"Choosing trust over doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened." -Victoria Monfort

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Virginia Beach Rock n' Roll Half Marathon...

I am home from the amazing high that vacation brings!

The convention before the race was exciting! I entered a contest, and won a spot on the Geico race team...which just meant that if I wore their swag for the race, I'd get a free massage afterwards. I didn't wind up doing it, and I also didn't see one person wearing any of those bright green gecko shirts. But I have a cute running shirt for around town now!

Me and sis got this sweet milk mustache pic at the convention

And then, it was RACE DAY!

I was ready to go!

We set our alarms for 4 am. My sister couldn't believe it. She has never gone to a race, let alone a big one! we got up early so we could drive a bit out of the way to take a shuttle to the start line, so we didn't have to worry about walking or parking, which wound up being the best decision ever.

It was so nice to have my sister there with me for the experience, I usually race alone, and having someone with you just enhances your experience.

getting into the zone before the start..

The temperature was 92 and humid. Don't ask me what the heat index was, probably over 100. I hadn't trained in that sort of heat, and I was worried about it. I was also concerned that I hadn't pooped. I dunno about you, but more than running 13.1 miles, the idea of running full of poo scares me way more. I don't think non-runners understand the importance of a bowel movement. Everyone thinks it is a joke, but it is very real. 

My pace group taking off!

We had a wave start, which was a first for me. Usually the fast people get the fanfare, and the rest of us walk slowly til we reach the start line. I liked this change, because we all got the countdown, and it was not as congested when we took off. 

The first 5 miles were cake. It was all along Atlantic Avenue, so we could sneak a peek at the ocean in between hotels. The sunrise glistening on the ocean, along with all the supporters, and bands was so motivating, it was beautiful

Then the first hill, a bridge over Rudee's Inlet. 

For someone who trains flat, this is daunting. So, I walked it. I was doing good at around an 11mm pace, and I was afraid of my time, but I had to keep in mind, finishing was my goal. 

That's about the time the heat really hit home. I took advantage of every water and gator aid station, as well as my own water I had in my belt. I bought a cooling bandana, so I got it wet and started to try to cool off my neck and face.

Hearing all the sirens, and seeing all of the "downed runners" along the road, reminded me that my goal was finishing. I didn't need to break any PR's this time. It was HOT!

Mile 8. It. Was. Hot. My face was on FIRE. There were a lot of people outside their houses with hoses, and sprinklers. A few volunteer groups with rags soaked in ice water. (heaven!!) I just thought, I'm over halfway there. The rest is a breeze!

We ran through the naval aquatic base, which was awesome because I thought there would be some men in uniform.. and I didn't want to look like a wuss. They had pitchers of water to refill our water bottles, and pots and pans full of ice cubes! I grabbed some, and thanked them profusely, and wrapped the ice in my bandanna and used it to try to cool my face and neck. 

Getting back to pace is a struggle. I slowed down. 

Mile 10. ONLY 3 MORE MILES!!  There were some people on bikes that rode along us for a while, and as they said "if you can run 10 miles, you can run 3". Yes. This is true

But mile 10 is around the time that my being hot turned into being cold. I got goosebumps, and seeing that it was ridiculous hot, I knew it wasn't a good sign. I had to stop worrying about my pace, and focus on the finish.

Luckily there were a few cooling buses along the route, and one was just up ahead. I veered off and spent a few minutes inside an air conditioned bus stretching and reading inspiring texts from my friends that urged me to keep going!

I got back out on the course, and was faced with that bridge again, which I walked. At the end of the bridge was the boardwalk. The final 2 miles, all along the ocean. 


I crossed the finish with all my wits about me. A lot of pain in my hamstrings, exhausted, covered in sweat, and right my ankle was killing me, but I didn't stop. And I didn't push past my limits to prove anything, and I finished strong. 

Finishing at the beach=awesome! Third half under my belt=priceless!

My official time was 2:57. My run keeper time was 2:52, which I stopped when I got on the cooling bus, and should have stopped when I took a potty break..But under 3 hours was my ultimate goal this time, and I squeaked by! I had a 2:20 my last half, but I'm happy to have finished this one on my own two feet!

I spent the rest of the day doing this...

By the way, did you see my bling? A sparkly starfish? Priceless!

This was a great race, a great course, and so well executed! I'm already considering centering my next year's vacation around running it again! 


Urban Cynic said...

You go go - I'm full of admiration for you. Of course I would never do such a thing myself (I barely run for buses) but I think you're brilliant for doing this and doing so well at it too.


Debbie @ Live from La Quinta said...

I can't believe I almost missed this post (I've been waiting for it).

Congrats on overcoming the heat and the poop issues (I'm a runner, I get it), and finishing strong. That is freaking HOT! Nice job :-)

Carolyn Gonzalez said...

That rocks girl!

Allison M. said...

Job well done!!!