Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon Race Recap

I wanted to post a recap before my hectic workweek started so please don’t get too offended at the typos and lack of gratuitous photos of me and Tony.  

What a crazy stressful but exciting 24 hours!  Finally back in Boston and this is how I feel:

The Rock N Rock Providence Half Marathon took place in Providence Rhode Island on August 19th.  It started at a sweet time of 7AM.  I think the cost ranged from $65-$125.

The expo – I can’t write a review because I missed it by 2 minutes! Yup this is part of the stressful 24 hours.  We left Boston at 3PM and planned to get there at 4PM to pick up our numbers but traffic was crazy!  After crawling 10 miles in an hour we got moving.  Even with kinda legal speeding we made it there by 5:02! Yes, two minutes late and they would not let me pick up our bibs.  While being stuck in gridlock traffic I might have had a semi crying breakdown.  It’s not the end of the world to miss a race but I was looking forward to it for a few weeks now!  Anyways luckily some of my awesome dailymile friends assured me that I could get the bibs before the race at the solutions tent.  And seriously if you’re picking up numbers for a RnR race, don’t ever run late.  Those people literally slammed the door in my pace and said no to me as I was clawing at the door at 5:02PM.

The Course & My Experience – I thought the course was killer.  I haven’t been running at the treadmill as often as I used to and instead have been taking my runs to the streets but more on the crazy hills later

Anyways from the start.  Set my alarm to 5:40, made it out of the b&b by 6AM.  Got to the race area by 6:10.  I left the car while Tony looked for parking and searched out the “solutions tent”  which was all the away across the park.  So I jogged to the tent.  Tried to grab mine and Tony’s number and even though I had his ID and signed life waiver, they still would not give me his bib!  Freak out a bit, called him and freaked out some more for him but hey at least I got my bib.

Luckily he saw meter parking and didn’t deal with the mall parking which takes like half an hour to do.  I got my race shirt (which is actually really cute and girly and Tony is totally thrilled to rock it on all his runs now).  Since I had crackers and a jacket and swag bag, I needed to check my bag.  Bag check was all the way once again across the park where I started.  Jogged there and it took like 1 second so that was easy except I realized I forgot my headphones!  So here I am running my first race without music, or runkeeper to pace me.

Then my epic potty journey started!  (P.S. I’m starting the movement where runners talk about their potty needs just as often as they talk about about their injuries).

While running back and forth across the field of the park. I found a runner’s refreshment area that I never knew existed at RnR races.  They had bananas, oranges, mini bagels and water!  I chugged a bottle of water since I don’t really think I hydrated well the past 24 hours which of course just ended in me needing a potty right after I got into my corral which were of course was across the damn park.

Crap, the portapotty line did not move.  I waited on it for 15 minutes with little movement and gave up and thought maybe I can hold it in.  Ran back across the park and got back into corral 1 when my stomach was like nope you should go find a potty. So I jumped out of the corral for the second time and was thinking maybe I could sneak into the elite/staff portapotty by the start of the line but then I saw the bus terminal and went in there. It was 6:54 and I had 6 minutes to gun time so I was getting antsy. Plus I told Tony I would meet him in corral 1 even though he joked that the bag check was probably the last time we’ll see each other during the race.  The bus station potty aside from being next to the starting line was clean and only had a 10 minute line (which is much better than the 25 the other porta ones outside where taking.)

By the time I got back into the starting line corral 4 was starting so I jumped to the front of the line.  Mile 1 was easy enough.  The crisp morning air felt nice on my race and I ran forward at some stupid crazy speed. By mile 2 I caught up to corral 3 which started 3 minutes before us and even found Tony.  I told him my epic tale before we parted ways again.

After mile 3 the hills started and I was like this isn’t too bad… I’m doing okay.  I can run without headphones.. one there’s a guy sounding like he’s about to die right next to me… I should not stare, should not stare.  Then mile 4 & 5 came and I thought my legs were going to die.  I suddenly regretted not running Tony’s hilly route more often and opting for my easy normal trail instead.  I cursed Providence and all the cute houses I ran by.

Mile 6-8 I’m not too sure what happened, but I think I spaced out.  There was a big down hill which was pretty enjoyable.  I don’t remember anything too scenic or visually stimulating until about mile 8.  Luckily the bands throughout the course were pretty enjoyable so I rocked out to them in my half delirious sleep deprived stressed out state.  Did I mention that I decided it was a good idea to not grab water until past mile 8. Yup I’m clearly a master at racing strategy.  I didn’t feel thirst until around mile 6 where no water was to be found for the next 2 miles.  Mile 8 was also along the waterfront of a park which I enjoyed!  I really enjoy all the miles in the park to be honest, maybe because they were mostly downhill.

Mile 9 had another hill and I cried a little inside.  Luckily it ended much faster than the hills in the first 5 miles.  Mile 10-13 were I think in circles around the same area where mile 1 was.  We ran out at mile 10 and I saw mile 12 marker on the other side where faster runners were making their way.  I told myself I just have to make it through this loop and I’ll be almost done with 1 mile to go.  I ran and ran and mile 11 marker seemed like it took FOREVER!  However one good thing about running without a phone was that I had no concept of time.  Usually when I get tired I tell myself run 5 minutes and walk a bit.  Since I had no idea what 5 minutes was I told myself I can’t stop until I reached the mile marker so I hustled forward.  Mile 12 marker seemed to pop up surprisingly fast and it was at that moment that my legs started to feel dead.  Since I had no phone to do my walk run routine I just told myself to keep running no matter what, no matter how slow it felt.

Finally the 13 mile marker came and just saw you don’t get too comfortable, you get to finish your last .1 miles up a steep climb through the finish line.

Per the website, the elevation looked liked this:

These always look a lot easier on a computer than on my legs as I run.

The Course Support

The support seemed awesome.  They had cute cheerleaders/boosters,, some locals and friends cheering, and some cool bands along the course.  I do think they could have used a few bit more water stations especially in the second half of the race when the sun came out and it was getting hot.  I only saw water every 2.5 miles or so it seemed.  They also had Gu at mile 8 which I think is nice of the race to provide since no other half marathon besides RnR ones that I ran did that.  However, I was too thirsty to use it and too lazy to open it.

The Swag, Medal and Post Race Refreshments

The swag in the bag was a bunch of fliers for RnR, some energy bean sample, a Gu and TUNA?!  Super weird but I’ll try it.

The shirt was nice and metals as usual are huge and heavy!  It’s more of a self defense weapon than a metal. The food post race was a little bare for my taste for the lofty race fee . They had bananas, oranges,those marathon bars, water, Gatorade, milk and popsicles! Its not as cool as clam chowdah and pizza at smaller races but food is food.  Either way I took a popsicle and refueled with my late night 7/11 purchase.

Yes it’s perfectly normal to eat a rice crispie treat the size of your forearm.

I didn’t get a chance to stick around for the concert afterwards but I did hear it was a rocking good time.

 Also, Michelob Ultra was a sponsor so everyone after the race had one drink..  However, you know what’s the one thing I don’t want at 8:40 AM in the morning?  Light Beer! Wish I could have used it in the PM instead =)

The Results and Finally Thoughts

This guy got a PR!

1:47:45 and if you want to be more angry?  His training consists of running about 10 miles a week or so!  And no he doesn’t cross train or do anything else.  Yes, I’m jealous.

That’s okay because I still beat him

And although it’s not a PR and I kinda wish I ran faster, I’m still okay with my results considering I didn’t taper and ran 45 miles before the race since Monday.

Overall, the race was very well-organized and any major bumps I had were not a result of the competitor group but were instead my personal situations.  I would recommend running the race again next year!

17 thoughts on “Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon Race Recap”

  1. Great job out there on a hilly course. I am pretty sure you passed my friend and I at mile 3 when you caught up to coral 3. I wish I would have said something. It was perfect running weather out there, I wish I was racing it.

  2. WOW! You did amazing!!! I knew it would be hilly…but like you said, it seemed worse than the elevation map. Ha! GREAT job! I will never be as fast as you….but I’m completely inspired.

  3. That’s an awesome time, congrats!! We have no hills around here so I dread hilly races… I really need to incorporate more hill work to prepare!

  4. Great race! My hubby is one of those run 1:47 half easy without training much guys. So annoying. But I love him anyway! That said, I never beat him, but it’s something to work on! Congrats on the race, love the kitty photo.

    1. Thanks! Those boys are super annoying! It’s okay because I catch him limping now and feel a little better.. At least the speed without training doesn’t come without pain.

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