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I really wanted this beach towel, so I ran 13.1 miles!

Monday, March 17, 2014

It took 2:25:50 but at nearly 67 years old, I’m grateful to still be “in the race”

If you’ve read my March 5th blog, “Do you believe in Jinxes,”
you know I wasn’t sure I would even get to the starting line.

With a sinus infection and penicillin I wasn’t even getting off the couch.

That followed my Feb 22nd blog about the nasty blister on my arch caused by the covering being worn off my custom orthotic.
”Who do you think wears these, the Incredible Hulk”

The blister was still a problem 7 days ago. So my last 3 weeks of training were a complete bust. The race would actually be my longest run. My shoe guy suggested using “Easy Glide” on my foot.

Still we had planned a great family weekend in Virginia Beach. My daughter (Sparker Hayburner1969) was running the marathon AND the 8K the day before.

So with DH, DD, 2 grandkids and my asthma inhaler, off I went to the beach.
I tried to run on Saturday morning and stopped after 2 minutes. I just didn’t feel right, but walking was OK. So I decided to do the race, but I did fill out the emergency contact information on the back of my bib. Yeah, I was a little worried.

I joined corral #7 out of 10, just behind the 2:30 pacer.
It was 45* but quite windy. 12,000 runners were at the start and my spirits were lifted. This was my 1st HM in 8 years.

I felt really good for the first 6 miles holding a 10:45 pace even with my 1 min per mile walk breaks. The course is essentially flat, but miles 4-6 are a gradual uphill, so I was psyched thinking that the 2nd half would be easier.

It would have been if it weren’t for the wind, gusting to 35 mph, right in my face. It took my breath away and breath was something I didn’t have a lot of to begin with. I walked A LOT in the 2nd half. I lost track of how much. My IT bands were stiffening up too, and the walk breaks helped that. At this point I just wanted to feel good at the finish line.

I figured that as soon as we turned onto the boardwalk (about ½ mile from the finish) I would run in strong. Hah! The wind just about blew me over, but after steadying myself and getting my breath, I did run strong to the finish. I felt great too. I didn’t even need water.

I got my medal and towel which I wrapped around myself for the walk back to the hotel. That wind was COLD.

So you might say that I didn’t “leave it all out there,” but I didn’t need my inhaler. Those last miles made my overall pace 11:08, but I was 5 minutes ahead of that 2:30 pacer which was all I expected out of myself at the start.

I put on my winter coat and hood and went back to the boardwalk to watch my DD finish the marathon. Did I mention that the wind was strong and COLD!!

She did great in both of her races (3:58 in the marathon and 43 I think in the 8K). She got a special “Whale Challenge” medal for doing both.

I highly recommend this race. The organizers do a great job.
Also, I bought a perfect shirt at the expo.

That’s what I have - HOPE. For next time, that is.

Edit: I was 7th out of 32 in my age group. Now I have even more hope for next time.
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