Blue Angels Rock N Fly Half Marathon

March 31st, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life

Most exciting part of my weekend: I set a new half marathon PR! I ran the Rock N Fly on Saturday and finished in 2:10:30. I finished my first half marathon (less than a year ago) in 2:22, my second half in January in 2:15, and now I’ve taken another 4 minutes off my time. I’m gunning for that sub 2 hour finish. I think 2015 will be my year!

So, a bit about the race. I was provided a free entry to help spread the word about it. They used to do a half marathon on the Navy Base years ago but they stopped for whatever reason and this was the first year under the new name of Rock N Fly. It sold out at 2500 participants. Friday afternoon packet pick up started at Seville Quarter, one of the most popular bar/club/restaurant complexes in downtown Pensacola.
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I’ve been to Seville dozens of times but I never noticed the dress code posted outside the doors before. I loved the line about ‘No running, jogging, or athletic outfits’ given 50% of the people picking up packets were wearing that.

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I was pretty disappointed with the packet pick-up. There was a line wrapped around the building to even get into the place which I’ve never seen before. It was raining hard all day that day so I spent 20 minutes in the rain waiting to get inside. Once inside it was total chaos. No one seemed to know where to go and the place was way to small. I finally figured out where I needed to be and a lady took my number and yelled back to one of the volunteers to put my packet together and handed it to me. I wanted to ask her if there had been any update to the race schedule since it was predicted to rain heavily Saturday morning but I couldn’t even hear what she was saying it was so loud in there and there was a line of people waiting behind me that wouldn’t appreciate me taking any more of her time. I think there were like 3 vendors there but I left as soon as I got my packet because it was so chaotic.

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It turns out the race was postponed an hour but they didn’t make the announcement until 9 p.m. Friday night and posted it on facebook. I feel bad for those people who don’t check facebook regularly as I’m sure a lot of people got there at the original time and had to wait around longer then they expected.

As far as the race itself I would highly recommend it. The course was extremely flat, and a good portion of it was an out and back with decent beach views. There was music at every mile marker, but I was kind of surprised there were not any port-a-potties or gu at all on the course. My favorite part was around mile 10 the course looped back by the start/finish area so there was a huge crowd there cheering everyone on. That’s the time where I usually start to fade a bit so that definitely gave me a boost of energy I needed.

Since I was sick all last week I didn’t know how realistic my plan was but I hoped to maintain a 10 minute mile pace. I’m thinking all the extra rest and hydration I gave myself helped because I killed it! I stayed between 9:55-10:10 the entire race. I tend to start out to fast and burn out by the end so I’m more excited about keeping a steady pace the entire time (and not stopping to walk at all!) then getting a PR.

Every other race I’ve completed I’ve felt like I didn’t give 100%, that I could have pushed myself a little harder. Not this time. I gave it every ounce I had and it payed off.
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It makes me excited and terrified for my marathon in a month. I mean, I really have to do that times 2!?

When I got home I went straight into recovery mode with some healthy food, compression gear and foam rolling. I took a nap after lunch and woke up with a horrific headache. I think it was due to heat exhaustion from being in the sun all morning. The temperature was around 70 and with 90% humidity it was an extremely hot 2.5 hours.

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I absolutely love the race shirt! Often times the smalls are still to big for me and this fits perfectly and is so soft. 2014-03-29 18.16.12-1After lounging around the house all afternoon (minus a quick trip to Publix for sushi and Arctic Zero ice cream) I managed to put non workout clothes on and meet a friend downtown to watch the sunset and have a celebratory drink.
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Fried Oreos may have happened as well.

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I went to bed exhausted from the day and woke up with Salem like this. He sleeps by my head all night, every night.

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I’m not sure what got into me but I went into overdrive Sunday morning and cleaned the house and did all my food prep before lunch. I boiled some eggs to have with oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast, and for dinner this week I’m having this Super Berry Quinoa Salad.IMG_7562

For lunch I’m finally trying the ‘salad in a jar’ thing (I know I’m so unfashionably late to this party.) This is the Mexican Chickpea Salad recipe from Back to her Roots. I didn’t use the chili-lime dressing as I want the salsa I used to be the main taste ‘star’. I used the Publix brand mango salsa which is so delicious I eat it by the spoonful for funsies sometime. I’m interested to see how fresh it tastes by Friday.IMG_7568So, as you can see, my weekend was pretty amazing. I’ve still got a lingering cough but I’m feeling 90x better than I was last week and I’m hoping I can ramp up my miles again. I’m pretty effing nervous about my marathon. There’s this little voice in my head that’s telling me to just switch it to the half instead, or just cancel the whole trip and save money, but that voice is a nasty little person that needs to stfu. I’ve got 20-21 miles on the books for Saturday so hopefully that will build up my confidence again. Or totally destroy it. We’ll see.

How was your weekend?
Have you tried the ‘meal in a jar’ trend? Success or failure?

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28 Responses

  • Woohoo! Congrats Erica! So proud :) XOXO

  • Carla says:

    YOU ARE AWESOME, Sister!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So inspired by you.

  • Awesome job on your pr- yay!! That sub-2 will be yours soon. I love those weekend mornings when I’m crazy productive. Your salads look awesome!

    • Erica House says:

      Thank you! I think I’ll be doing another marathon in November so I’m hoping in Jan/Feb of 2015 to do the sub 2. I think that’s realistic.

  • Leah says:

    I ran this race as well. Well, jogged and walked. I am eight months out from kidney cancer and starting all over.
    I saw one porta potty at the turnaround. There was a girl literally screaming where is a potty? Also, they were out of water at miles 2, 7.5, and 12 by the time I got there. It was so hot and humid that I feel like that was just dangerous. Operating on one kidney, I knew not to push it without proper hydration. I no longer wear a fuel belt for half marathons. I guess that is a lesson learned.
    I’m sure it will be better next year.

    • Erica House says:

      8 months out from kidney cancer?! You are incredible!!

      I must have missed the port-a-potty- at the turn around (then again I was kind of focused on watching the runners on the other side, it was a nice distraction to be able to see other people!) That’s crazy that they ran out of water. I always run with a handheld water bottle because I drink some at every mile so I’m extra thankful I had that with me. I took water at every station and dumped it on my head. Telling people it was 70 and humid out doesn’t sound terrible, but I saw a lot of runners I knew really struggling with the heat on Saturday. Do you have a blog?

      • Leah Moore says:

        I had a blog, but haven’t kept up with it. I wish I would have. I used to live in Pace, but we moved to Birmingham about 18 months ago.
        70 and humid equals torture.
        You are young and healthy and that sub 2:00 will come soon.
        I just recently found your blog. Under your “about me” section, I couldn’t find your story. Where do you teach psychology? My son is a junior and thinks he wants to study psychology in college.
        Congrats on your PR. That is incredible in those conditions.
        Which full are you doing?

        • Erica House says:

          If you click on the actual ‘about me’ header it will take you to my bio ( Confusing since there is also a drop down menu. I’ve been meaning to change that! I teach psych at PSC and UWF. I lucked out finding a job I love with my degree but unfortunately that’s not the case for many psych majors. If your son is interested in pursuing it as a career I’d let him know he’d have to go all the way to Phd to be really marketable (as I should pursue myself!)

          I’m doing the Country Music Marathon in Nashville.

  • Jenny says:

    congrats lady!!! I knew you’d kick ass. :)

  • Helen says:

    Congratulations on the PR, Erica! That’s awesome! I’m sure you’ll get the sub-2 next time!
    I’m planning on running a half-marathon in June (goal= under 2 hrs, even if it’s one second under!)! And another one in October. Depending on how I feel about the June half, I may start training for the full marathon that is in December (October would be the half-way point in training).

  • Mabelle says:

    I always love yours posts and feel so motivated by them :) whether you do the half or the full next weekend I am sure you will do amazing.

    I love the salad on a jar idea but I am wondering whether the lettuce would stay fresh? that would be my only concern. Otherwise, amazing time (and money) saver for the week!

  • Rachel says:

    Congratulations on your PR!!! How exciting! I’m new to the running world as of this past October. I have a handful of 5ks and a 10k under my belt, as well as this year’s Double Bridge Run. My knees did not like those concrete bridges AT ALL though so that had me down with very little training leading up to the half on Saturday. I ran/walked it (boo) but yay for exercise…lol! That heat was definitely brutal. I don’t think I’ll attempt another one until cooler weather comes around again and I’m able to train properly. This is my first time commenting but I’ve been a visitor of your page for a good while now. You’re very inspiring, Erica! I’m excited to try that Mexican jar salad this week. Sounds delish! Also, looking forward to hearing all about your marathon. I just know you’ll do GRRREAT! In. The. Bag! :)

    • Erica House says:

      I’m so glad you ‘finally’ commented – I love connecting with locals!

      The double bridge is pretty brutal with those inclines. I did a decent amount of walk/running in my first half (and second) so being able to run this one all the way through was huge for me. I think the next local one will be the Pensacola half in November. I’m hoping to do that full again and finally hit my goal time.

      Let me know what you think about the salad in a jar if you try it! I definitely regret not adding dressing as mine was a little dry. Otherwise it’s totally delicious.

  • Caroline says:

    Congrats on running a great race and rocking a new PR! Enjoy the high :) It sounds like the race needs to work on some of the organizational things- better packet pick up, better water, fuel, and bathroom situations, etc…

    • Erica House says:

      Thank you!

      I feel like the race may have focused a bit to much on the ‘fun’ side of things (mullet contest, karaoke stops on the course, etc.) and maybe should have put more energy into the nuts & bolts of organizing. Since it’s the first year I’m sure it will only get better though, and I will definitely sign up for it again!

  • HUGE congrats on your PR! That’s awesome! Bummer about the craptastic package pickup AND no bathrooms or Gu on course. That’s terrible :(

    • Erica House says:

      Thank you! A local reader commented that there was a port-a-potty at the turn around point but I definitely didn’t see it. Thank goodness I didn’t have to go or my butt would have been on the side of the road handling my business (as I saw many guys and ladies doing!)

  • Marilyn says:

    Way to go with the PR! Awesome!

  • andrea1626 says:

    Congrats on the PR!