Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rock N' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon

So, life as a law student has been pretty busy, and this is a little delayed. I can't believe it's already September 11!

As I said earlier, RnR VA Beach was one of the most terrible races I've done, for many reasons.

First, the expo. It was at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in downtown VA Beach, which would also be the starting line. Traffic getting into the area was terrible, and parking at the convention center was a hot mess. Virginians simply do not know how to drive. I definitely finished out the weekend with some serious road rage.

The expo itself was just fine. I picked up my packet, around 3:30 on Saturday, and there were lines at almost every table. I then went through and got my shirt (they made me get a women's, not a unisex shirt), and picked up a swag bag and clear plastic bag for bag check. I also made sure to pick up a race guide, since they weren't in the swag bags in San Diego. After perusing the booths, my friend and I checked into our hotel and got some dinner.

Early the next morning we were up and drove a short bit to parking. There was off-site parking about 20 minutes away from the start line, and it's a good there we planned on getting there early. There was traffic. It was terrible. There was a line over a mile long just to get into the parking area, where only a few people were guiding cars. TERRIBLE!!!

The line for the shuttle buses was short, and went quickly, so I did get to the start line about 15 minutes before the start. I handed off my bag instead of checking it, and my friend headed to the boardwalk to wait for the finish.

For some reason, they started the 5k runners in the first wave. So by the time my wave (I started with 6) got out, we were dodging between people with strollers and walkers in giant tutus. Despite that, I was on the move! I was feeling really strong from all the extra training I've been doing, and was really hoping for around a 1:50 at this race. I hit mile 2 in less than 16 minutes, and decided to slow down a bit. When I did, I immediately felt the sun come out, my face felt like it was on fire, and I regretted it a little.

After this, it was all downhill. As the sun came out, it crept up to 95 degrees, with an unearthly amount of humidity. By mile 5, I could feel my calves cramping, and everything I had was soaked and dripping. Every water station was packed with people trying to get water. I started seeing a lot more people stopping and sitting down or passing out on the side of the course, and many of the volunteers didn't know how to deal with it all. There should have been ice sheets at every water station, and volunteers more spread out so runners weren't stuck a mile in between stations with someone who had passed out.

I slowed down considerably, and ended up finishing in 2:40, handily the WORST time I have ever had recorded (minus the Disney Princess Half with Kevin). I am eternally grateful to all the kind people who sprayed us down in the last few miles, and the one group that was passing out popsicles!! Truly a lifesaver on the course!

The finishing area was a complete madhouse. There were a few fans blowing cool air, and runners were crowded around, dripping sweat. There was no cold water or gatorade, since they were passing it out faster than it could chill, and apparently they hadn't thought to chill enough in advance. As usual they passed out more stuff than I could handle, and ended up with a banana and granola bar down my shorts while hoarding two bottles of gatorade and two cartons of amazing chocolate milk. I finally emerged at the other end, and met my friend in the family reunion are, right on the beach. I tried to sit down for a second before realizing I was dripping, and I almost passed out bending over to take my shoes off. More chairs or more space would be appreciated in the reunion area!! We struggled back to the shuttles and hurried back to the hotel for a COLD shower and lots of ice.

At least I didn't have as bad a race as this guy. May he rest in peace.

Kudos to my friend Holly for her cute little pictures, and making me stand up tall for that after pic! I literally wanted to pass out.

The medal was a cute little starfish!! And the Brooks shirts are awesome, as usual. 

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