Rhode Races Providence Half Marathon

Last weekend I completed the second race in the Rhode Races series, the Providence Half Marathon. Going into it I was honestly a bit skeptical of the course since I am so not a city runner and would much rather be frolicking around in nature (or at least with views of nature, aka Newport 😍). While I don’t really have an opinion on the views, since I was kind of too focused on running to notice, I was pleasantly surprised it didn’t FEEL like city running. The course was over a much less densely populated area than when I generally think of Providence so it was peaceful and not full of the hustle and bustle of a city. It was well blocked off from cars and people, almost always giving us at least a full side of the road. I also thought Providence was a hilly city, but the course was mostly flat (with a few decent uphills to spice things up). I usually think flat courses feel monotonous and like they go on FOREVER, but the few hills combined with decently winding route kept that from happening. Also I say “winding” because it had turns, but almost none of those 90 degree angle turns around city blocks, which I also dislike. Overall, I really enjoyed a course that I definitely thought would not be my cup of tea at all.

The only actual issue with this race being a city race was packet pickup. Even parking and getting to the actual start was super easy! (More factors I had been thoroughly worried about.) While it is definitely still partially my fault for doing race-day packet pickup when they had warned us against, this packet pickup was SO much less organized than Newport’s (by the same company). I blame this mostly on the fact that instead of being in an open tent on a huge beach, it was down a narrow-ish hallway into the ballroom of a hotel. As they warned, the lines were long, resulting in the signs directing us being too far from the end to know exactly where you should be lining up. I, as well as others ended up waiting in the wrong, very long line.

By the time I was at the start line, being behind schedule due to pickup and imagining the worst course possible had started to stress me out and I changed my plan. I was going to run this as a training run. I hung out in the very back (even though that’s slow for my training pace), fully convinced I was going to do horrible and not wanting to hurt anyone else’s time with my slowness.

It’s crazy how quickly and drastically my thought process switches as soon as the “gun” goes off to start a race. It’s always been like this (even throughout high school track), but up until it actually happens I never remember it’s a thing. I instantly felt a million times better, no longer thinking this run would be my demise, and knew even if I didn’t do crazy well I was going to get things done! But at that point I was already at the back, trying to dodge through people without being rude and cutting them off.

The rest of the race was playing catch-up, which I generally don’t mind, but not quite this extreme of a case. I felt about the same (good!) throughout and loved the few perfectly placed hills (hills are my jam! My brain is programmed to try and sprint up them since the faster you get up them the faster they are done, so I feel super BA).


It was SUPER nice out, but also made me realize how pale I am haha wow do I need summer!

The crowd also seemed to cover pretty much the whole course in small groups which was nice. Though for me that just meant more witnesses to my water drinking failures. (I CAN NOT figure out how to properly drink water from a cup while running and have learned to just dump it over my head in an attempt to cool myself without drowning and/or hurting myself.. Until this race when I threw it in my face instead of on the top of my head by accident and almost drown anyway. I also almost face planted while trying to take the smallest sip possible. It just never works out.)


The face of concentration as I try not to trip during the small brick patch lol

I also had a racing first and threw up a little at the finish line, oops.


Making sure to still stop my Garmin before throwing up! Priorities!

In the end I missed my PR by 1 minute and 36 seconds, but I most definitely gave it my all so I was very happy.


Overall I would definitely recommend this race, but would also recommend packet pickup the day before as they advise or at least getting there extra early. I’ll probably be back next year, though maybe on a different mission since I heard the full marathon course is excellent as well!


Rhode Races Newport Half & Boston Expo Weekend

Any weekend filled with running related activities is a great one, but during this Easter weekend even the non-running related parts were awesome! It all started way, way too early on Saturday morning while I scrambled to gather my things in the 10 minutes I had generously allotted myself. My boyfriend was being even more difficult to wake up than usual and it became clear I had given him whatever plague I had caught at the beginning of the week so this was going to be a solo adventure. Before a couple of weeks ago an extended solo adventure was risky business as my car wasn’t exactly reliable and I don’t really do well being trapped on the side of the highway trying to fix a car on my own (might know that from experience haha). So taking my new car on its first adventure without a single worry was the perfect way to start the weekend!

Not only did my new car make the trip great, but they also gave the Rhode Races Masters Series participants VIP parking. I originally didn’t think much of this perk, but it was REALLY nice to have my car pretty much at the starting line (versus the normal mile or shuttle ride away). It was especially great since one of the main symptoms of my illness seemed to be the inability to keep a stable body temperature and I needed to go back to change the amount of layers I was wearing about 300 times.

The Race

I started pretty far back, partially because I didn’t want to overdue it while being sick and partially because I almost missed the start completely due chatting with new friends and not paying attention lol oops. But I was able to get up to where I wanted to be pretty quick anyway since the race wasn’t overly crowded. (Both times I’ve run it it had the perfect amount of people, where the start wasn’t a mess, but also you always had a decent amount of people around you at all times.)


They had a sneaky photographer SUPER close to the start. I’m assuming to catch people while they were still all smiles, but clearly I wasn’t having any of it.

The first mile FLEW by, but then again so did the whole race. I love this course because there’s always a view and I wouldn’t consider it too flat (I get bored) or too hilly. I’m not going to lie, it’s not completely ocean views, but even the “residential” parts are through beautiful mansions and might-as-well-be mansions. I debated taking out my phone so many times for pictures, but knew I would end up dropping it since I took it out of the case to fit better into my belt.

My actual race was decent. Breathing was a bit harder than usual and I think I swallowed a ton of mucus (sorry, TMI) so my stomach started rolling during mile 8 (which is not a normal problem for me) and I took it down another notch.


Kept my mind off my stomach by hunting for this photographer lol

In the end I was really happy with the results, even if disappointed that I was sick for my favorite course. Being sick really didn’t slow me down all that much, so I can’t wait to see how well I’ll do when I’m feeling 100%!

Boston Marathon Expo

For the second half of my running weekend, my friend talked me into going to the Boston Marathon Expo on Easter (which I now hope will be a new tradition!). It was SO cool just to be in Boston surrounded by other runners. It was especially cool/funny for me since the actual expo is in the Hynes Center, where an anime convention I attend also takes place, so I got to see all anime merchandise and crowd replaced with its running counterpart. Kind of like a parallel dimension! (Sorry if that was too nerdy 😂)


Had to check out the finish!

The expo is crazy filled with all the awesome things to try and buy! I ended up getting to try a few things I’ve seen fellow runners using and have wanted to try:

Honey Stingers

First off, the waffles just looked good, but I assumed for sure they would be full of gluten (I have Celiac). The first thing I saw when I went up to the booth wasn’t the waffles though (wait they have MORE?!?), but FRUIT SNACKS! I stinking love fruit snacks! Although these were labeled as organic *skeptical eyes*. I asked and they were gluten free so I figured I’d give it a shot! They were REALLY good. Like didn’t taste like health food at all. (Not that I’m a junk food addict, just in the gluten free world they tend to take out the bad ingredients while taking out the gluten and it sucks when something could be really good if it was just gluten free instead of all natural, free of every allergen/bad thing possible, and awful.) So by “didn’t taste like health food”, I mean “didn’t taste like you were sacrificing flavor for healthiness at all”. I may have went back to sample multiple times, just to be sure 😜

I was also pleasantly surprised that when I asked about the waffles they did have gluten free options! I didn’t want any crazy flavors (which they do have some for gf too!) so I tried the Wildflower Honey Waffle. Yum! Also I definitely felt like the waffles were a type of food that would flow with my stomach while running. (Unsure about fruit snacks as I tend to like dry, absorbent stuff but I will probably buy some of both to test because they were so good.)

Roll Recovery R8

I had actually run a half the day before this, which I now think is the optimal way to go to the expo since you can try all the recovery methods! I had thought about getting one of these when I saw it awhile back, but the price tag made me want to try it first. I have to say I was a tiny bit surprised (not that I should have been if you actually think about the design) how you can’t really roll your entire leg with the R8. Since the rollers are on both sides you can’t roll the direct back of your calf since that would then roll your shin as well. Just something I noted (especially for the price) that I previously didn’t think of. BUT my legs did feel significantly better after using it and with my new skepticism of the device I doubt it was just me thinking that. Also not going to lie it is REALLY nice to have it put the pressure on for you when you have stick arms like me haha as normal rollers are an arm workout after running a race, NO THANKS. (I end up roping my boyfriend into rolling for me a lot lol)

Nuun Hydration

So turned out Nuun probably isn’t for me. They had a ton of flavors and the actual flavor I tried (watermelon) was really good. My issue was the strength of the flavoring. It was really weak.. like if you like lemon water then you’d probably enjoy this product, but I need a drink to be plain water or a full out flavor. Though they were in huge water coolers and the expo was hopping so they may have miss calculated the water to tablet ratio. I just assumed since they are the creators and trying to sell the product that they would want it to be the correct/optimal mixture.

Once we were done at the expo we visited some of the other stores in the area and I bought two things:

A “Run Boston” shirt that I can’t seem to find at the moment for a picture 😞

And this sports bra from Janji. I really love their patterns/colors AND part of the profits go to giving clean water to other countries!


Picture from the site since I’m too lazy to find the bra right now lol

And the cherry on top of the day was literally as we were heading back to the T to leave we ran into Shalane Flanagan!! 😱 Luckily one of us wasn’t too star struck to ask for a picture!


Anyway thanks for reading!!