Rock n Roll Savannah 2017

I'm almost caught up on my Fall Race reviews.. and I found myself back in Savannah Georgia for the annual Rock n Roll Savannah Marathon and Half Marathon. I think I've said this before, but I love going to the Rock N Roll Health Expos. For the 3rd time this season, I stopped off at the Toyota test drive booth to get a $10 Brooks gift card. you also had the option of getting a Starbucks or Whole Foods Gift card. But, I already had two Toyota Brooks Gift cards from other cities, so you already know what I'm here for. The only thing-- you can't use the Brooks Gift card for shoes. 
I went to the health expo this year with my mom. She's really the reason why I travel to Savannah each year. She lives nearby.. and she actually liked the Prius. My test driver instructed me to punch the gas and slam on the breaks. He wanted to show off the power of the  --brace yourself-- Minivan. Yes, I test drove a minivan. I still say I'll never drive a minivan... unless you disguise it as an SUV or Crossover 

  If I wanted to spend 3 hours walking around the expo signing up for freebies and stuff, I probably could. I always target the Toyota booth, the Westin booth and the Geico booth when I go. 
     But I can't spend all day here... because there is much more to do. After a 4 hour drive to Savannah, I felt the need to get some pavement under my feet to loosen up my legs. So, I head back to mom's house for a quick four mile run around the neighborhood... and some quality time with the family. 
Let's skip ahead to race morning. Parking was a repeat of last year. I literally parked right around the corner from the same exact parking space that I held last year. My parking strategy is to get roughly- halfway between the start line and the finish line... and to get into the city before the roads are blocked off for the race. One cool thing that I noticed as I was following GPS into the city- the Google Maps app projects the race route with road closures onto the map. That really helps if you're trying to find a good parking place. Or you can park across the river and take the ferry to the start line. It would be a disaster if everyone tried to do what I did. So.... let's just keep that secret between you and me. 
A Cool tidbit I parked right down the street from a restaurant featured in Forest Gump. I guess it's where Jenny worked as a waitress. 
I'd have to watch the movie again to really figure out where it was used. Anyway-- off to the start of the race and it wasn't too long before I ran into a couple of BMR Brothers, fellow Rock n Bloggers and our WeRunSocial people. For the second time this fall I rolled up to the start line without eating breakfast. That's how I usually roll on my long run days, .... But I'm thinking that I need to change that. I was super-duper hungry. So, I scarfed down a banana and kept it moving. 
Still hungry, and I needed to locate the group photo meetup location.The waving lady statue. 
Picture perfect.. except for the timing of the picture-- 7am. That's exactly when the gear check closes. So, after a sprint to the UPS truck and back to the statue... I took a quick picture and head off to the start line. I haven't mentioned the weather yet.. But unlike last year, It was actually cold and windy this year. Last, year It was warm and humid at the start line. I remember sweating during my warm up, shedding clothes and giving them to my wife. This year, I had my gloves on. Great running weather.
 Race Strategy: Get out fast and maintain that pace. Savannah is often described as a fast flat course... and based off my knowledge of the course from last year I hoped to run it fast. I figured out a way to get to the front of my coral. That's one way to start fast. Countdown and takeoff.
      I catch up with the tail end of the Coral in front of me and keep it moving.
      The first seven miles were great. Then I started to slow down considerably. From a sub 9min/mile pace to 9:30 then 10min/mile pace from miles 9 through 13. I don't know what's going on... but judging by my post race meal.. I probably should've eaten that morning.
       No cramping issues, .. but there was some walking. More than I wanted or expected.
       I like how Rock N Roll breaks it down in the
       My 5K pace 8:10/mile -- too fast.
       10k pace 8:25/mile -- too fast.
       10 mile pace 8:54/mile -- finally slowing down.
       Again it comes down to fuel. I'm glad I had my Nuun and HumaGels to keep my hydrated and fueled up.The key is to figure out a good breakfast for race morning that won't cause me to have to make a donation at the porto potty.
       And let's not forget about the real reason for running this race. It's a beautiful city. I loved running down Augusta Avenue. It's a predominantly African American neighborhood with some really old homes. We also got to run under those old oak trees covered in Spanish moss. We ran past Big Duke Fire Alarm Bell which RNR says once served as the fire and general alarm for the city until 1985. -- I was 5 years old. Of course you finish in Savannah's oldest park-- Forsyth Park.
     So, I after getting my finisher's medal I grabbed up my heavy medals -- the Six String! The Southern Charm Medal! I'm pretty proud of those. A Lot of work went into those three medals.... and Yes, I was making noise on my way back to the car! Sounding like wind chimes.
     Now time to get something to eat and take some siteseeing pictures. Somehow I wound up at Tybee Island. That's when I started to realize just how much damage was left behind by Hurricane Matthew. So many trees were down. The access to the beach was closed in many locations,... but I was still able to find a way out there.



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