Providence Rock ‘N’ Roll half Marathon


Howdy from Mississippi! I am FINALLY home! More on that later. I have pictures and fun stores to share with you from the expo etc, but I figured I would just start with the half marathon/recap for the actual race and then backtrack ok? OK! Here we go!

Michelle and I didn’t get finished packing up boxes until 11:00 pm Saturday night. I don’t think I fell asleep till close to 12:00. My alarm went off at 5:45, and I did NOT want to get out of bed. My legs were THROBBING from working the expo and being on my feet all day long for three days, and I was suffering from a very severe lack of sleep. We crawled out of bed and got dressed for the race.


I opened the curtain….and it was pouring. Not raining, POURING! Are you KIDDING ME?!? Well….what could we do? We got dressed to head out to the course.


I stood by the window so you could see the rain.


We were not paying attention to the time and I look up and it’s 6:55, and ya…the race starts at 7. whoops! We start hauling butt through the hotel and ran UP the hill to the corrals. Before Michelle headed to hers, we found someone to take a pic for us. (I had my phone in a ziploc bag so some pics are blurry.)


I headed to my corral to find that it is full and people are standing on the outside. Um. this will not do for Heather. I find a spot where I could stand if I could just get over the big white gate…So I fling one leg over and ask some random guy about my age if I can borrow his shoulder to hold on to so I can climb over. He gave me this strange “you-are-a-crazy-woman” look but I did it anyway. I mean, help a sister out dude!

Well, come to find out, all the rushing was for nothing. The race was TWENTY MINUTES LATE! I was starting to get nervous because I was cutting it close to make my flight as it was.


and then, if it was possible, the rain got harder. look at all the people behind me, don’t they look miserable?


The race finally started, and we were off! After a couple tenths, we hit our first hill. Oh. My. Gosh. This southern girl is used to flat running. a small incline in my neighborhood is considered a hill to me. At this point I knew it was going to be a long race. Not to mention the fact that the road was PACKED the first 3 miles so I had to do a lot of weaving.


I kept up with the 2:15 pace group for the first three miles but them had to let them go. Looking back it was so dumb of me to think I could hang with them with NO training and expo legs. These are the things I had going against me:

-expo legs. 3 days of walking/standing ALL DAY, lifting heavy boxes, etc. Never hurt so bad, even after my full marathon. It was so uncomfortable and I had dead legs race morning.

-lack of training. Since my injury issues in February I have taken 6 weeks off then run 3-4 miles 2-4 times a week. Since April I have done 2 five milers, a 6 miler, and a 10 milers. Since APRIL. That is IT. ya…

-hills and rain. I know most courses won’t have everything Ideal…but come on people. It was monsooning. I described it was “Katrina rain” because that’s how hard it was raining! And yeah…this girl doesn’t run many hills, esp. ones with HUGE pot holes making my knees scream.

It’s funny how at first everyone was trying to avoid puddles and then it was just raining so hard it really didn’t matter. I started sloshing through puddles, I literally couldn’t get any more wet.

When we hit mile three I knew I was in for a mentally challenging race. It felt like I had been running forever, and I was already ready to be done. I decided to take up a run 3 walk 1 ratio just for my sanity. I had to keep telling myself “one foot in front of the other, just put one foot in front of the other.”


Oh, not to mention there were maybe 4 bands along the whole course…how exciting….and hardly any spectators. I thrive on spectators, so this made it even harder. BUT, I am so thankful for the volunteers handing out water, and the cheerleaders along the course as well!  So up and down the hills we kept going….with rain pelting us in the face, some of the streets were so flooded water was rushing over the top…it was bad. It was really really miserable and bad. I wanted to cry. I wanted to quit. I felt dumb for thinking I could run well after only “training” with 3 and 4 mile runs after working my first big expo.

Not to mention…I forgot my IT band strap in the room and my hip and knee started KILLING me around mile 6 or 7 and didn’t let up the rest of the time. THAT added to the joy of this race. Wringing out my skirt every couple of miles was fun, too. ha.

The rain seemed to get harder if at all possible…I was chaffing in places I NEVER chafe, and then the wind picked up and between that and the water rushing down I was being blown off the road in parts! If you want to see just how hard it was raining, check this out:

Race Day Photos

I got to about mile 10 or so and I hear someone yell my name, it was Becky! I actually saw her a couple times, as well as some other great blogger spectators and runners, and it was so great and encouraging to have people shouting my name and cheering for me! The last mile was really rough, I was so over it and wanted to be done.I almost cried a few times…..

We turned the last corner, thrilled to almost be there…only to encounter the biggest freaking hill…OH MY GOSH. Finish line FAIL! What sick and twisted RnR people chose the TOP of a huge hill as the end of the race? I was ANGRY at that point, went through the shoot, got my medal, water and banana and hurried back to the hotel room so I could shower and not miss my flight. I was so nauseated and in pain, I have never been so ready to be done.

I ran a 2:35, 15 minutes off my PR (which was also run injured) So…I’m not sure how to take that. I had a LOT of things going against me, but I FINISHED and I think I gained a lot of mental strength along the way!

I can honestly say running that race sucked way more than my full marathon. I just didn’t care after awhile. Sure I still tried but I didn’t bust my butt to run as fast as possible. I didn’t see the point, especially since I was injured and miserable. Why add to it right? I am so glad I ran, as Michelle said, it was a “mental PR” and I learned a LOT of lessons about myself, my training, and racing from this one! It definitely showed me I still have a LOT of work to do to get where I need to be and that my IT band is still not healed. Even though it was fine on my 10 miler last week, I think it was all the lifting, twisting, etc. of the expo that did it.


ssooo…here is my takeaway:

-the city was really cute and I enjoyed it greatly. Everyone was really friendly

-The hilly course was not so fun.

-the race starting 20 minutes late was even less fun

-The expo exhibitors were not so happy b/c we were told 15l had registered but it was right around 6k…so much much smaller RnR race than normal ones.

-I thought there were not enough water stops and I didn’t like how you could only have cytomax (which is gross anyway at every other station.

-The medal was really cute. I am all about glitter. Smile

before and after…it’s hard to tell, but I am literally drenched.

DSC_0199 DSC_0200

My clothes are still wringing out wet after being in my suitcase…yeah…laundry is a must tomorrow! Ok, so what’s next? Smile

QOTD: Have you ever raced in the rain? How did it change your plans?

PS Enter my raffle! win a running skirt, compression socks, and other cool gear!

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60 Responses to Providence Rock ‘N’ Roll half Marathon

  1. 1
    Karen says:

    Wow that sounds miserable! I’m sorry it was so crazy! Congrats on your Half and the medal is so cute!!! :0) I can totally tell that you are drenched in that last picture! How are your legs feeling now?

  2. 2
    Britton says:

    Way to stick with it and finish it out even with all the crazy terrible circumstances!!! Nice run!!

  3. 3
    Kristin says:

    I was thinking of those of you running. I live in MA and our weather was exactly the same. My husband was out deep sea fishing of all things! lol Congrats on finishing even though the conditions were less than ideal.

  4. 4

    Congrats on actually finishing the race! It was a tough course and I don’t think the weather could have been any worse but the medal at the finish was totally worth it!

  5. 5
    Sarah says:

    Congratulations! It was nice meeting you at the expo! I actually didn’t mind the rain while I was running, but the rain before and after the race was miserable! I felt like a drowned rat!

  6. 6
    Leah says:

    I am proud of you for pushing through. I don’t know that I would have run in that kind of rain. YUK! I hope you are comforted by finally being home with Bobby and your babies. REST!

  7. 7
    Jen says:

    You know I am super proud of you for hanging in there and finishing. Unfortunately, in some races, that’s all that matters. At least those horrible conditions didn’t come in a race you really trained for! You still did awesome :)

  8. 8
    Michelle D says:

    Congrats on finishing! The conditions were crazy – it really was a race about mental toughness! And the hill at the end was just crazy! Take care of your ITB!

    • 8.1
      Heather says:

      OMG that stupid hill! I usually can kick it in a tthe end and pass people…but I could barely move, everyone was passing ME up the hill!

  9. 9
    kayla says:

    That really stinks about the race! I would love to run in the rain, but not for the entire race! At least you stuck in there and kept going to get the bling at the end!

    • 9.1
      Heather says:

      thanks Kayla. If I had come in just for the race and was actually trained the rain wouldnt have bugged me that much but it was just the icing on the cake of misery ha!

  10. 10
    Jordan Trump says:

    I LOVE running in the rain but I’ve only done it as far as a 7 miler. I feel like my opinion could possibly change in a longer race where I’m not exerting myself as much. Then again, I get pretty warm when I run, so I think I probably still would have enjoyed it.

    I hope the late start isn’t common for the RnR races… I’m running my first one, the St. Louis marathon, in October. I don’t think I’d like a late start!

    • 10.1
      Heather says:

      yeah the rain was the least miserable of all the things going against me…I just hated the sloshing in my shoes and the blisters/chafing it created.

      I am hoping to be at RnR St. Louis! HOPEFULLY I will get to run the running skirts booth at the expo!!!

      • 10.1.1
        Jordan Trump says:

        Maybe I will walk by the booth and wave, but I don’t think running skirts are my thing. And I’ve been informed (by my girlfriend) that running skirts are stupid. She’ll only wear Nike Tempo shorts lol.

          Heather says:

          yes! please stop by and say hi if I am there!
          Just toally out of curiosity, what about them does she think is stupid? (really really just wanting to know, totally fine if thats her opinion!)
          I love them b/c they don’t ride up in between your legs like shorts, you don’t chafe, they are lightweight, they are so comfy, flattering, and cute!

          • Jordan Trump says:

            I don’t know for sure. She wears skirts for Tennis but she says she thinks they’re stupid too. She’s pretty simple I guess, always wearing the same type of shorts (she literally has 7 or 8 pairs I think, different colors though). However she has not been running that long so maybe it’s just because she hasn’t tried them! She’ll probably be there at Rock N Roll St. Louis, so maybe she’ll at least look at them. I mean, I don’t really care what she wears as long as she’s happy, but I don’t see the problem with running skirts!

          • Heather says:

            ok well if I am there you have GOT to help me get her in a skirt. i had SO many ppl that i forced to try on a skirt at the expo say “ok, you sold me when you made me try it on, I love it!” :) I will convert to skirt!

  11. 11
    Peachy says:

    Oh no! Since I just started running a couple of months ago, I haven’t run in the rain yet. A little drizzle has always sounded good (esp. since it’s been so HOT here), but not the conditions you described and NOT for a race. Congratulations on sticking with it and finishing :)

  12. 12

    Congrats on finishing despite awful conditions!! When you said you signed up for Providence, I wanted to warn you that the city is hilly but I didn’t want to discourage you. Just having driven through the city you already had my respect for running a half there!

    • 12.1
      Heather says:

      on Friday Michelle and I went for a run just to explore the city and after going up and down the hills I was starting to regret my decision LOL! it is a pretty place though!

  13. 13
    bethany says:

    Hi Heather! It was so nice to meet you! I called your name out at mile 10 too, you turned and looked and I gave you a quick wave. I didn’t realize til I read your post but you’re right about the cytomax, that was poor planning!! This was my 3rd RnR race and definitely NOT one of their best, that’s for sure!
    I can’t believe your time was that good after all that standing and lack of training! Whoa! And those hills! You did a great job! You looked good when I saw you!!
    It makes total sense that ppl don’t like to run in the rain but for me, I love it! As long as it’s a summer rain. I actually ran my fastest marathon in pouring rain and wind with temps in the 30s! MA has a lot of windy and rainy weather, but that was actually our first FULL day of rain we’ve had here all summer! Figures!
    Only 6,000? Wow, that’s a far cry from the 15,000 RnR was hoping for! I thought the expo seemed really quiet when I was there!
    Again, so nice to meet you and congrats on completing another half!!!

    • 13.1
      Heather says:

      yes! I saw you! I think I saw you right before Becky. It is all kind of a blur aaahh!
      yeah I have done NOLA RnR twice and it always started right on time.
      the rain sucked BUT of all the circumstances it bothered me teh least. I think the worst part of it was teh sloshing shoes/blisters!
      yeah they totally fudged on the amount of people.
      I loved how when you met me you said “wow you are taller than I expected!” LOL! it was so great to meet you!

  14. 14
    Jenn says:

    Holy crappy conditions! Congrats on pushing through it though and finishing!

  15. 15
    Emily says:

    You are definitely a rock star for finishing that race!! I am so impressed. Congrats!! And the medal is awesome! It really was a mental PR. Good for you!!

    The one really rainy race that sticks out in my mind was my second ever triathlon – at the end I was saying the driest part of the entire race was the swim portion!

  16. 16
    Heidi Nicole says:

    Congrats on beating the mental game!

    I ran the Twin Cities 10Mile and while it didn’t start out raining it was pretty obvious it was going to downpour. I completely threw my race plan into the wind and booked it to the finish! I was still soaked but the less time I had to spend in 45* rain the better!

  17. 17
    Crystal says:

    WOW, that’s a GREAT time with all of your issues! I thought you were going to say like 3 hrs! I don’t know if I could even do a 2:35 on a flat course untrained in my current state which does NOT include expo legs! I think you should be proud of it! I’ve never run in the rain and certainly not a monsoon! lol. You totally look soaked in that after pic, too. lol. Great bling, though!

    oh and ew, cytomax. I think that stuff makes my stomach cramp…bleh. Wish RnR would have a different drink.

    • 17.1
      Heather says:

      I know. and it was so watered down and only every other water stop, it’s like…you may as well just drink water for the amount of sugar/carbs it actually had. lame!
      yeah I guess despite the cictumstances I did ok. bleh. still sucked lol!

      • 17.1.1
        Crystal says:

        LOL, yeah, it totally sounds like it sucked big time, but you did well!

        I think next RnR I do, I’m taking my own electrolytes. Either nuun, GU brew tabs, or propel packs. Putting them in my water bottles and to heck with cytomax…lol

  18. 18
    Sophie says:

    Wow you did amazingly to finish in those awful conditions, your attitude makes me wish I could run!
    I only recently found your blog and I love it :-). Definitely going to carry on reading!

  19. 19
    Rachelle says:

    I ran a marathon in Cape Cod in February. It was 35F and rain/snowing. I was wearing gloves to keep my hands warm, but once they got wet, it was colder with them on than off. It was pretty miserable.

    And I’ve found that New England’s idea of “rolling hills” or “relatively flat” is mountains. Its hard to get used to.

    I’m glad you were able to push through it all and finish. Congrats!

  20. 20
    Jenny says:

    wow! and i wanted to do this race so badly because my mom and dad are from rhode island and i have family there. with your review, i am glad i didn’t. it sounds like it was a miserable race to say the least.

    i too, love it up there though. the city is very pretty.

    yes, have done a race in the rain. in fact, it was raining and very cold on my five mile race. it was a small race and i was third girl in ( first two ladies in their twenties and then me in my forty’s.). I won in my age group and i think it was just because i wanted to finish the race so badly becuase of the cruddy weather.

    congrats to you for doing all you did! you did very well.

  21. 21
    Heather says:

    That’s sad there were only 4 bands for you. I wonder if some stopped playin because I feel like I saw 8-10.

    Also, I did see you at te expo, but I couldn’t chat as I had to run to my hair trial and o my went in to use the bathroom. Plus, you were selling some skirts and didn’t want to interrupt.

    • 21.1
      Heather says:

      your comment went to my spam folder for some reason! aawww you so should have said hi really fast, would have loved to meet you! I hope your hair trial went well, and hope to meet you at HLS!
      There were about 3-4 tents along the back half of the course that I think were supposed to have bands but there were no people in them playing. :(

  22. 22
    Karolina says:

    Wow- that sounds like an incredibly tough race to run. Congrats on finishing it! That race is a lot like life I think. It’s messy, there are hills we think we can’t climb, and we want to quit sometimes. But we keep going, and eventually we do cross the finish line. Finishing a race like that is a great accomplishment:)

  23. 23
    Maggie says:

    Ugh, that sounds terrible!!! I can’t believe you stuck through it for 13.1 miles! A real character-builder :)

  24. 24
    Heather says:

    I like running in a nice drizzle, but 13.1 miles in a monsoon? No thanks! Congrats on finishing in those conditions. I can only imagine how tired you were. I remember how sluggish I felt when I ran wine and dine last year after walking around the parks a bunch before the race. I can only imagine expo legs are worse!

  25. 25
    Lisa says:

    My very first race was a 5k in the cold December rain (FL) … silly me wondered if it would be called off… I was a newbie, had only been running for about 4 months and did not realize runners are CRAZY and run no matter what 😉 But go us for doing it anyway! After that, I figured it could only get better! Hope your IT band is okay…

  26. 26
    Becky says:

    RnR Providence was definitely a memorable race…to say the least! It wasn’t my finest moment, but I loved seeing you on the course! After traveling and working, you still completed a half marathon! Congrats!

  27. 27
    Felice says:

    Sounds like SUCH a tough race! Good job.

  28. 28

    Great job on your race!! I ran the second half of my marathon in the rain, so I know all about the joys of running in the rain. After awhile it just makes you want to run faster so you can be done faster! ha ha! Anyways…congrats on a great race. Especially after all your hard work the days prior too.

  29. 29
    Kelly says:

    Great job finishing the race after all that work at the expo. This was my first 1/2,surprisingly completed in 1:50:29. Being from New England, about 15 miles from Providence, I have to laugh (sorry) at runners from other parts of the country who complain about the weather and hills. As we say here in New England, “Wait 5 minutes, the weather will change.” However, that day it unfortunately did not. And sorry, but with all of the running I do in my hometown of Fall River, MA, those hills were speed bumps. Could have done without the one at the finish though.
    Anyway, next year’s race may be 90 degrees with 85% humidity. Hope to see you there!

    • 29.1
      Heather says:

      congrats! thats awesome!
      well…I live below sea level, so you can imagine all the hill training i do..HA! nothing could have prepared me for running on expo legs though. what a killer!

  30. 30
    Lauren says:

    I’m sorry you had such a tough race!!! But the fact that you stuck it out and finished is awesome. I love how you said it’s a “mental PR” – and I think those can be just as important in racing because they make us stronger runners in the end!

    I also hated how the start was so delayed. I was incredibly frustrated by that – especially because it meant that I would’ve had time to take another bathroom run…and by the time the race had started, I had to go again! And Providence is really hilly. I’m used to those hills because I run around here all the time, but even I thought this half marathon was tougher than the other half that goes through Providence in May. And finally – I thought that was a really interesting comment you made about the exhibitors. I never really think about it from that side of things. Why did the race officials tell you way more people had registered than actually had?? That’s a little crazy. I know us Providence runners were just super excited to have so many exhibitors because it’s not something we normally get at our races – I didn’t think about the fact that people who were working the expo were expecting a lot more people.

    Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to our little city and it was so great to meet you (even though it was brief) at the expo!

    • 30.1
      Heather says:

      I heard a lot of ppl complaining b/c they could have pottied again haha!
      we aren’t sure why they lied….probably just to ensure they got big name vendors. Luckily we did well so it was ok.
      It was SO nice to meet you, hope we get to again! Great job in the race!

  31. 31
    Sarah M. says:

    Hi Heather! Pretty sure you actually sold me my skirt at the Expo…I bought the pink and orange argyle with the short…LOVED it. I have the Cape Cod Half Marathon coming up end of October and plan on wearing another one! I need another color! Perhaps that’s how I’ll wrack up my running skirts…a new one for every race 😉

    I pushed through the half myself…having been my first 1/2, I wanted to basically die after realizing that it was going to rain the ENTIRE time. I mean, gag! I finished though, that is all I could have hoped for! My knees were tight afterward and there was definitely an icing/ibuprofin regimen going on, but by Tuesday evening, everything was back to normal. Back to training!

    Perhaps I’ll see you at another Expo around the country…be well!


  32. 32
    Donna says:

    I think I actually talked to you in the hotel, we rode the elevator to our floor and you had about 15 minutes to get cleaned up and catch your flight! I swear your blog was almost identical to what I wrote to my friends and family! Holy finish iine FAIL…that was horrible. I swear Charriots of Fire was playing and I was moving in slow motion. I ran 10 minutes slower than EVER. I talked to someone who ran Boston and she said she would rather run Boston Marathon (a full marathon) than ever run this again. The hills were not cool…the puddle jumpers, pot hote skippers..then that dang wind!

  33. 33

    […] today things were very different than what I am doing this week! A year ago yesterday, I ran the Rock n Roll Providence half marathon. It was my first expo working for Running Skirts. I had never been to Rhode Island, so I couldn’t […]

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