After spending the last 6 months getting more and more excited about the Publix Savannah Women’s Half & 5k, I ended up realizing that I was NOT going to be able to run the race. A few weeks before the race I ended up on the bathroom floor barely able to move. A trip to the doctor the next day lead to finding out that I had a herniated disk. Fantastic. I was hoping by the time the race rolled around that I’d be feeling good enough to do it, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I finally decided a few days before we left that I would just switch to the 5k and walk it. (PS – this was a GREAT decision)
Jenn and I made our way up to Savannah Friday morning. We made a pit stop at the Fleet Feet Savannah store to check out what they had. They were a race sponsor and we wanted to show them a little love and thanks to a 20% off coupon that was in our Virtual Goodie bag for the race I ended up walking away with a new pair of running shoes and insoles. Jenn has been telling me for months that I needed new shoes, so I decided to just go ahead and do it. At least I would have new shoes for when my back was feeling better and I got back to running.
We weren’t able to check into The DeSoto hotel when we arrived, so we left our bags with the bell stand and went out to get some lunch. Our first choice had a 45 minute wait (WAY too long at this point), so we went a couple blocks further to the Collins Quarter which was recommended to us by one of the folks at Fleet Feet. We had berry mimosas and split an amazing hamburger. It was the perfect meal to gets us going on!
Our next stop was the race expo. They don’t have the world’s largest expo, but it is so well organized and they have some great local vendors to check out. I was able to switch to the 5k, get my new bib, and check out all the logo’d race merchandise available. I really wanted to get the race wine glass but they were sold out by the time we arrived. Thankfully we found out that they will be offering them online!
After the expo we were able to check into our room. The DeSoto was a Hilton property when we stayed there the year before, so it was fun to see all the changes they made. We had a beautiful room with views of the city and the river.
For dinner we met up with some friends and went to one of our favorite spots – Treylor Park. Treylor Park has an amazing menu and a fabulous happy hour. During the week, from 5 – 6pm, all of their beers are 1/2 off! I love being able to enjoy some local craft beer at such a great price. This year I tried something new, the Triple P sandwich with pineapple, prosciutto, and pepper jack cheese. It went perfectly with my 2nd pint of Son of a Peach. The weather was beautiful so we were able to enjoy our meal on their back patio.
Since it wasn’t too late we decided to make a stop at Leopold’s Ice Cream for dessert. Leopold’s is a Savannah institution so we weren’t surprised when we arrived to find a very long line. It didn’t matter much to us because the weather was beautiful and it gave us some time to catch up. Plus I knew there was a waffle cone full of Thin Mint cookie ice cream waiting for me at the end of the night.
We called it an early night since we had the race in the morning (my other friends were still doing the half marathon) and headed back to our rooms. Just as we were getting into bed we heard some loud music. Um, what is that? I opened the blinds to a perfect view of a fireworks display over River Street. How cool is that? Our own personal fireworks show! We watched for a little while before climbing into bed for the night. Not a bad start to our Savannah weekend.
The next morning we were up early to head to Forsyth Park to meet up with our friends before the race. We even had a chance to grab a picture with some of our fellow race ambassadors. Both races start at the same time, so even though my friends were running the half I got to hang out with them in the corral before the start.
As I went across the start line I decided I at least need to job for a little bit to get out of all the “start of race” chaos. Unfortunately after about 10 feet I realized that was going to happen. So I walked the entire 5k. My goal was to finish, not be in a ton of pain, and get my medal. All of those things were accomplished! I even ran down the finishers chute to the finish line. It definitely didn’t feel good, but I made it work.
After I finished I headed to the post-race party to grab a mimosa. Each participants gets 2 drinks – either beer or mimosas. I decided to enjoy one mimosa then and wait until my friends finished to enjoy the other. I had some time to kill before my friends finished, so I decided to walk to The Coffee Fox for something tasty. The Coffee Fox is one of my favorite spots in Savannah, so this may have been one of three stops I made there over the weekend. Maybe.
One big benefit of having to drop down to the 5k? I was able to take pictures of my fabulous friends finishing the race. After the race we enjoyed some mimosas, listened to the band, and then headed over to the famous Forsyth fountain for some pictures. We only got a few pictures of our medals before it started to rain. At this point we decided it was time to go back to the hotel and get ready for brunch.
Each time we are in Savannah for a race we go to The Ordinary Pub for brunch and bottomless mimosas. And believe me, this place is anything but ordinary. We made a reservation (ALWAYS make a reservation if you are planning to hit up The Ordinary Pub for brunch. Always!) so we only had to wait a few minutes for our tables. It was so nice to rest, eat good food, drink mimosas, and chat with our friends after the race. I must admit that brunch is one of my favorite parts of race weekends.
We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping, wandering around Savannah, and having a delicious dinner at The Olde Pink house. When we finally made it back to our room that night I was totally ready for bed. We had to be up early again the next morning but this time it was for yoga.
The fine folks at the Savannah Sports Council offer Yoga in the Square the morning after the races. Dancing Dogs Yoga treats everyone to a fabulously restorative hour of yoga in Ellis Square. I was excited to stretch out my sore muscles from the day before, but I was NOT happy about the temperature outside. It was only 45 degrees out! I know that isn’t bad for some of you, but for this Florida girl that was a bit chilly for an hour of outside yoga. But we all put on our long sleeves and headed to Ellis Square. Apparently we weren’t the only wackos in Savannah that weekend because over 40 women (and 1 guy) showed up for yoga. I was a nice relaxing way to end the weekend.
We all grabbed a bite to eat before heading or separate ways. The race and the weekend were amazing and I’m already thinking about next year!
*Disclosure: As an ambassador for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half & 5k I received some free stuff. But as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.