Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis half marathon race report

After a night with too many interruptions / distractions (Cards game lasting a little long, noisy neighbors partying next door from 2:15 - 3:00 a.m., and a fire alarm in the hotel at 5:20-something which meant we stood with our fellow guests in our jimjams for a while....); we arrived at the race start a tiny bit worse for wear.

We stopped at the VIP area -- sadly, no heaters -- where I made a game time decision not to bring the LSD Lite jacket and just wear my long sleeve over a tank.  I dropped off my bag and we headed to the corrals. I found a gap in the fence so we decided to just wait till our corral advanced. 

By this point it was almost sunrise - oooh, pretty!

I hope people don't get tired of seeing the Arch. It's spectacular, and every time I see it it makes me happy. I love that we had view of the arch from our room on this trip, and that we had a chance to squeeze in a quick ride to the top before the expo opened on Friday. 

But enough about the Arch for now... we were getting ready to run!!

The corrals moved forward quickly, so we started only about 10 minutes behind gun time. The start of the course ... and, actually, a lot of the course ... had lots of quick turns, so I soon lost D in the crowd. 

I had decided to try and run 5:1 intervals throughout the race, though I did run the first mile straight through. We ran past Busch Stadium, quiet but surrounded by media vans. Then back around past the Arch (well, parallel to the Arch a few blocks west) before turning east away from the river. 

Things get a little fuzzy here. We passed a historic district with a couple of grand old theaters, including the Fox theater. At one point we ran through a sweet gay-friendly 'hood with some bars and restaurants. At one point we ran down a street lined with some beautiful old homes. And at one point we ran past the university. 

The course lacked any serious hills, but had lots and lots of rollers. I kept up my intervals pretty well, though I missed having my loud watch. I think time goes by faster when I don't have to look at the watch!

I hadn't expected much from myself this race -- three days in the expo isn't the best pre-race workout. But I actually felt pretty good until mile 10. I can't say that I fell apart or anything, but I probably walked as much as I ran in the last mile. Still, I was pleased to finish somewhere around the 2:18 mark, since I was a little worried I wouldn't make 2:30. 

I crossed the line, got my medal, a Mylar sheet, and some chocolate milk before heading over to the VIP tent. Heartbreak: no mimosas this year. WHAT?!? So sad. But I had some mac n cheese, potato chips, veggies, and hummus, so I was pretty pleased with my lot. 

Nice things about the race: we got to see a lot of St. Louis; there seemed to be lots of bands; people were friendly; water stops were well stocked; and there were no major hills. And I got to see a new potential favorite sign: SMILE IF YOU JUST PEED A LITTLE. 

Less nice things: we didn't get to have a shot with the Arch in the background (both the course layout and the sun conspired against that); we didn't get to run by or over the Mississipppi at all; we didn't get to run through the Loop neighborhood. 

It seems fitting in this World Series town that we even got a Cardinal on our sweet medal:

1 comment: