300,000-349,999 SparkPoints 311,616

ARRRRGH We There Yet? - The Flying Pirate Half Marathon

Saturday, May 05, 2012

OK, so I'm doing these out of order. The previous blog was about the Country Music 1/2 in Nashville. A week earlier, I headed for the Outer Banks

to do the First Flight 5k and then the Flying Pirate Half Marathon.

I hadn't been in North Carolina since 2010, and as much as I had enjoyed flirting with the exceptionally handsome honey-voiced state trooper who'd pulled me over for speeding, I tried to obey all traffic rules this time around. emoticon

I juuuuust made the expo before it closed and grabbed my bib numbers and swag before jaunting up to Duck, NC to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

(That's Nags Head, on the way to Duck.)

Saturday was warm and sunny - not a cloud in the sky. I cheerfully sauntered my way to a shiny medal in the 5K and then returned to my hotel to shower, change and enjoy the sites. A word about the "hotel" ...

I knew I was getting a deal on, but there's usually a reason when a place is cheap. emoticon At first, I was psyched to discover that it's actually a time share, and I had a one-bedroom flat. However, the "kitchen" was missing a stove and a refrigerator! I could have lived without the former, but the latter rather defeats the purpose. So when I returned from the 5K, I rang the font office and mentioned that there was a gaping hole where there ought to have been a fridge and could they please fix it.

WELL -- the woman tartly informed me that a kitchen doesn't necessarily guarantee a fridge. emoticon Umm .. sure. If you're AMISH! Of COURSE a kitchen has a fridge! Doy. She also informed me that I was going to have to pack up and move the next morning because it was week to week, and people had reserved that place. She seemed to think I was odd to find her request peculiar and somewhat offensive. Why couldn't they have told me that up front? It was 2 in the afternoon. Had I not called them, when were they planning to let me know??

I told her I was racing the next morning, so I was going to need to move a day early. It worked in my favor, because I was on the third floor (walk up, no lifts) and the new place was on the ground level, so fewer stairs after the race. Also, the new place was much bigger AND had a jacuzzi tub in the bedroom. SWEET!

I packed, moved, and unpacked. Then I went out for "linner" to get to bed early for the race. I found a seafood buffet and was up to my elbows in fake butter, sucking with unseemly enthusiasm on a crab leg when the nice waitress, who had already showed me - twice - how to crack the blasted things open, conversationally said it was a shame the big storm was coming in.


It was?! The sky looked fine to me.

Oh yes, she assured me. It was rolling in overnight, and it was going to be miserable the next day.

She wasn't kidding. It came down in thick sheets. It looked like that Hollywood rain you see in movies that's so heavy, you think it looks fake. I had my wipers on high the whole way. I drove past the start to the finish and parked there, queuing to shuttle back to the start. I was drenched to saturation just waiting for the shuttles, and I assumed that it couldn't get worse.

I'm kidding. It didn't get that bad.

But it did get THIS bad:

I knew the course had been changed somewhat from previous years, but I did not realize that much of it was going to be trails ... which became muddy and pot-holed. I gamely plodded along. My sneakers squelched with each step. They said that they would call the race if there was lightning, and about halfway through the ordeal, I did find myself wishing ....

emoticon emoticon emoticon

What! You weren't there! It was bloody miserable!

I was (of course) near the back of this soggy parade. Some of the (smarter) people dropped out and presumably caught rides to the party in Pirates Quay at the end. For a time, I was dead last, and this incredibly annoying man motored along in the LOUDEST buggy I've ever heard. I mean, c'mon - if I'm going to be last, at least let me trudge along in peace and QUIET! I finally turned on him and faux politely waved him on. Oh no, he explained. He wasn't allowed to pass me. I told him to turn off his buggy, chill a few minutes and then come check on me. He wasn't happy, but thankfully (schadenfreude, anyone?) a poor man fell behind (Don't feel too sorry for him - stay tuned) lagged quite a ways back, and then a few others did, too, and pretty soon, I could no longer hear Mr. Chinese Motor Torture.

The volunteers were strangely enthusiastic during the ordeal, God love them. I tried to muster up the same, not always succeeding, but at least I remembered to thank them. I formed a nasty set of blisters, which I cheekily took photos of later, but I haven't uploaded my photos from that card yet, so you're spared the unpleasant sight. I pretty much minced along a muddy, sometimes flooded trail in the woods for the final three miles.

Do I look happy?

I was super annoyed when I saw the chap who'd fallen so far behind get driven up to where I was and dropped off. Hello? Cheat much? (See, that's why you oughtn't have had any sympathy for him earlier!)

I finished. I was hypothermic and a little disoriented. I knew I had parked one lot over form the finish, but the finish was supposed to be a shopping center, and this was the YMCA, which, by the way, wouldn't even let us in! I was so sodding wet that I almost sat down in their parking lot and relieved myself, but thankfully, someone opened the door, and I scooted in past the astonished receptionist. I think she wanted to say something, but I looked so wretched and fierce that I frightened her, and she let me pass without comment. Trailing water, I found the ladies, where my sweatpants puddled pools of water on the floor as I made a puddle of a different nature in the appropriate place.

I decided I'd live .... but just barely.

There wasn't much of an after-race affair, but the nice folks offered us eggs on biscuits, wrapped in foil to keep warm. Mine was tepid, but it was heavenly! I ate it standing on theYMCA porch with another woman who looked as bedraggled and forlorn as I did. Once I ate, I felt reason returning and realised that I needed to get out of my wet clothes. I asked the woman if she was ok, as she had the same glazed look in her eyes that I'd had before wolfing down the biscuit.

She was waiting for her husband, but he hadn't come, and she didn't have a phone. I handed her mine. She couldn't reach him. I offered her a ride, but she seemed a little nervous about accepting, even though she lived in Duck, where I was heading.

I limped across the parking lot and then across the next parking lot to get to the one in which I'd parked some six hours earlier. The lot had flooded, and I had to wade through ankle deep water to reach my car. The phone rang. It was the missing hubby,who politely identified himself in a way I found utterly charming, and I told him where to locate his poor wife. I put my thermal wrap on the seat to keep it dry and began working my way back to the hotel.

Right before I got "home", I saw Duck Donuts and without even thinking, I pulled in. When I got out of the car, I emptied the pool of water that had formed on the wrap, limped inside the shop, and was greeted by a divine aroma. emoticon I bought two doughnuts, drove back to the flat, limped in, stripped off, and ran the jacuzzi.

And panicked. The handles disintegrated in my hands! It was crazy. I couldn't turn off the water!! I tried several things and then pulled the plug so at least it wouldn't overflow, called the front desk, and pulled on enough clothes to be decent for the (very nice and very nice looking) maintenance man who showed up.

He eventually fixed it. The whole time we were chatting, we could hear the piercingly loud alarm clock next door. Mr. Handsome Fix-It looked at me questioningly, and I commented to him that I was glad I was only there to race and not for anything romantic because the walls were way too thin. He stopped what he was doing and gave me a funny look. Then I added that I had clearly heard the folks next door fighting the night before, and I sure hoped there wasn't a body lying over there. emoticon

"Great" he responded. "Now I have to go over there and look."

"Would you mind turning off the alarm while you're there?"

He laughed. And he did! Thanks, Mr. Handsome Fix-It!

I ate the doughnuts while lounging in the jacuzzi. Does it get any better?

I ended up with three (count 'em!) medals: one for the 5k, one for the Flying Pirate, and a third one for doing them both in the same weekend!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Very late w/my congratulations, but great job me matey!!!
    I have been so depressed & demoralized, I haven't scouted out any future half's since my GF Karen backed out of our NM plans in April...
    But I'm serious about doing another one, maybe over Labor Day weekend? That would get my training interval about right...
    2133 days ago
  • RAVEN1025
    My, my, what an adventure! I am sure the Jacuzzi felt heavenly after all that!!
    Congrats on another race down, and more BLING!
    2134 days ago
    Cathoney, you have the most entertaining blog! :D Thoroughly enjoyed your adventures. :) One of these days I'm gonna run a medal race. ;)
    2137 days ago
    I thought I might enjoy a pirate race until I read about yours. LOL. I do love the medals though. Congratulations!
    2145 days ago
    I'm so glad to see you're able to race (and collect your bling emoticon ) again!
    2145 days ago
  • BUSYMOM911
    Glad you saved this race adventure until you had the time to give it the attention it deserved. I know this really happened to you, but it is so funny. (I think you made up the whole thing just to entertain us. LOL)

    This race seems to have been billed in error. It really was a mud race. You know, Cat, that nothing 'average' happens to you. You should be expecting the extraordinary.

    After all, that's what YOU are!
    emoticon & emoticon
    2147 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/7/2012 1:16:23 AM
    I so love the way you write and tell of your adventures!!!! You are amazing. Congrats on your accomplishments! You so rock!
    2147 days ago
    You are such a world traveler for you runs! Please be sure to let me know the next time you come down my way! There must be a WDW run that you want to do!
    2147 days ago
    Cat love your blog and the pictures. So proud of you girl. You are determined lady.
    2147 days ago
    ooo nice bling!! now, you asked a question, so i'm going to asked if sitting in a jacuzzi eating donuts got any better...YES!! you should have asked mr handsome jacuzzi ficer to join you!!! emoticon
    and hey..did room # 2 have a fridge?
    2147 days ago
    Great race report! You def EARNED those medals. emoticon The Flying Pirate was already on my bucket list. If you don't mind telling me which rental agency you used, so I know to use another. emoticon
    2147 days ago
  • HEIDI-25
    Wow is all I can say!!

    2147 days ago
  • _LINDA
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    VERY WELL DONE!! Way to perservere through such horrid conditions!! You are amazing and should be very proud of yourself -proabably the hardest earned bling you will ever get!
    After the blisters heal, and the deep cold goes away, you will be able to savor your victory more -job well done!!
    You rock Cat!!
    2148 days ago
    Wow! You are definitely tougher than I am. Congrats on that set of medals - well earned!
    2148 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2148 days ago
    Arrrgh!!! Cat! I love living vicariously through your adventures!!!!! So proud of you as usual!!!
    2148 days ago
    WOW you went above and beyond on this one. I am so proud of you. You really went thru ever possible obstacle and opportunity to give up and still kept on going - congratulations for trudging thru the elements. emoticon

    I must say you earned those those medals. But I'm with you on the first room - I would expect any room called a kitchen nowadays (and most hotel rooms for that matter) to have a refrigerator of some sorts.

    Again I am so proud of you emoticon
    2148 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/5/2012 11:44:26 PM
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by CATIATM