On our way into Outer Banks we stopped at Dunkin Donuts to grab some bagels for our pre-half marathon breakfast.
The hotel had a continental breakfast, but we needed to be out of the hotel by 5:15, and the breakfast didn’t open until 5:30. Thankfully, they had the 24/7 coffee machines in the lobby, so we were able to grab some coffee to go w/ our bagels.
We were out of the room, and in the car by 5:20. We decided that we would park at the finish and then take a shuttle to the start line – Here is what I learned about point-to-point courses …. I don’t like them. They freak me out. The thought of being driven somewhere, dropped off, and the only way back is to run – it’s just crazy. I know that to some people, there is nothing normal about running 13.1 miles, regardless of the course – but I think I prefer big loop courses, or out and back. (I know, I’m weird)
I was really quite anxious about this race; It started raining on Saturday night and there was a 100% chance of rain for all day Sunday. This was the forecast for several days leading up to the race. I was crossing my finger (& toes) that the forecast would change – but no such luck.
We were dropped off at the race start around 6ish and we stood under an awning for about 45 minutes. They called for corral A at 6:45; we lined up, someone sang the National Anthem, and then we were off at 7 o’clock on the dot…. in the rain. Not just a mist – it was legit raining.
When we planned this trip, we decided that we would just run this half with no real goal in mind. No PR’s, no pace goals, just running. That never works, does it? Some where between Newport News & Outer Banks we decided that we could possibly get Jenny that sub 1:50 she has been lusting after.
The first few miles were a little tough – My quads were sore, and I was worrying that I wouldn’t be able to pace Jenny to a sub 1:50… I don’t know exactly how she was feeling, but I know that at mile 6 we had a talk, regrouped, then we bagged the sub 1:50 idea and decided to just enjoy the rest of the race. I didn’t bring my iPod because of the rain, so I just hung out and took in all the scenery, and tried to enjoy(?) the rain.
I took a gel at mile 6 – It was a GU chocolate outrage (or something like that) .. I forgot my gels in the car so I had to hope that the gels that were supposed to be on the course made it out there. I’ve never taken the chocolate gu before, or any GU brand gel, so I wasn’t sure how my stomach would do – but what choice did I have? I train with gels, so I didn’t think it would be the best idea to skip them.
We also started to walk through the water stops – As far as I remember, there was only water every 3 miles – You really need to get all the water in your mouth when there isn’t another water stop for 3 miles – The most effective way to do this, is to stop and slow down through the water stop.
At mile 8.something we ran around the Wright Brothers Memorial – There were some super gigantic hills leading up to the memorial and I made sure to confirm with Jenny before the race that we would NOT be running up those hills.
At mile 10 we entered the woods – Thankfully Jenny was aware that this portion of the race was coming so it wasn’t such a shock to the ol’ legs –
The next 2 miles were up & down a muddy trail. The only good thing about the rain was that it made the trail packed instead of loose dirt/sand.
There was a lot of puddle dodging going on, and I was a little nervous how my ankle would handle the uneven terrain.
At mile 12 we went up a big biotch of a hill and into a different section of the woods – The trail went from mud to a wooded(mulch?) path. There were a lot of hills, so many hillzzzzz.
(Note: stuffing shoes w/ newspaper is a highly effective way to dry them out.)
There was one final, ridiculous hill before the finish – That hill whooped our butt – (It’s not that the hills were particularly steep, it’s just that they were back to back to back) – Then it was all downhill (literally) from there. The downhill was so insanely steep, I couldn’t have stopped running if I wanted to. (I wonder how many people fell down that hill?!)
I crossed the finish line in 1:58:13.
Hands in the air, screaming the whole way.
I know this is getting long: sorry.
After we crossed the finish line they had those foil blanket things – This is only the 2nd race I’ve been to where they had them, and I’ve never been so happy to see a foil blanket thing in my life.
I love it when races hand out water RIGHT at the finish – I hate having to walk 1/2 mile for water – yes I just ran 13 miles, so another 1/2 mile won’t kill me, but I’m freakin’ thirsty, I want water now, not in 15 minutes. rawr.
So they had water, which was great – we went over to have our picture taken w/ some pirates, and to get our results… my time said 21:58:58 ..yeah, apparently it took me almost an entire day to do 13.1 …
There was supposed to be a post-race party, but the rain pretty much cancelled those plans. We walked over to where the party was supposed to be, hung out under an awning for a few minutes, then decided we were freezing and wanted to go take showers and eat.
We are still in our soaking wet clothes & shoes in this picture… obviously pictures took priority over changing into dry clothes =/
Once we were showered, and geared up in our compression socks we headed over to Stack em’ High – a great little breakfast joint that Jenny had went to several years ago w/ her Hubs.
When we got there the line was out the door, which did not make me to happy, but Jenny promised that it would go quickly.
It’s kind of like a buffet, only not. You can get things off the buffet, or you can order specific things off the menu – you get your drink (COFFEEEEE for me!!!) from the buffet line, then sit at your table and the server brings out your food.
I had the BEST veggie omelet I’ve ever tasted – and I eat veggie omelets after every single race. That freakin’ omelet was SOOOOO good. Maybe it was because I was starving, but oh man, my mouth is watering just thinking about tasty that omelet was! It was also really reasonably priced. A veggie omelet, two pieces of toast, grits & coffee was about $9 –
I think that about wraps up this post – Since it was raining on Sunday we didn’t do any sight seeing. We went up to Duck, and went into some shops there, but the rain was really wearing on us so we headed back to the hotel and laid around for most of the afternoon – It was really a much needed break from all the go, go, go, go, go we had been doing since Thursday.
Monday was spent in the car; There was a lot of frustration, and yelling (not at each other) going on as we drove the 5 hours from Outer Banks to DC…Then we sat in the airport for 3 hours… I think it’s safe to say that we were more than ready to get home.
We had a great trip, but it was exhausting!