What a great course, weather, company, result. I could not have asked for a better race. I want to bottle it! Next year it could be windy and bitter cold, but yesterday morning was in the 60s and sunny. Here I am coming in for the finish. There is nothing like seeing the big blown up finish line with the clocks. It just makes you run a little faster. Just looking for that thing got me throught the last two miles. I looked for after every corner. I just wanted to have it in my sights but it was tucked away until you got right to the finish in downtown Manteo on the sound. Scott and the girls were there on the last corner. It was awesome to see them along the way. A group of husbands got together and tracked us along the way. They were at mile 2, mile 4 and then at the finish cheering us on. It was so nice seeing the girls and all those people supporting us. The whole weekend was perfect. A group of friends met to eat at Goombay's Friday night. I had the best crabcake salad. Saturday we picked up our race numbers, had a great burger at Five Guys and spent a few hours at Jockey's Ridge. It is always too hot in the summer to take the girls, so this was the perfect time. They are still finding sand in their ears and hair two days later and after a bath.
Now for the race play by play:
Mile 1: This is always a hard one for me on race days. I go through the internal struggle of knowing how many miles are ahead of me, not feeling warmed up, and gasping for breath in a momentary panic attack.
Mile 2: Saw the girls and Scott. Calmed down and realized I was running by Jockey's Ridge which I have seen a million times. It felt so odd running down Highway 158 where I have spent my childhood. I will never look at it the same again.
Mile 3-4: Went into a neighborhood and loved all the sleepy eyed people out with their coffee cheering us on. Holly, Laura, and Mary were right behind me. I was warmed up but cautious of going too fast too early. Scott and girls were at Mile 4 and then they headed for the finish.
Mile 5-6: Don't remember a thing. Passed 2:15 pace group who was ahead of schedule. Tried to keep an eye on my pace but I'm horrible at it. This was highway running so it was straight with lots of car exhaust. Yuck! I ate my chomp here, but I swear I don't notice a difference from when I eat stuff or not.
Mile 7-8: Back into a neighborhood. I liked these parts of the run best. The curves and houses and tons of people were a great distraction. There were even jokes and OBX trivia on posters along the way. I realized here that my friends had fallen back and I was alone.
Mile 9: Back on highway and curving toward the bridge. The wind picked up here. I felt good and loved passing people.
Mile 10: THE BRIDGE...if you remember my last half, we had to cross two bridges twice. They were gradual long killers. This one was about half a mile up but with the wind in my face it just seemed to feel like I would never get to the top. My heartrate got into the 170s. It is usually in the 150s. The top never felt so good. I felt great coming down and knowing that part was over. I could knew how far I had left....lucky part of knowing the OBX so well.
Mile 11: Straight, tired, but strong...watching the watch. Knew it would be close getting my time.
Mile 12-13.1: These red flags started lining the course. We started weaving down side streets to the waterfront. I kept looking for the finish after each turn. We pass a medical tent with a lady whose foot was gross and a man with his legs above his heart eating some kind of bar. Scary! To think you can get that far and be out. Finally saw the finish and Scott and the girls. Couldn't wait to cross those mats and then bam it's over. I did it in 2:11:12....I had hoped for 2:10 but I am very happy with the result. It actually hurt to stop and I had to focus because I had pushed it hard the last mile and was woosy and nauseous. It passed quickly and I gladly got that medal!
I found all the Holly Springs ladies at the finish and then waited for Mom to finish. She and Debbie walked it in 3:54. I'm so proud of her for taking on this challenge. I hope it gets her hooked on exercising.
What did I learn?
*I love to race. The adrenline is unlike anything else.
*I love to people watch while racing.
*I missed my friends. It is amazing how lonely running by yourself can be when you have thousands of runners around you.
*I need to trust my training and not wait to long to hit my race pace. I was so close to my goal of 2:10. I'll get it next time.
*Destinations runs are the best. The OBX was beautiful in November and we got to do things we normally don't do.