Tuesday, November 20, 2012

OBX Marathon. November 11, 2012

Second time at OBX.  I loved this marathon 2 years ago.  Its mostly flat, “just one hill” at mile 22 and at a place I love to visit.  

This would be a test run for me to see how much work I have yet to go for my BQ attempt March 2013.  

We made the last minute decision to change from a hotel in Currituck to a camping site in Kitty Hawk.  Forgot about Jordan (our dog) and how we would need to take her with us (oops!)   The hotel was not pet friendly.  We found an awesome site in Kitty Hawk - full hook ups for $40 bucks a night.  Pets welcome - AWESOME!

We planned to leave around 11 on Friday, but things happened and we were not able to leave until 2:00.  We also took a wrong turn (rather, we didn’t turn) and added another half hour to the trip...  We finally crossed the bridge from Manteo to the OBX, and the whole island went dark.  Literally all the lights up and down the coast and several miles inland were without power.  We were driving down US 12 hauling a 21 foot camper, looking for a campground we have never been to, with no streetlights and no stop signals.  It was a mess!  We got to what we thought was our campground to find out we had already passed it a few miles back.  We turned around, and found the place and set up our site in the dark.  Yes, it was a stressful day....  But just as we were finishing up, the power came back on - YAY!!  We went out for dinner at The Outer Banks Brewing Station.  

Saturday morning Andy, Kayla and Drew ran the 5K.  It was great to be an observer as opposed to being the runner.  I loved cheering them on.  Drew came in first for the Surrette family, followed by Andy and then Kayla.  So proud of them!!

We went back to the camper for a bit.  Joey came by for a visit, then we went to the beach for a while.  The kids waded in the surf and looked for shells, but it was pretty cold!!  No swimming or playing in the waves this visit!

Later that night we went to Kitty Hawk Baptist where they had a spaghetti dinner for the runners.  We had gone there in years past, once for my 13.1, and again 2 years ago for the 26.2.  Awesome meal once again!  It was followed by a short service which was awesome.  I left there with Hebrews 12:1-3 in my heart - “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  The pastor kept saying “run with endurance”.  I hid that in my heart for Sunday.

Sunday morning I was ready!  Put on my kilt and met up with the other kilted runners at the start - Joey and Karla.  We planned on staying together.  My goal was 3:55 which I thought was attainable so I knew I might be a little ahead at some point.

We started off together at lap one.  After that I started pulling ahead some.  Not much, but I felt good and wanted to “bank some time” if at all possible.  I had my music on and was focused on the race.  

My husband and I had sat down the night before and plotted out all the stops he would make while I was running.  I saw him and the kids every 4-5 miles up until mile 17.  It was awesome to have a cheering crew :D  I also traded hand held bottles when I saw them.  I would trade in my ‘used’ handheld, and they would have another one filled with water, and the pouch filled with gu’s and s-caps. Awesome deal!  

I started to feel a little “off” around mile 10.  Something wasn’t quite right and I didn’t feel so well.  Not sick, not stomach or digestion related but it kinda felt like it does just before you get the flu. I kept at it though my pace had slowed some, but not much.  I was not sure if it was running the hills in the woods, or how I felt, but I was losing some time.  I took a quick pee break around mile 12 and when I got out of the porta potty there were Joey and Karla.  

We passed the halfway point just over 2:00.  I was bummed realizing that it would be a long shot for me to reach 3:55 and not feeling well.  I stayed with them and was maybe 5 seconds behind them at most.  I didn’t want to let them out of my sight.  I kept thinking “Run with Endurance”  I was kicking myself for not finding a Sharpie and writing that on my left arm before the race, but yet, I kept thinking of it.  

It was amazing how many people said to us “nice kilts” or “nice skirt”.  That was fun and the encouragement along the course was uplifting.  There was one guy who was cheering for someone one not too far behind me - maybe a couple minutes or so, but every 4-5 miles he would be there, hitting on a huge cowbell with a  drumstick (with good rhythm I might add), huge red curly hair, and a sweater 5x too small for him with his belly hanging out (on purpose I would hope).  It was humorous every time I saw him.  Had to laugh - Loved it!!!  

I stuck with Joey and Karla for the next 8 miles.  Around mile 20  said to Joey, “I might not be able to sub 4, but do you think I can get a PR?”  He said “sure, but you cannot slow down” (My PR from before was 4:06:50)

That was all I needed.  I picked it up again for the last 6 miles and started pulling away from them.  It was a tough grind but I had a goal.  Not my original goal, but it was something to strive for.

By now we had been in the sun for a couple hours and it was much hotter than I expected.  I was going through water faster than I thought I would.  At what I thought was an aid station I got the top off my handheld and was hoping they would pour water in it.  Well, my mistake, it was a beer stop!  I put the lid on my water bottle and drank the half cup of beer anyway ;)  There was a water stop another mile ahead where I did fill my water bottle to the top :)

I was at the bottom of the bridge just about to make the assent when my iPhone started playing the next song on my playlist.  It could not have been timed any better - Tom Petty’s “Runin Down a Dream”.  Wow.  I kept my cadence to the beat of this song and it brought me all the way to the top.  Awesomeness indeed!  The only part that was not so awesome is the 23 mile sign was not posted on the bridge.  I had planned on hitting it with my hand, but it was not there this year.  *sigh*

One thing that my ultra running has helped with during this marathon is that I was able to pick up the pace again, even in the tough last 6 miles.  I passed more people in this section of the run than I did anywhere else.  I was hoping to pick up a running partner somewhere along the way, but none were to be found...  well, at least until the last .4 miles.  There was a woman about my age who was walking.  I said “come on, lets finish this up”  We ran strong, step for step for a long while.  Many people cheered us on seeing how we were pushing each other along and working it!  She said “I wish I could just see the finish line!”  I told her “It is right around that corner”   She ended up taking off when she saw it.  I did too, but I saw my family right there cheering me on - I ran at them with a big ARGGGGG (see photo above) and gave my son a high five.  That was a great moment having my family be there for me at the finish.  I looked up at the finish saw the time of 4:05 something on the clock and knew I had just worked my way to a PR!!  I crossed that finish line one very happy kilted woman :D

I finished, received my metal, and someone walked me over to a shady seat where I could get a drink.  I was pretty dehydrated, but I didn’t realize it at the time.  I met up with my family at the back of the finish area where the kids and I stocked up on “free” coconut water.  Andy joked with me saying that I nearly got my race fee covered in how many coconut waters I had ;)  (BTW, that has been a drink of choice of mine for several years).

We hung out for a bit with Joey and Karla afterwards, took a few pictures, got some free food and beer then decided to call it a day.  

We got back to the camper and I took a quick shower.  I had had a LOT to drink after the race.  Still, I hadn’t “gone” yet.  When I finally did, it was by far darker than it should have been, freaked me out actually.  I think this was the most dehydrated I had ever been during a run, and I was drinking a lot.  Later that afternoon my stomach was a mess....  I think I took in too many caffeinated gu’s during the run.  I don’t take in caffeine normally, and to have this much at once really messed up my gut.  I will leave it at that.....  

We hung out at the beach for a good long while.  Saw other marathoners limping around out there.  We talked some, congratulated each other and kept walking.  It was a good afternoon.

Went back to the campground, had dinner, and called it a night.  The next day we packed up our things to head out of town.  Last stop though was Jockeys Ridge.  I was really sore and had no expectations of climbing the dunes, but ended up doing so anyway.  It was a great way to end the vacation.  

I forgot to stop my garmin when I finished so my time read 4:30 something when I plugged it in :s  I hate it when I do that!  The data that was pretty cool though was showing that I was able to hold my pace for 6 miles and most significantly for the last mile.  My time did not slow down for the mile of the assent of the bridge.  That was awesome too :D

But the most awesome part of all was a few days later when I received an e-mail from Bruce Bokish with the  OBX marathon official results:  4:04:41.1  Rank: 7 F-35 to 39  woo!

Was it what I had hoped?  No, it wasn’t but I wasn't too disappointed, especially with at PR

I learned a few things:
  • I am coming back from a 2 year ultrarunning streak and trying to build up speedwork for shorter distances.  It is not the usual building up to the 26.2 distance, I came off a 100 mile run in April.  
  • I am 2 years older and just a smidgen faster than I was at this race in 2010.  
  • Compared to how I did 2 years ago, I ran the first part faster in 2010 (sub 2) but ran the second half stronger in 2012.  Endurance?  Strength?  Wisdom?  Maybe a little of each. :)

Lets see what this winter holds.  Tough training?  Yes.  Early mornings?  Yes.  Hill repeats?  Yes.  Mile repeats?  Yes.  Will it hurt?  Yes.  Will it just really suck some days?  Yes.  But guess what:  it will be the only way I get to Boston.  Bring it on!

1 comment:

  1. Well done! You certainly deserved that PR. Working hard the last few miles is always difficult. Rest well!