Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Publix Savannah Women's Half Marathon - 3/28/15

On Saturday, March 28th, my sister and I ran the inaugural Savannah Women's Half Marathon, sponsored by Publix.  Before I talk to you about running, I have to explain how important that sentence is.  I apologize for the sappy offshoot, but for me it's worth it!

I was adopted at birth, because my parents wanted to have a baby together but couldn't.  Cori is my biological (half) sister.  When I was 18, she found me on Facebook, and told me she wanted to be a part of my life.  I was overwhelmed at first, to say the least, but eventually did start talking to her.  Four years later, I'm so so so happy that I did.  Of course I love my non-biological siblings just as much, and nothing has changed there.  But, it's a lot different to have someone close to my age, and it was like having an instant best friend.  I met her in person for the first time when Ray and I vacationed in New England in Spring of 2013.  The second time was when she came down here for a long weekend, and a race!

Cori got in late Wednesday night.  Thursday was a pretty chill day.  Friday we had lunch with my parents, which I thought would be awkward, but ended up being really great!  Then we picked up our packets (which included a pasta strainer? thanks Publix!).  And then we got to be tourists and took a trolley ride! It started pouring rain about halfway through, but at least Cori got the true Georgia experience.  

Saturday we were up bright and early to head downtown for the race.  We were lucky to have Ray as our personal photographer and chauffeur (just don't tell him I called him that).  We were also lucky to get a parking spot right on the edge of Forsyth!  I was a little chilly at the start, hence the mylar blanket, but Cori is a Maine native as was totally fine.  I think it was around 50 at race start, and warmed up to about 65 at the maximum that day.  It was an absolutely perfect running day! Slightly overcast too.

The race started and ended in Forsyth Park. We made our way through a lot of downtown Savannah, a good chunk of which I'd never been through before.  Our midpoint of the race took us around Daffin.  We wound around a lot of squares, too.  It was a pretty course!

The water stops had really enthusiastic volunteers.  I feel like maybe there could have been one or two more, but I was pretty happy with them overall.  There weren't a lot of spectators out aside from the water stops, but my sister and I still had years of catching up, so we kept ourselves pretty entertained.  The spectators did pick up towards the end, when we were hurting, so that was good and helpful.

This was Cori's first half, so I was excited for her to be able to cross the finish line for the first time!  We were planning to do my normal 1:1 run:walk, but then ended up walking after mile 1.  Cori has some crowd anxiety issues, and they started acting up at the crowded start line.  It didn't help that we saw a lady fall within the first mile. She seemed to be fine, but it shook Cori up a bit, which I understood completely.  The 5k split off at around 2.5 miles so it did thin out a bit, but she had lingering anxieties.  So we kept walking.  

Let me tell you a thing - anyone who says people that walk races aren't true racers are so wrong.  Walking is hard!  And I knew it used different muscles from running, but I didn't realize just how severe the difference was.  I was hurting in muscles I didn't know existed.  I guess with run/walking I keep both sets of muscles happier.  But wow was I getting sore!

The only issue I really had with this race is there were a lot of out and backs.  Daffin Park was a big one - we went through that park at least 5 different times.  It's a pretty park, but not a big one, and it got boring.  And there was a lot of "go down this street for less than a mile then come back" which I didn't appreciate.  It was just mentally draining, and since we were both physically drained at that point, it just stopped being fun.  We soldiered through though, and finally crossed the finish line! Sadly there were no mimosas, but we got a banana and we were on our way.

After a shower and a change of clothes (which only happened after we contemplated living in the car so we didn't have to walk up the stairs), we headed out to Tybee for lunch.  We had wayyyyyy too much delicious seafood, but happy tastebuds!  Then that night we were off to get our matching tattoos.  These were last minute but so much fun! I also wouldn't recommend running a half and getting a tattoo in the same day.  And then working for 5 hours the next day...not the best recovery plan but oh well!

Cori and I didn't have much time left together, but we made the most of it while relaxing!

In just two months we'll get to run our next half together, and have more adventures!

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