When I crossed the finish line at the inaugural Rock-and-Roll Marathon this past Saturday, I checked off one for the bucket list. This race was a culmination of weeks (17 to be exact) of hard work, not to mention, a personal accomplishment that represents the last few years of personal transformation for me. This was a super big deal on so many levels, honestly. I haven't felt so gushy since I fell in love with the Mister.
It was also my first time in Savannah. Although the race and recovery afterward kept it low-key, we still found time to enjoy some of the sights. Here's recap of our lovely marathon weekend:
Savannah is a city rich in culture and history and is rumored to be one of the most haunted cities in America. The buildings openly show their age, some appearing near ruin, yet there exists an eerie beauty that permeates the streets. We chose to stay on Tybee Island, a short drive across the Georgia marshlands, where we rented a cottage. Once checked in, we headed straight to the Expo to pick up our bib numbers and mingle with thousands of other excited runners.
We weren't that excited, really.
We took some time to walk along the riverfront and take in the pre-race excitement. To be honest, I was exhausted from an already busy week and was looking forward to taking it easy. We headed back to Tybee where we had our pre-race meal at A.J's Dockside
, a recommendation given to me by a former Savannah local. If you're ever in the area, be sure to get the crab stew. It was amazing.
I fell asleep eeeerrrly, like 8:30 p.m. early. It was good thing because we had an early wake-up call.
Rise and shine!
We had some difficulty getting to the start line due to poorly organized transportation from Tybee Island into Savannah. In fact, we had to go renegade by hitching a ride with a couple lady runners who just so happened to pull up at the right time. No big whoop, it was only our first marathon. No need to warm-up or take time wrap our heads around this monumental feat.
Despite the obstacles, we were hell bound on making it to the start. It certainly wasn't my preferred method of starting the longest race of my life, but hey...we made it albeit thirty minutes late. We sprinted to the start and hopped onto the course, a little ruffled but ready to run.
That's me in the hot pink shirt and white hat. chugging along.
26.2 miles is hard, I ain't gonna lie! I went through moments of doubt wondering "Why the hell did I sign up for this?!?" and broke down at the half-marathon point. But then, there were these beautiful moments filled with support and community and spanish moss and rock bands and I knew that everything would be okay.
Our toughest moments began around mile 18 and we endured a dreadful stretch of highway between miles 21-24, like "I would rather run a 5K on a bed of nails" kind of dreadful. It sucked. Nuff said.
Once we got through to mile 25, we were home free. I thought I'd be crawling to the finish, but I was exhilarated and so, so happy to finish. Check us out on the home stretch...
This is my uncontrollable, "I'm so happy to be done" face. It ain't pretty, but that's the real deal. Look at my swollen fingers. I like to think they're swollen with awesome.
I didn't spend too much time hanging out post-race because my legs wouldn't allow it. I was surprised at how my whole body hurt, even my shoulders. That's never happened before, but I guess when you run four plus hours, body parts are bound to rebel. I made it back to Tybee for a scalding hot shower, nap and generous slathering of Tiger Balm for my sore muscles. I smelled so purty.
Rest was short-lived because I had dinner reservations at Moon River Brewery
where I met up with some fellow bloggers. Unfortunately, the only blogging buddy
I knew didn't make it to dinner that night. That's alright, though, I made some new friends and got to connect with fellow runners.
Allison from Happy Tales Blog and her beau
Meghann, Ben and Katy
It was great to socialize with new people and fellow racers, but the Mister and I were off to a walking ghost tour so we took off early. I heard there was a delicious ice cream stop after dinner that we missed. For the record, I usually don't miss important events like ice cream.
Check out the posts from all the folks I met at our post-race dinner plus one from my "missing" buddy, Kelly.Kelly's Race RecapMeghann's Good TimesShirtless Ben's PRKaty's Half-Marathon
Overall, I had an amazing experience for my first marathon. I couldn't have asked for a better friend and running partner and the Savannah experience, minus the transportation debacle, was fantastic. I'll definitely be back to peruse all the wonderful antiques shops I spotted but couldn't quite get to and to capture all the beauty of the city. There's hella-good design going on in Savannah too. My poor legs and time constraints just wouldn't allow too much sightseeing.
I did, however, take some photos on Tybee which I'll share with you in a post coming soon.
Thanks for reading! Happy Tuesday!