Great life decision: taking a Benadryl on Saturday night.
I was ready to go when the alarm went off at 5:30am on Sunday morning. Mal, Rose, and I each downed a Clif bar and I had some coffee to get things going.
Saint Jenna woke up with us and drove us as far as she could down Shore Drive until they started blocking off streets for the race.
We bag dropped, porta-pottied, and split off to our separate corrals. I was in corral 9 with the rest of the Richmond crew. I was so glad I found Britt, Sam, and Andrew at the start because I was getting a little nervy!
It wasn’t that cold out, but I swear to you that the Garmin wind mph is lying.
When the wind blew (especially at the start) it was frickin’ freezing. But no matter how cold/windy it felt, it didn’t rain – which was all I cared about! I don’t think I could have handled a repeat of the Tough Mudder.
The gun finally went off at 7:12am and our corral inched up to the starting line. Dummy me forgot to press the “Run” button on my Garmin for it to start [finding location] until the gun went off. That meant I was having a slight panic attack but luckily my Garmin listened to my cursing and found its location in less than two minutes. It literally found location as the announcer said, “Corral 9, in three, two, one…!”
**Side note to highlight my electronic prowess in relation to my Garmin. Mal informed me on the ride home that the Garmin 10 gives pace throughout the entire run if you press the down arrow. Now I can’t wait to try out this
extra main feature of my running watch.**
The race started off down Shore Drive, which is basically parallel to the boardwalk and led us down a street lined with beach houses.
I ran the first four miles with Sam, which made them fly by! We started off a teensy bit fast (low elevens).
We split up around mile four, when the runners all ventured over to a tree-covered highway. This section was my favorite part of the course because it was pretty and serene, but let’s be honest – probably because it was the only section of the race that blocked out the wind completely.
At about mile six, I started to get tired.
I took 3 of my GU Chomps at mile six and a half.
We entered into Fort Story, the military base in Virginia Beach. This was my (and the rest of the group’s) least favorite section of the race. Once we turned a corner near the lighthouses, we were pounded with high winds from the ocean. Say hello to one of my slowest miles!
Even though the wind sucked, the elevation made up for it.
The course was so flat, which was glorious. No doubt the best thing about the route.
After a two-ish mile stretch, the course spit us back onto the beachy neighborhood down Atlantic Avenue. Cones narrowed the road to one lane, which was annoying because some people we running with strollers and blocking the way.
But it was really cool, because in the opposite direction, we got to see the elite marathoners starting off and running at the speed of light. It was crazy to see them pretty much sprinting knowing they were going to keep that up for twenty six more miles.
I tried to speed up a teensy bit in the last half a mile when we got to the boardwalk.
I started passing people for the first time in the race.
Even if I run as slow as shit during the race, I like kicking it up a notch and striding at the end…i.e., pretending I’m fast.
Rose and Mal cheered me through the finish line as my headphones blared some Miranda.
See the 13.19 miles? It’s from me zig zagging around the street through people to snot rocket. #sorryi’mnotsorry
After the finish, I slowly stumbled through the vendor line giving us more and more free stuff. I haven’t been to too many races, but even I knew the swag from the race was good!
We got sweet medals, a fleece finisher blanket, a running hat, and draw-string bag – not to mention the above average tech race shirt.
I met up with the rest of the group and we wandered into the post-race party in a heated tent.
I had a shamrock cookie and a Gatorade (best Gatorade ever), and was even able to choke down two and a half beers, unlike the aftermath of the Tough Mudder.
I’m already spending all of my time scouring race search engines for more half marathons.
Are you sensing an addiction?