Arrived to Savannah yesterday for the 13.1
Friday- waited in traffic almost an hour to go just over a mile. Having packet pickup in a place that had one entrance and one exit was a bad idea. First year mistakes. Finally made it to the convention center where there were more lines. First picked up bib, then shirt, then "swag bag," then parking pass. The expo had a big section with race-specific gear from Brooks, then it exited out into the general expo. The expo was nice but really crowded and the traffic was really stressful before a race. Packet pickup was extended due to it. Got back to the hotel and went to bed around 10.
Saturday- left the hotel by about 5:40. Got to the convention center with no traffic problems. They had ferries taking folks from parking to the start line. It was cold, so I hid out in a hotel lobby until the race started. There were (at least) 20-something corrals, and it was a loooong walk just to the start line!
Start- finally got moving. There were a lot of people. Muscles were cold, and I felt rough for the first 1.5 miles. Calves were cramping, just couldn't get right. Finally, started to get settled in and cruising. The race went through a so-called "bad neighborhood." I could tell it was a rough area, but the spectators were great! Lots of encouragement.
Course- was flat and fast. It remained windy and cold but at least the sun came out. Bathrooms were an issue - I saw lots of people darting off to the bushes. I decided to wait for the porta potty and added almost 8 minutes to my time in line
Aid stations felt just right. On the 13.1, passed 1 Gu station. The other stations had Cytomax and water and salt packets. Hydration was difficult - I was sweating but I was also cold so it was tough to tell what was going on. I felt good and strong most of the race. I used a 3:00run/1:00walk, and stuck to it. During the run piece, moved at a nice and slow jog with no knee pain. Yay! My fastest splits were in the middle; my slowest was the first mile. Felt great until about 10 where I started getting a little nauseous. The Cytomax wasn't sitting well so I had to take it slow and walk for a short bit. Calmed down and got back into my intervals. The full marathon broke off around 11 miles. There were bands every few miles which was cool. Again, the spectators were great. At one point, the sides of the roads looked like the TDF. I ran side-by-side with Elvis for a while (with guitar and all).
Finish- finish line was great. They took finisher photos and gave me a much-appreciated space blanket. Plenty of bananas, bagels, drinks, etc. Finisher medal is nice quality and really heavy. The band Carolina Liar had just taken the stage as the headliner. The tent with finisher gear was low as they had sold a lot at the expo. For 23k+ people, they should have had more stuff. I got a shirt and jacket. My only gripe was that at this point, I had to walk almost 1.5 miles back to the ferry/car. Not fun after running a half
Time- 2.55:07. Slow, but my goal was to run as much as possible and not hurt myself. I managed to exceed my expectations in that I ran much more than I thought I'd be able to.