The Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

I fully intended to get this post up yesterday, but unfortunately the internet that was set up at our new house ins’t working.

At least, it’s not working for me.

This is going to be a difficult post to write…

So here goes.

I woke up at 4:oo AM on Saturday morning.

The race was slated to start at 7:30 am, but because we were 45 minutes away at Hilton Head Island and were planning to ride the free shuttle from the Savannah mall (which might as well be on the other side of the world), we decided that earlier was better.

Let’s look at the bright side: 4 am is a whole hour later than the time I woke up for the Disney Marathon.

My ensemble for the race…

Black Nike running capris, long sleeved blue New Balance Tech shirt, white sports bra, my new Nike hat, my Garmin, my Go-Belt, and Aasics that I’ve been breaking in for the past three weeks.

I had originally packed a short sleeved tech tee but am so happy that I decided to throw in this long sleeved shirt on my way out the door.  The predicted low on Saturday got lower after we left for the race.

My breakfast was an almond butter and blackberry jelly sandwich.

I used to do banana and peanut butter before every race and long run, but I think my first marathon made me completely sick of banana and peanut butter sandwiches.  I still eat it occasionally, but it’s more difficult to eat this early in the morning after a carb loading meal the night before.

Brad, Brittney, and I got on the road to head to the Savannah Mall around 4:50 am.

There were lines to get on the school buses shuttling us to the race, but they moved very quickly.

We probably only waited in line for 10 minutes at most.

We were lucky. I learned via Twitter that some buses got lost and some didn’t even show up!

I was in good spirits at this point.

The excitement right before a race is contagious and I always catch the fever.

We arrived to the race around 6:30 and after a quick stop by the port-o-potties, I found a hotel right outside my corral on Bay St. and we went in to join the crowd waiting for race to start.

It wasn’t freezing outside, but it was pretty chilly…probably in the high 40’s.

We ran into Allison and chatted a bit before parting ways.

Social media pretty much consumed all of our time before the marathon as Brittney and I chatted with other half and full marathoners and checked on everyone’s status.

It was so nice to get so many “Good lucks!” via Twitter and I’m really appreciative to everyone who sent me well wishes.

Around 7: 15 am I found my corral and got in line.

Brad and Britt stuck close by to keep my company.

We passed the time while Brad took some umpteen photos of m.


Finally, the marathon started and my corral took off.

Meanwhile, Brad and Brittney found Allison again and cheered her on when she took off.

Brad and Brittney wasted time between mile 0 and mile 8 by grabbing breakfast.

I actually received a photo of this via text, while I was running.

I secretly think Brad wants his own blog.

They caught up with me again around mile 8, although I didn’t see the text from Brad telling me they were going to be on my left.

I was still in good spirits at this point.  I felt good and I was happy to be back in the historic part of Savannah.  Mile 0-8 were threw some less than spectacular areas including an industrial area.

I still felt great when the marathoners split off from the half marathoners during mile 11.  But somewhere along the way it started to go downhill.

Around mile 16 I started to really be in pain.  My left foot had hurt for about a quarter of a mile during mile 7 but that had gone away.  This pain was in my legs and it was the result of extreme fatigue.

My legs hurt soooo bad. It definitely was getting to me both physically and mentally after mile 20.  I received some wonderful encouragement from my family, Brad, and Brittney, but I honestly doubted myself.

Obviously it is painful to run a marathon for most people.  It was painful the first (and only) time I ran one. But this pain was so much more extreme and I just felt so mentally done.  On top of that, I had some trouble breathing.  This has happened once before to me.  Last June, I had a horrible run where I had dizzy spells and had moments where I was gasping for breath.  Although the dizziness was not there this time, the gasping for breath was.

I grew up with asthma and am not treated for it now.  However, this did not feel like the asthma issues I experienced as a child.  I can’t really explain it, but it just wasn’t the same.

Most of the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon was flat, but there were a few steady inclines.  It actually felt good to run these so even though I was having trouble maintaining a jog in the last six miles, I really picked up the pace on the hills.

Despite feeling really defeated, I got my second wind during the last two miles of the race and was able to push a little harder.  I kept telling myself that the only way to stop the pain was to finish the race, and the quicker I could do that, the better.

I saw a friend who had already finished the marathon as I came into mile 26 and he told me that Brad was on the left.

Somehow, Brad missed me, but Brittney snagged this photo as I turned around to wave at them.

Finally, I finished.

My time was 4:38:28.

I know I should be happy about that.  It’s 13 minutes faster than my Disney World Marathon time. But my feelings are somewhat bittersweet.

I did not have a good experience this time around. I felt better about my first experience even though I was recovering from a sinus infection and experiencing stomach pains during the race. That’s how bad those last ten miles were.

I pretty much lost it once I saw Brad.

I don’t think he knew what to do with me as I sobbed.  I’m still not completely sure why that was my reaction to the end of the race.

I had already decided that I was most likely not going to do the Key City Marathon next May, but had made that decision based on the fact that I think training was getting to me. This race confirmed that marathons just aren’t for me.

I think I got emotional because not wanting to do the 12+ weeks of training was my decision.  But not feeling capable of running another marathon — I feel like my body made this decision for me. And that sucks.

Never before has my brain and my body felt so disconnected as it did during this race. It was so incredibly frustrating. After 10 miles of feeling this way, I just let all of my frustrations out.  I let it out with tears of frustration and disappointment.

But I’ll suck it up; just like I did for these photos.

I’ve always believed that you don’t have to run a marathon to be a runner.  Not it’s time for me to believe that for myself.

Congratulations to all of you who ran the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon!  It’s been really awesome to read all of the awesome recaps.  I’m sorry that my recap is less-than-inspiring and possibly even a bit of a disappointment.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s a few posts to check out:

Keia’s Post Race Sentiments
Michelle’s Marathon Recap
Megan’s Marathon Recap
Tina’s Half Marathon
Julie’s Half Marathon

I have a feeling that Allison’s marathon recap will be pretty awesome too, so keep a look out for it!

There.  That should convey that this race wasn’t horrible for everyone.

And after having several days to look back at it, it wasn’t entirely horrible for me either. I have trouble grasping that I can’t do everything well, so maybe this is good for me. In fact, I know that it’s good for me.  Character development and all that…

I would by lying if I said that I’m still not a bit disappointed, but life is full of ups and downs.  Realizing that it might not be good for me to keep torturing myself over 26.2 miles is better than injuring myself or feeling like I’ve wasted precious time putting my heart and soul into something that isn’t going to give me any satisfaction.

Even still, I don’t want to say that I’ll never ever run a marathon again.

This might not be goodbye to marathons for forever, but it’s goodbye for now.