, and others displayed some hilarious signs to motivate us along the run.  There were also a lot of cheerleading groups that catered their cheers to running and helped to pump me up.
I got off to a steady start, trying to keep my pace somewhere in the 10's.  I didn't want to go too fast so that I could conserve energy for the finish.  In fact, when I saw my time at the 10k mark (around 1:07), I knew that I was WELL on my way to meet my goal of under 2:30 time!

I think knowing how well I was doing kind of hurt me.  I realized I had plenty of time to walk if needed, so around mile 8 and 9 when I was struggling, I had a hard time keeping the motivation level up.  I did a good amount of walking up until mile 10, when I started alternating running 0.3 miles and walking 0.1 miles.  I was able to muster up enough energy to run mile 12 to the finish.
Another thing keeping me going was knowing that Krista and Valerie got a spot near the finish and were waiting to cheer me on.  Krista got a great video of me finishing the race and Valerie got lots of pictures.

At the finish, we received our medals, water, Gatorade, chocolate milk, and a bunch of snacks.  I'd never had chocolate milk to recover before, but I tell ya, I really think it helped!  I wasn't too sore after the race and I still had a lot of energy.  Good stuff!

The benefit of finishing the race on the Boardwalk was an ocean ice bath.
The water felt great on my legs and helped minimize the minor aches I had in my shins.
I also got to see one of my sorority sisters, Nancy, after the race.  This was also her second half marathon, and she killed it with a time of 1:58!  Way to go, Nancy!
After that, Krista, Valerie, and I went to get some much-needed breakfast.  I was so happy to have them there supporting me.  We had a great time together this weekend!  Thanks for being there, ladies :)
Overall, this race was a great time.  I loved the live music, all of the support along the course, and the fact that most of the course was shady.  I was also really proud of my finishing time!  Here's what my Garmin told me:
But here are my official race results:
The minute time difference?  I did stop and use a port-a-potty along the way and paused my Garmin.

My one complaint about the race was that there were not enough water stops!  It was 80+ degrees and humid, and there were 8 water stops.  At one point, there were about 2 miles between them and it was the sunniest part on the course!  It was rough!!  I should have carried a water bottle with me but decided against it last minute.  Next time, I'll know.  Hey, I still finished!
After completing Half Marathon #2 and meeting my goal without much training, I'm really excited for Half Marathon #3.
Image Source
Training starts this week with some light mid-week runs and a long run of 5 miles.  We will talk more about that later, though.

Question for you: Have you ever done a Rock 'n Roll race?  If so, what'd you think?  If not, what is your next race?


  1. Great job girl! You are an inspiration to me!

    1. Thank you :) You are such a great encouragement to me!