The Outer Banks Southern Fried Half marathon was the 13th and final race of my 13 in 2013 challenge. A little bittersweet but mission accomplished and on to new goals for 2014!! I’ll have a recap post on the 13 in ’13 including what I learned, etc but for now let me recap the second race of OBX weekend – Sunday’s half marathon!! (Click here if you missed Recap #1 the 5K and Expo)
Race time was bright and early on Sunday with a start of 7 am. The weather was beautiful in Nags Head but the mornings were a tad chilly. I opted for capri pants, tank and arm warmers, which I thought I’d remove but ended up wearing the entire run. And, for someone who wrote a racecation planning tips post a few days ago, one would think I’d take my own advice 😉 I forgot my sunglasses, a throwaway shirt and gummy bears. Though I checked out the course map and stayed close to the start, I didn’t realize it was a point to point course – not out and back. Oops. No matter, the scenery all but made up for my lack of knowledge on the subject.
We were corralled to start and they took off every 2 minutes. I was in Corral C and the announcer was hilarious and really got us pumped up for the race. As we took off I felt pretty at ease with the run. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. We ran through the main streets and past Jockeys Ridge State Park, home of the largest sand dunes on the East coast as well as in and around some of the upscale homes in Nags Head. Crowd support through the neighborhoods was incredible. I took virtually no pictures on the route as I wanted to make the most of my last half in terms of time. I was cruising along stopping for hydration every other stop and thought I was on pace for 2:04:xx or thereabouts. But then we got a little past Mile 9 and this happened:
The Washington-Baum Bridge, how rude! Oddly enough I drove the course route when I went to the NC Aquarium the day prior. Had I done my aforementioned due diligence I would have known this was coming. In any event I drove over this bridge and admired the ocean view from the car not realizing my little tail was going to have to run over that in less than 24 hours! It was a challenge and a half. No kidding. I pushed myself to run it (slowly) and almost made it but near the peak had to walk for a minute or so. Ugh. But when I made it to the top and saw the descent I gathered my bearings and sped up.
This is when the fun really started. I was trying to check my time to see how to pace myself the last couple of miles and while the time was still ticking on the Garmin, the mileage stopped calculating. WTF?! After several more minutes of running and no movement on the mileage, I paused and restarted it and then it cleared but never caught up. #runnerproblems
After all of that I just tried to settle into a pace and finish the last couple of miles easy which were relatively flat. We had entered the town of Manteo at this point and the crowd support was increasing and again SO amazing. I rounded the corner for the last push and saw the waterfront ahead of me. Soon enough I crossed the finish line as the clock ticked 2:15:32 and my net time was: 2:09:12!!
I grabbed some Gatorade and water and I’m not sure if it was my body reacting to the last race of the year, the hill/bridge I pushed it through, or the little hip pain I had prior but it let me have it a little bit. Confession time – a couple weeks ago as I was about to do a step up at the gym I extended my hip a bit. The box was taller than I should have attempted and I didn’t do a great job of warming up so it’s been bugging me slightly. I must’ve had a look of “I am so done” on my face because a medic asked if I was ok – I was I was just overcome with emotion and tiredness and needed to take it all in – my year long efforts were all realized in this race: 8 half marathons, several states and travel, a PR. And even though I was in soreness overload, it felt really really GOOD!
There were shuttle buses to take us back to the start in Nags Head which were HEATED (hello, McFly!) and a welcomed opportunity to sit. Even though I forgot a throwaway, I’m glad I had checked a bag so had a warm fleece immediately (gear check was pretty darn awesome and efficient). On the nearly 20 minute trip we got to see some of the marathoners coming in which got me a little excited.
It probably wasn’t the wisest decision in the world to travel back to DC the same day, but I slapped those PRO Compression socks on and did just that (but not before gorging on pancakes, eggs and bacon at a nearby pancake house – whaaaat!)
My body is tired and sore but I am taking the next 2 weeks off running and will focus on having a little fun, strength training and yoga. Then it’s on to the next big thing: marathon training!! This was a terrific race and one I would HIGHLY recommend and run again. Thank you OBX, I am uber proud of myself with this run, with completing 13 in 2013, and having now mooned up in Half Fanatics!
Oh, to be a runner 🙂