I was lucky enough to have a school holiday for Veterans Day, so we headed to the Outer Banks on Friday. We hit up the Race Expo Friday night and picked up my bib and gear. I was planning to buy a running belt there, but luckily my race swag included a small running belt just big enough to hold my phone, inhaler, and chapstick. We spent Friday exploring some of the Outer Banks (pictures to come, just have to upload them from my phone).
Saturday was a pretty wonderful day where we explored more of OBX. I honestly didn't carb load too much because we ended up a more of a seafood restaurant. I just stayed away from most fried foods and drink little beer + lots of water. I really appreciated everyone's encouragement throughout this whole process as well! My dad sent me a text that especially made me laugh:
This morning I woke up and was a bit scared by the weather forecast:
Cloudy + windy did not seem in my favor. Let me tell you though, I couldn't ask for better race weather! It wasn't cloudy at all. With the sunny blazing, the wind was the perfect cooling factor! I appreciate everyone's apparel advice! I forgot to bring any long-sleeve item (and am too cheap to buy something to just throw away), so I went with the capris and short sleeves. I ended up being pretty happy with that.
[This is it. Don't get scared now]
I didn't love waiting in a bunch of people alone, but I think it was because I had so many emotions going on before starting. I almost broke down in tears just waiting there. I just kept thinking about all of my hard work. This is probably the hardest I've worked for something in my life.
I didn't take any pictures during the race just because it was too annoying to deal with slipping my phone in and out of the belt. Plus, I was on a mission that didn't involve pictures. It is a shame though because it is a gorgeous run. Nonetheless, here are my splits:
I'm really happy with 2:42 as my unofficial time for my first half. I'm quite interested in my official time seeing as Garmin clocked me at 13.21 miles. What the...? I obviously started too fast. I think I could have kept up the 11:30-40 pace had I not gotten a nasty blister around mile 8. It may have benefited me to stop and bandage it at an aid station. It messed with my mental game and hurt like hell. That combined with hiking up this bridge:
[That is daunting from a car, imagine as a runner!]
Right after coming off the bridge (about mile 10), my left calf cramped up. I had to take a break to stretch and tried to walk it off. D captured this picture as he passed me:
D says I was definitely running. I was probably also in pain. Those last two miles felt like the longest of my life. I had to walk again during mile 11 because my right calf got a cramp. I walked it out until 12.1 and gave it my all the last mile. I kept with my motto, "I don't quit when I'm tired; I quit when I'm [fucking] done!" I definitely chanted that quite a few times.
[I was seriously working so hard to get to that finish line. Those feet look like they're actually running!]
[That is the face of someone working hard!]
I couldn't find D on the sidelines after I crossed, so I was busy looking for him. I'm super surprised I didn't cry. I think I was too tired to do anything.
I was feeling too exhausted/sore/sick for about an hour and a half after to really even take it all in. I still can't believe I did it. I walked through water stations and a bit more through the cramps, but overall, I couldn't be more happy with my performance. The farthest I ran in training was 10 miles.
[The face of a girl who battled and won against 13.1 - kissing the medal]
When I crossed the finish line, I thought, "I don't know if I ever want to go through this again." About two hours later, D asked me, "Will you do another one?" I responded, "Of course; I have a time to beat!"
I am so grateful to D for coming along with me, paying for meals, getting up early to drop me off, battling traffic/racing the clock to watch me finish (guess it's a good thing I'm as slow as I am??), and of course for his amazing support along this journey. I definitely owe my family and friends a thanks for their encouragement (and KayD who texted me super early at 6:25am!!). Thank you as well to all my readers, tweeters, etc. who gave their support and encouragement and put up with numerous running tweets. I feel grateful to have so much support along the way!
I'm not running to the computer to sign up for another race just yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to see where this running journey takes me next!