Rock and Roll Half Marathon VA Beach (1:28.49)

When the orthopedist told me on Friday there was no reason not to run the Rock and Roll half, I immediately got excited.  Even though my arm was cleared to run, my legs felt stiff from never really getting the lactic acid out from my 8k the previous weekend.  It had had a week to sit there and fester so although my arm was okay my calves were sore.  By sore I mean running a 9 minute mile the day before felt the way a 6:30 mile should. 

It’s no secret my two awesome friends Laura and Heather came down to race Rock and Roll as well.  We all piled into the car at 5:00 along with dad headed to the race start.  We quickly found parking and made it to the start an hour early.


While lining up in carrol 1 I was a bit more cautious since I didn’t want to bump into anyone.  The doctor had said due to the location of the fracture the only way I could shatter or hurt the bone  more was fall on the exact same spot with the exact same force.  I still did not want to bump into anyone just because I’m overly cautious (and have pretty bad luck).  My GPS didn’t synch correctly so I don’t have mile splits but I’m 100% okay with that.

The first few miles I ran with Mike  a local that I often run races with.  It’s always nice to be able to find someone to run and be about the same pace.   The 5kers actually started at the exact same time as we did which was somewhat weird with a 15,000 person race.  The first three miles were a pretty big blur and we were all packed in like little sardines.

At the 2.5 mile mark I noticed the 5k shoot began, I couldn’t help but think to myself that having a 5k shoot of .6 long was a touch too much.  


After we clicked off three miles I had already sweat through my top.  I’m not the biggest sweater and by the time I got water (which was incredibly difficult when you can’t grab things with your right hand) my tank was soaken through.  I knew my body had already begun to overheat.  At that point I decided it was wise to grab Gatorade and water at every stop.

Miles 4-6 were pretty uneventful.  Although I didn’t feel great I did begin to pass people.  This part of the course was straight, flat and on a main road of the area.  It made sense because it’s such a big field of people but it was pretty hard on the legs and boring on the mind. My most memorable moment of this point was saying go “Team Hoyt” and one of the ladies said…Hey I read your blog!  Team Hoyt never ceases to amaze me.  (They push disabled children in strollers while running a lot of races.)  Each and every person that is apart of this is truly amazing. 

Around mile 6 we turned and went into a nice side street.  It had shade.  I actually made some small talk with a few of the racers around me.  The relay hand offs were around mile 7 which was a bit motivating because there were more people cheering.  I was actually running (unknowingly) with the first relay team and he did his hand off and left).  When we turned into the base around mile 8 it was instaheatbox again.

I hate you straight flat pavement.

I hate you straight flat pavement.  Just kidding lets wave to Ally again.

It made a huge u shape around the base so you were able to see people about a mile in front of you wishing you were a mile closer to the finish.  My only thought during mile 9 was oh my stars I need more water.

I felt a sudden burst of excitement around mile 10 because I realized I only had a 5k to the finish.  I attempted to pick up the pace but that was not happening because it was so hot and I was tired.

Mile 11 we went back over the only hill on course (ie: a bridge).  My legs were shot and I was just dying and saying I think I can I think I can.  The humidity was getting the worst of me and honestly I was pretty miserable.  I want to use proper blogging and running technique about how I negative split this race but I didn’t.  It was completely dying and the last 3 miles were some of the hardest I’ve run in a while.

All aboard the pain train and down the bridge.

All aboard the pain train and down the bridge.

When we u turned onto the boardwalk I could see the finish line.  The finish line that was still .75 away.  I thought it might never come and I think those five minutes or so are contenders for the longest 5 minutes of my life.  I wanted to try and kick to the end…but didn’t have the energy.  So I just ran cursing every four letting word under my breath and hoping it killed time.

I finally crossed the finish line in 1:28.49 which I was very happy with. 

Afterwords we relaxed on the beach and also ran into Kristy who had a great race herself.

Done forever.

Done forever.

Overall thoughts of the race:

I had absolutely no idea where this race would go.  I know I say that a lot but after my previous week of training my calves were still sore. A lot of people said the rest would do me well, which of course my body was recovering but the lactic acid was still festering in my legs from the previous week.  The heat and humidity (around 75-80 and 94% humidity) was certainly a huge factor of this race as well.  In fact, they had 13 people taken to the hospital and one death.

All of that negativity aside I did have a great race.  Was it a PR? No.  Did I have a great time with great friends before I move tomorrow?  Yes.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a Rock and Roll race? 


27 responses

  1. First, well done on the race photos–and your finishing time too, of course. 🙂 Just got home from a super humid and sweaty run, and you already know I’d rather brave the cold of the tundra than deal with the heat. 😉

  2. I’ve raced two RnR marathons (Arizona and San Diego), one RnR half (Seattle), and led a pace group for the 2nd half of RnR Denver.

    Nice race! My philosophy on hydration/fuel is distance running (especially marathon) requires more fuel than muscles can store. I take Gatorade at every station (no gels for me).

    • One day I would love to lead a pace group. I think that would be so much fun. I don’t do gels in half marathons but I do have a big breakfast 3 hours before..around 500 calories (which is why I don’t think I need gels). .

      • I eat before, too. Not a huge breakfast. Just a bagel and peanut butter or something similar that will sit well. Also, a Gatorade Prime about 15 minutes prior to launch. Race nutrition is tricky for some. I’ve been lucky – never bonked – but definitely had to find what works for me. You’re a machine…probably across the finish line before my breakfast would be digested!

  3. Nice work Hollie!! I love having Team Hoyt at our races. Every time I see them I get extra motivated to run faster. Sunday was brutal and I’d take 0 degree racing over 100 any day. Training however I’d rather run in the heat.

  4. awesome photos! and good thing you were wearing the flyte tank at least, it’s so light! especially for how hot it was out there! great race 🙂 You and Laura seemed like you had a great time meeting up. Wish I hadn’t worked all weekend! 🙁

  5. Awesome race once again, Hollie! I’m so glad you were not only able to race after the crazy, unfortunate, unnecessary injury, but also able to run fast in that heat!! Amazing! I would take 0 degrees over 100 any day! Love how you turned that question into an official poll. You crack me up!!

  6. Hahaha love the poll. I hate running in humidity — 94 percent is pretty bad! I am glad you played it safe with the hydration!

  7. Nice work! I love how much fun you are having in some of the race pics. Sounds like a mentally tough race in hot conditions coming off the crazy injury. Also lot’s of fun you got to be with your friends! 🙂

  8. Great Job Hollie! I can’t believe someone died during the race. It always freaks me out to hear it because you never know what can happen! You girls look SO cute! I wish I could have been there!

  9. Gah, how do you do it? Running a 1:28 with a fractured elbow…I can’t even imagine. Now I have NO excuse for not getting under 1:30 – my injuries are nothing compared to that. You’re incredible – I really have no words that can do your running abilities justice.

    I can’t stand feeling dehydrated – those temperatures sound absolutely brutal. And I can’t believe you still have a smile on your face in your pics even with such tough conditions! I bet the men around you were a bit annoyed, given the fact that they seem to be slowly dying and you’re just cruising past them 😛

  10. I am still blown away by this race. can i break my arm and be fast? haha. just kidding but i like how you are so aware of your body temperatures and need for water. that is something I am desperately trying to work on so that I don’t get to mile 7 and puke or get blurry vision. I am so bad with fueling because i never know what will good and what will make me feel worse.

  11. I am just so happy you were cleared to run. I know how tough it would’ve been for you if you had to stay on the sidelines. It was such a great weekend and I already cannot wait to see you again!! Also your race photos are the funniest friggin’ thing, I was LOL’ing for real last night when I saw the one of you pointing at your arm hahaha!

  12. I don’t know HOW you look so cute in all your pictures. I would look like a wounded cat running a race in that heat. You’re amazing! I think I’d probably rather run in 100 degree weather… although not by much. haha

  13. Someone died?!? oh wow. I am jealous that you got to run this and then hang out at the beach! I am really glad you had so much fun with friends and lived it up your last weekend in VA! Not every race can be a PR, but like we said fun is what counts!

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