The weekend started off with Joey and Marisa meeting at my house at 9am to start the long 3.5 hour journey to VA Beach. We had quite the trip eating sour patch kids, drinking coffee, playing Would You Rather, and eating Subway on the curb of a rest stop.
We stayed at The Sandcastle hotel, a lovely little hotel right on the beach with rooms that looked like the red light district.
Roxxxxannnneeeee, you don't have to put on the red liiiighttt!
It had a great view of the beach and the boardwalk, but we ended up spending the majority of the afternoon laying on the beach and meeting up with Marisa's friend Scott and his room mate, Bobby. We hung out with them for a while and then Joey, Marisa, and I went back to the room to shower and get ready for dinner with Scott, Bobby, John, and Lauren. After looking for somewhere to eat for over an hour that didn't have a 2 hour wait we ended up at a bar/restaraunt called Calypso that was basically begging us to get drunk. Of course with having to get up at 5am the next morning, no one was going to drink so it was extra torture to have all the tables around us being served drinks. Dinner ended up taking FOREVER and was a total disapointment, but the company was good...when we weren't ready to gauge eachothers eyes out because we were all so hungry. After dinner ended around 10pm, and we stopped for icecream on the way home at Ben & Jerrys, we bid eachother farewell until 6am the next morning.
The alarm blared at 5am, which I'm sure you know isn't anyones favorite time of day by ANY stretch of the imagination. The 3 of us preceded to mope around the room getting ready and caught the shuttle to the Convention Center.
|Marisa, Joey, & I|
We hung out around the starting line with thousands of other runners until we had to bid farewell and head to our seperate corrals. I headed over to corral 14, hoping to run into my room mate, Megan, and of course immediately as I saw her I FLUNG myself onto her in a huge anxious and nervous bear hug. We hung out in the corral and slowly crept our way to the starting line every 2 minutes as other waves begun their 13.1 mile journey. Ours didn't start until 7:30am. I shockingly didn't get nervous until about 5 minutes before we started. Our corral was having too much fun being called serious drinkers with a running problem! It made me laugh a lot because it's pretty spot on.
Then the whistle blew and we were on our way.
I was shocked how easy the first 3 miles felt on my body. I was way too high on adrenaline. Spectators were cheering left and right and runners were screaming and cheering for eachother. I think I had the biggest s*** eating grin on my face the whole time. We ran up and over a bridge around mile 2 or 3, then mile 4 passed, then 5 and 6. Once 6 hit I kept telling myself it was all a race to the finish line from here! By this point the people in corral 1 were already at mile 11 and I could see them running past us slow-pokes. It didn't phase me in the slightest. I felt great passing people who were walking and I wasn't yet. Mile 7 was up ahead and I could see it! LAND HO!! ...as Marisa and I would say.
I had already taken a Espresso Love Gu before the race and stopped a few times for water along the way and was feeling pretty good.
Around mile 8 my body started to really feel it. My legs were shaking and I was huffing and puffing, but I was still moving. That silly blue fish from Finding Nemo was in my head chanting just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming! Before I knew it I was coming up on mile 10 and REALLY hurting. My knee was REALLY unhappy with me and I had to stop and walk for a few seconds. I think it was around there I ran into Megan and what a sight for sore eyes! We ran/walked together for the next .5 miles before she took off ahead of me. I had about 2.5 miles to go before the finish line and I was determined to get there!
I'm not going to lie, I might have been shuffling a little bit. Ok, maybe a lotta bit! I was hurting. My knee was wobbly and painful and my legs felt like dead weights, but I was NOT going to let that stop me. Those last 2.5 miles were the toughest miles I've run in my whole running career. ESPECIALLY having to run up that bridge again. Did I say run? I may or may not have actually walked up the hill and then run the 2 miles back.
The last .5 miles was down the boardwalk and you could see the finish line the WHOLE TIME. It was somewhat torture, but I had to keep reminding myself that every step I took was a step towards the end.
And then it was over.
2 hours - 29 minutes - 44 seconds.
Four plus months spent training and it was done. I grabbed a water bottle and downed it in about 30 seconds. Then I grabbed a banana, a granola bar, and a Cytomax, and tried not to pass out. I grabbed my medal, choked back tears...and vomit, and lurched toward my posse waiting on the beach.
Everyone was hurting a bit, but proud of everyone else for finishing! I was the last one to finish and the only one not willing to walk back to the MGD tent to claim my free beer because I felt like I was going to lose my breakfast all over the beach. We sat on the beach gaining back some strength before heading back to our respective hotels for showers and naps and meeting at the bar.
|Marisa, Scott, Bobby, Me, Joey|
We relaxed the rest of the weekend away with some drinks, live music, good food, and lots of groaning from the mornings festivities - and after a lovely brunch this morning we all headed on our way home.
I'm SO proud to say I've finished and super proud of everyone who ran it (Marisa, Joey, Scott, Bobby, John & Lauren, Megan & Ari, and Sara). GREAT job everyone!
Now on to the next one...