Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Half Marathon Recap

I woke up Sunday morning as ready to go as I could be. It was about 68 degrees at 5:30 and I was worried about another Philly incident. Luckily the humidity wasn't high so it might just be toasty. 

Joe and I walked to the VIP area to meet with Brandi and Kristen. We also ended up meeting Heather there as well. I don't think I ever said out loud that I was trying to go sub-2, but that was my goal. My last three half marathons have been 2:16, 2:10 and 2:15 so sub-2 seemed like a huge goal. I just wanted to keep it to myself.

I loved seeing the Gateway Arch all weekend!

I started in corral 2 and it seemed to be the Hall Of Fame corral. Seriously. All the usual's were in this corral. They were having a blast and I'm just ready to go. It stared to drizzle a little bit and I noticed I really needed to pee. This wasn't going to be good, I needed to stop right away. We haven't even started yet. 

My corral started about two minutes after the start. I knew I would see Joe early in the first mile and that was probably it. I saw him probably a minute in to the race. Well, that was fun. 

Once I realized that we were going right pass the hotel I remembered there were port-a-potties on the left hand side. I had to stop. Thank goodness I did. 

Alright, back on the course. I settled into a groove. My plan was to stay around 9:09-9:11 for the first 5k. I wanted to take it easy early. I knew the rolling hills would catch up to me eventually. 

Somewhere in the second mile I saw Richard! We have missed each other a few times at races and I was so excited to meet him. He was talking how it was a bit humid for him and was taking it easy. We took a picture and then I headed out.

"Pretend we like running!" Thanks Richard!

5k split: 28:56 (9:19 pace)

My legs got comfortable right after the 5k split. Everything was clicking. It was getting warm, but still bearable. I had decided to switch to gels for this race. I'm terrible with fueling and need to get better. I decided to take a gel every five miles. I also took Gatorade at each stop they had it. 

We ran through St. Louis University and I had the realization how closely this course resembled Akron. You think you are done going up and you just get a short break. I'm still working my push harder on the downhill and flat and ease back on the up hill. 

10k split: 56:30 (9:06 pace)

We got to The Grove which I had never heard of. It was a super trendy cool area in town. Apparently there is a bunch of historical stuff along with it. It was also in this area that I noticed a man with a Pittsburgh Marathon shirt on. It was nice to chat with someone for a second and really make sure I wasn't singing out loud or having a full fledged conversation with myself. 

It's getting a bit warm for me around mile 8. I grabbed a water and poured it over my head. The hills seemed to pick up around this point. Trying to do runners math in my head was not working. I just needed to get to the 10 mile mark to see what I needed to do. 

10 mile mark: 1:30 (9:05 pace)

Okay. If I'm aiming for a sub-2 I love having a sub-1:30 10 mile split. I know I can run a 5k in under a half hour. On this course, I really could have used an extra minute to feel comfortable. 

The hills haven't stopped. I thought after the 10 mile mark it may have calmed a little bit. NOPE! Let me explain for a second, these hills aren't crazy, but they don't stop. You have very little "flat" consistent elevation. It's really hard to try to get in that groove to run a sub-30 minute 5k at the end of a tough half. 

I grabbed Gatorade again at the water stop at mile 12. I knew I needed it and the little bit of time it took to make it happen was worth it for me. I also dumped another cup of water on my head. It's warm and the sun is coming out. A lot of the course was shaded but when you were out, the sun was there. 

The end of the race was the same as the day before. A slight uphill (that I pushed really hard on the day before and had nothing left for the finish) right before the finish line. I look at my watch and saw 1:58. PUSH STEFF! IT'S TIME TO MOVE!

Finish time: 1:59:37

I was shocked. I actually did it. I saw Joe and I just cried. Not the same type of cry as my half PR last year, but it was tears of relief. I can still do this. I accomplished each of my goals for the weekend. I even cut 15 minutes off my half time in about a month. It's amazing what your body can do when you're healthy.

After the tears.

I'm so lucky to have spent so much time with Kristen. She broke 1:35!

By completing the half, I finished the remix challenge. It was also my fifth Rock 'n' Roll marathon race this year so I got my roadie medal. I also completed the Midwest Quest for running Chicago and St. Louis. 

All the bling!

Midwest Quest Medals

St. Louis Medals!

Half marathon shirt and medal

All the bling from the weekend!

This course was tough. Even for me who prefers this type of course. I think the weather had a bunch to do with it, but I'm still thrilled. Since Vegas will be a fun race, this was my last attempt to finish the year on a high note. I would say so for sure. 

Below is the course map and elevation chart for the race. 

Disclaimer: I was provided entry to this race as part of the Rock 'n' Blog program. All thoughts are my own.


  1. I'm glad you had a great race and that it wasn't a RnR Philly repeat. :O That still gives me nightmares LOL. It's awesome you can end on a high note and it looks like you had such a wonderful time.

    1. Thanks Hollie! It was so nice to finally have a successful weekend.

  2. Congrats on hitting your goal, that's so great! I hope I get to see you at Rock n Roll Raleigh in April!

  3. Congratulations Steff! You did so awesome :)

  4. You are really gaining some serious bling! Love it!