So, I promised a recap of our first half marathon and a recap you shall get. Leanne and I walked in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach on September 5th. There were near perfect conditions on that day. It wasn’t too hot, there was a nice breeze… Pretty much the perfect type of weather that you’d want for your first half marathon.
Leanne and woke up at 4:30. Yes, 4:30. We had to make sure that we could get down to the oceanfront and find parking since neither of us felt like driving to the amphitheater to be shuttled to the start line. Bright and early we were up and eating bagels with peanut butter and banana’s. My personal fave to have before any type of race. Then, off we drove to the oceanfront. We were worried that there wouldn’t be a lot of parking on the street, but lo and behold no one else was awake at that time either. We easily found a parking spot and walked to the shuttle to take us to the start line.
Once we got to the start there were swarms of other crazy people sitting, standing,stretching, using the lovely toilets, and getting those last minute carbs and water in the parking lot of the Virginia Beach Convention Center. We sat around for a bit and then made our way to, you guessed it, The Last Corral. There wasn’t really anyone else back there yet, and it did fill up once race time got closer. At the back of the pack you really get to see what everyone else is wearing, what type of Gu they have, how many water bottles they have strapped to them, ya know, the usual.
Finally, at 7:00, the horn went off… and we didn’t go anywhere.
See, when starting at the back you usually have a good 15 to 30 minute wait till you get to the start (depending on the race). For this particular race we started 37 minutes after the first group went. Plenty of time to take in the scenery and eavesdrop into others conversations. One of the best quotes we heard was from a lady and the friend she was walking with. I do believe it went something like this, “You know we are insane for doing this, right?” “Yeah.” At that moment it was exactly how Leanne and I were feeling.
Okay, so we get to the start line and we’re off! We started off at a good pace, or so we thought. Turns out our first 5K was at a 15:49 pace. Yikes! We did not know this while walking, since I told Leanne to try to not to figure out the pace at the mile markers. At least for me, this spells disaster. I get all caught up in my head and trying to do math while walking a half marathon does not work. If you know me, you know I am a stellar mathematician. Please read the sarcasm. Anyway, we get to about mile 1.5 and we see the super fast runners already coming around at mile 12! I mean really! C’mon people. They were going to run the half in about 1hr ish, real precise, I know.
The first couple miles we got more into our pace and crazily enough throughout the race we actually sped up our pace. We started at 15:49 and our finishing pace was 15:11. Quite proud of ourselves, I gotta say.
We walked over the Rudee Inlet…
Down General Booth… While on General Booth we did have a lady ask us if we were twins. We said no. “Well, are you sisters?” We said no. She didn’t quite know what to do with that. We told her we just happened to have dressed the same that morning. She didn’t talk to use anymore.
And into Camp Pendleton…
See, Camp Pendleton? It's that gray area.
Okay, this was not my favorite part of the race. Walking through Camp Pendleton was like walking around a track. Not fun. I don’t like it when I can see the other walkers/runners on the other side of me. I also got a rock stuck in my shoe right when we got into Camp Pendleton and it stayed with me for the rest of the race. Boo. One perk while in the Camp, Gu! Oh, it was soooo needed. Even though they didn’t have any of the flavors they said they were going to, it was all good. Also in Camp Pendleton I saw my friend Arla. Hi Arla! This was miles 6-9ish, though it felt sooo much longer.
Miles 9 – 10, out of Camp Pendleton. We notice that we are actually passing people. What’s this passing people at the end of the race? Oh, yes. I think it was the band playing Poker Face that gave me a boost. Throughout the race course there are bands and cheerleaders getting you going. This was great and I honestly couldn’t have done it without them. Miles 9-10, you are also starting to notice that your feet hurt and that you are quite as loose as you were at the beginning. We are getting a second wind! We loved the dancers, the water sprinklers, and the PJammers from the community right by Rudee Inlet.
Mile 11, we notice “the purple people” who we were pacing around miles 5-6 and lost in Camp Pendleton are back. Crap! We now pace them again till the end of the race. Around mile 11 we also turn back onto Atlantic Ave. More bands, but also more people who have finished and tourists. This is somewhat disconcerting. I don’t like it when the tourists and other racers walk in front of me. Stay on your side of the road! At this point you are really feeling every little elevation change, rock in the road, lack of wind, whatever.
Mile 12, now turning onto the boardwalk. We are still pacing “the purple people”, “Batman”, and “the blue girls.” We will finish with them. It’s certain. Now, you can see the beautiful ocean and all the other sane people who decided to layout on the beach this beautiful morning instead of torturing themselves to a half marathon. Also at this point the medical people are like every 5 feet, making sure you aren’t going to pass out or keel over whilst on the beautiful boardwalk. Now, we can see the finish line.
Mile 13, only .1 mile to go! So close we can taste it. We can hear the music, see the photographers! Finally at 3:18 we cross the finish line! A tiny chorus of Hallelujah goes off in my head. After this point it’s through the food gauntlet and onto the shuttle back to the car.
It was a great half marathon and we did an awesome job, if I do say so myself. Were we sore afterward? Absolutely. Did we stay locked in couch position for a bit? Most assuredly yes. Did we enjoy ourselves? You betcha 😉
Onward to training for our next half in Ohio!!! Ceaser’s Creek!