This race takes us to Virginia Beach. We had been planning a trip to go see Jess's brother Luke who lives there and we decided to make it another running vacation. Not many people would use precious vacation time to go run but I guess runners are a different breed..lol. Anyway when we had mentioned this to Luke around December last year he decided to train for and run the half marathon with us. It was to be his first half marathon ever. We were excited that he was going to do this race with us and it turned out to be quite an event. This half marathon had at least ten to fifteen thousand people and it raised a couple hundred thousand dollars for charity so we were glad to be a part of that.
We got to Luke's apartment on Friday night and discovered that he lives right on the beach! So a cocktail by the ocean seemed like the right thing to do at that point. We took it easy on Saturday because we knew that we had to run Sunday morning. We registered for the race and went to get our bags at the airport since they didn't make it there the night before. Then out to a nice seafood dinner at a local restaurant by Luke's house. So we got up early Sunday morning and headed down to the area where the race was starting. We ended up parking pretty far away and had to run about a mile to get to the start on time. A nice little warm up..hehe. I was feeling pretty good about this race because I have been training so hard for my upcoming ultramarathons this year. I was anxious to see if I could break two hours which would be an awesome time for myself. Here is us before the race start:
The weather was cool at race start and I had a long sleeve shirt on which quickly proved to be too much. The race began and we were kind of in the back of the pack so we were passing quite a few people at the beginning. I lost Luke and Jess about a mile into the race. There was so many people that it was hard to stick together. So I settled into a pretty nice pace. In fact, I hit the five mile mark in about forty-five minutes so I was right on pace to break two hours. I was feeling really good. We turned off a main road and headed into a military base. It was really cool seeing some of the military member cheering us on. Around mile seven or eight I had to go to the bathroom really bad. I had to wait a minute for a porta potty and I lost about three minutes total. Although there was no way to avoid the situation. Right after leaving the bathroom I heard my cell phone ringing in my spi belt. Normally I would not answer my phone during a race but I knew my brother and his fiance were going to have a baby at any minute.
Thinking it was news about the new baby I answered the phone. Turned out to be a dispatcher from a trucking company we use at work. DoH!! He told me that I called his phone and he heard static. I must have butt dialed him while running. I told him I was running a half marathon and I couldn't really talk. I also apologized for waking him up so early on a Sunday morning..oops! So I turned my phone off after that mishap. I probably lost a minute or so during that and kind of felt like an idiot talking on my phone while running in a half marathon. Anyway, I was still pushing on at a good pace when I started to feel my energy level dying out around mile 11. I knew I had to be close to my goal but when we got to mile twelve I was at one hour and fifty-three minutes. I knew that running a seven minute mile at this point would be impossible so I just maintained a steady pace to the finish line. The last half mile took us right down the road next to the ocean and it was an awesome site watching the waves roll in. Here is us at the finish on the beach:
So I didn't finish in two hours but I did set a PR at 2 hours and 3 minutes. Luke had a very impressive time of two hours and nine minutes for his first half marathon. Jess also PR'd at two hours and sixteen minutes. So a very impressive race from all three of us. They gave us free sweatshirts at the end of the race which proved to be clutch since the weather was chilly. Then we proceeded to the beer tent where we claimed our 4 FREE beers and watched some bands play. It was a very impressive after party. We kept it going at a local bar with several bloody marys. Here is us at the after party (about 10:30 AM):
Let's just say it was a very fun St. Patty's day (even though it was the day after I still think it counts). The next day we hung out on the beach and got a little R and R before having to come back to the D on Tuesday. An excellent vacation and a great race..could not ask for anything better. As I write this blog I am one week away from my first ever Ultra Marathon. The Forget the PR 50K in the Mohican State Forest, which I am very excited about. Here is a parting shot of Jess and I at the beach in Virginia: