Monday, September 2, 2013

Virginia Beach Half Marathon

My Our journey began 3 months ago on June 1st.  
(I say 'our' because my family was in this 100% with me and without them, I would never have been able to do this)

Any-who along with the story...  I was home alone on June 1st because my family had gone to Pennsylvania for Aunt Barb's surprise birthday party and I was throwing my cousin Jessica a bachelorette party.  I was sitting around, watching TV and playing on Facebook or something when I started thinking about the 5K races I had run in April.  I had really enjoyed them but I want to challenge myself a little bit and go for a further distance.  I started searching 10K races and half marathon training programs and races.  I also e-mailed a few friends (Thank you Shelley and Debbie!) for some advice.  I settled on running a half marathon and I selected the Virginia Beach Half Marathon for September 1st because it was 13 weeks away from June 1st and I had found a 12-week training program.  I used the Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training Program and I found it very easy to use.  I also picked VA Beach because I figured it would be a flat course (and I was right!).

This is my completed training log

So after training for 13 weeks (I repeated the week 10 training) we were ready to head off to Virginia Beach for a mini-vacation and a half marathon.  We arrived at Virginia Beach Friday night and we went by the convention center to pick-up my race packet and everything I would need for race day.

After we picked up my race packet, we drove over to the beach and walked around on the boardwalk and the beach for a bit.  It was super windy, but so relaxing.

On Saturday we went to the beach all day and enjoyed a nice sunny day at the ocean.  It was so relaxing and I really enjoyed spending the day with Ben and Elizabeth having fun in the sun.  

On our way to the beach

 After lunch Elizabeth took a nap.

 Ben loves the sun!

Playing with the sand.

On Sunday we were up very early (4:45am) so we could leave the hotel by 5:10am to go to the race.  All the streets were closing at 6am and Ben was trying to get parking in the lot near the race course so we left super early (he got the parking so it paid off!).  The race started at 7am.

I took this photo at about 5:30am

 This is about 6am.  Elizabeth is not too happy.  

 Love my family!

 Ben snapped this photo of the start for my corral.
I was in corral 12.  There were 18 corrals.
Over 15,000 people ran the half marathon.

 After the race!

 I am so happy!!!

 I got a medal!!!

I finished in 2:40:25

Ben got text alerts during the race...
 I started at 7:17am.  
I reach the 5K mark at 7:50am.  
I reached the 10 mile mark at 9:17am.

After the race, the runner secure area was pretty crazy.  They were giving out water and Gatorade, the medals, pretzels, popsicles, chocolate milk, granola bars, bananas, taking pictures, and people were passing out everywhere.  It was a lot hotter than they predicted (low-mid 80s instead of mid 70s) and I think people were not hydrating properly.  Everywhere you looked people were passing out and falling over.  It was controlled chaos because medical teams were everywhere but so were volunteers trying to get everyone hydrated and fed and moved along.  I finally got out of the secure area and just sat down.  I borrowed someone's cellphone and called Ben and he and Elizabeth found me in about 3 minutes.  

After I drank my Gatorade and water, ate my popsicle and pretzels; we went to see Kyla, Drew, and Kellan (our neighbors).  They were in VA Beach for vacation and came down to the race to help Ben and Elizabeth cheer me on.  (Thank you guys for coming by!)

We all hung out for a bit and then we split up so we could go back to the hotel and I could shower and they went to grab lunch.  After we were all cleaned up we went back to the beach and met Kyla, Drew, and Kellan for a couple of hours (and I finally snagged some pictures of my family in the ocean).

We came back home today and have just been relaxing and enjoying the end of the Labor Day Weekend.  I can honestly say, I have enjoyed (almost) every minute of training for the half marathon and running this half marathon.  I may do one again in the future, but if not, I have proof all over this blog that at one point in my life,                 I. ran. a. half. marathon.

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