And the winner of my 2013 “Better late than never blog”.. If anyone is still interested, lol. is my review of the OBX Half Marathon. After having some phone issues (that’s where my pics were) here it is
Sunday, November 10, 2013 I participated in The Outer Banks Half Marathon. Regardless of my time (we will get to that later) this race was a big milestone for me. I broke into double digits for by completing 10 half marathons. Now I know for some people, ok a lot of people, ten isn’t a big deal. For me it is HUGE. You see I was the girl who only 3 1/2 years ago had about zero self-confidence that she could finish even 1 half marathon, in the upright position and still breathing. I owe a big thank you to 3 very special people and I hope you don’t mind me taking a minute to thank them.
Sue: You are the one who convinced Alicia and I that we not only could but would finish a half marathon. You gave us our first training plan and ran all those slow long runs with us. Thank you for seeing in me what I could not, the confidence I have received through running has spread throughout all aspects of my life. YOU, Sue, are a true inspiration.
Alicia: Thank you for being my buddy and close friend over the past 3 1/2 years both in running and life. When we first met I was on a running hiatus recovering from hip bursitis. Thanks for asking me to run that almost 5 mile loop with you 5 days a week. Before we had a GPS and realized just how far we were running, lol! I am proud of us both from making it from a 5k all the way to a half marathon together!
Cara: My travel buddy and more importantly my very close friend. Without you I would NEVER have made it to #10, never become a half fanatic and probably never done a destination race. You inspire me to keep working on my running by your hard work and persistence. I am so proud of everything YOU have accomplished in running and life. You are way past #10 on your journey so congrats to you!
BACK TO THE RACE:
OK so I came into this race with a sense of calm, not from being well-trained but just turning everything over to God. I had suffered with IT band issues on a few long training runs, this derailed my longest training runs to be 9.5, 10 and 10.5. A few days before the race I decided to “Keep Calm and carry on”. There was no sense in worrying about how the race would go or how I would hold up physically. I knew I would do the best I had that day, whatever that might be.
I left for OBX on Friday and was lucky to have a local Moms Run This Town member, Kate, who was kind enough to provide me with a free room for the weekend. Thanks Kate! Saturday was packet pickup and the expo. It was bigger than I expected and pick up was easy and everything went along smoothly. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and walking on the beach. Both Kate and I had individual concerns about the race, but while walking the beach we saw a glorious rainbow in the sky. I told Kate I thought for sure that it was a sign that everything would be fine for us both. God is good and this was just what we both needed.
The race start was only about a mile from the house. We got up at about 5 and headed out at 6 to meet some other MRTT member who were staying about a half mile away. Kate and I decided to roll “OBX style” and took two beach cruisers down to meet our friends. Can’t say I have ever done that before, but it was fun!
I had planned to try to run the race with Allie, another MRTT member, as we had done some training runs together. I got caught in the port-o-pottie line close to start time and we were never able to find each other again. In the end I think this worked out great for Allie as I would not have wanted to hold her back.
The weather was perfect fall race weather although a tad breezy. After about mile 2 I was able to shed my warm up jacket, I was glad I brought some arm sleeves as I pulled them up and down a few times on the course. The course was a beautiful run through the beach neighborhoods. At one point the water was so close to the road you could actually lean down and touch it! During miles 1-8 I was pleased with my pace and thoughts of a PR still lingered in my mind. However soon after my IT band started to bother me, not severe pain but enough to cause concern about the end of the race. I decided to pull off the course and do some stretching, the main reason? A big a$$ hill (well bridge actually)
I had tried to practice “hills” but you see there aren’t really hills in VB. I did my best by doing a rolling hill workout on the treadmill about every other week. The actually hill was less daunting than it appeared which was quite ominous looking even back at like mile 6 when we caught a view of it. I was running, be it slowly, up it but I finally decided it might be better to just walk it rather than cause more knee problems. Good decision, in fact I walked up it faster than many people where running it.
After the bridge my pace slowed considerably, I was worried about my knee, and I got frustrated. That’s when I noticed an older man (80+ years old) shuffling to my right. I finally said to him “Are we gonna finish this thing or what?” He said “Oh yes we’re gonna finish this thing!” We got to talking and I found out his name is Jim. I asked him how many half marathons he had done. ”I’m not sure how many halfs, but I have completed 550 (yes that is 550!) FULL Marathons” What?! It just blew my mind! Jim said he has been running for 30+ years. His comments gave me a boost and I told him I hoped to see him at the finish line. He said we would have a beer together, I was sad that I never saw Jim after the finish.
After meeting Jim I looked up and thanked God for sending me some extra inspiration and then I knew I would finish and be happy with my time no matter what it was. Yes Jim, I was gonna finish this thing with a smile on my face.
I did finish, about 10 minutes off my PR but this will be one of my favorite running memories…thanks to Jim.