Surprisingly, Beth and I actually slept pretty good on Saturday night. I slept BETTER the night before, but it was not too bad. The start was only about 10-15 minutes from our hotel, so we didn't have to get up too early. We were up at 5 am and got ourselves dressed and ready to go!
This is always the most nerve wracking part for me - securing the timing chip to our shoe laces. If it comes off during the race, then we don't get a time registered to us - and that would REALLY be a bummer!!!
Let's go! :)
Got down to the start and parked without any problems. Made the mandatory stop at the port-o-potty and took the obligatory pictures in front of them :)
My port-o-potty was actually amazingly clean and fresh smelling! It must have been my lucky day....Beth's was not so pleasant she said!
Because our start was in front of Medieval Times, they had the king and queen on horseback to start our race for us. They had some other guys jousing "to the death" while we waited in the corrals before the start. I think it was meant to distract us from getting stressed out. I found it very amusing....some others probably were annoyed by it. I was pretty calm - very excited to get started, not really nervous at all. Beth was a bit anxious - her stomach was all in knots she said!
We're ready to go!
Sidenote: The only bummer about going AWAY for a race like this is that means no spectators there to cheer for YOU specifically and take pictures of YOU during the race. So you'll just have to imagine us :)
It was a great race. Great course - nice and flat...just like we wanted! It was really crowded at the starting line and for the first 2 miles or so. That was really annoying because we were stuck behind all these people and didn't have enough room to really get into our groove quickly. Once we went over the bridge at mile 2, things spaced out though. We were able to settle into our pace and get our groove on. There was a stretch between Miles 5-8 that was pretty boring - it was a straight stretch right through town with not very much exciting going on...but at least it was flat! We'd been staying right at a 9:45 pace up through this point. )I was wearing Beth's Garmin watch so she wouldn't stress about the time.) At around Mile 9 and 10, I started noticing that we were slowing a bit and starting to get tired. At Mile 10, we turned down on Ocean Blvd - the street that parallels the boardwalk. Another mile down and Beth started to hit "the wall". We were doing great, but definitely starting to get to "that point" in the race. I felt really good, so continued to try and encourage us and keep us going at our pace. Between Mile 11 & 12, Beth said later that she thought she was never going to see our turnoff - it felt like it was taking forever! I turned into "obnoxious cheerleader" mode and continued to try and push us on. We FINALLY made it down to mile 12.5 where we turn onto the boardwalk - this is what we finish on. We'd been waiting for that turnoff forever....and then when we got onto the boardwalk, we STILL couldn't see the finish line! The boardwalk was curved - in and around all these palm trees, so you couldn't see straight ahead. That was all Beth wanted - was to see the finish! I kept telling her - I promise it's up there! We're only a half-mile away! We FINALLY made it and crossed the finish line together at 2:15:26 - hooray!! :)
I was so proud of us and it felt so good to do it together. We had trained long and hard for this one and it felt so good! Beth's last race was a year ago, and she was able to get right back to her time from that one! My last race was in February, and it was such a hard, awful race - so this one felt GREAT to finish and feel so good and so strong...so opposite from how the race in February was. Hooray for us!
This lady was in front of us checking her time at the results tent. She told us this was her favorite race this year. We asked her what other race she ran and she told us this was Race #10 this year! Holy cow! She turned 60 this year and decided she wanted to run in one half-marathon a month! Then she checked her time (it was 1:45 I think) and she WON her age division! She rocked - I hope I can still do this at 60!!!
We waited for a shuttle for more than 30 minutes to take us back to our hotel. We finally gave up on it and decided to walk the 30 blocks back to our hotel (just what you want to do after running 13.1 miles...). We were hoping to make it back in time for the breakfast buffet...we got to the hotel at 11:06 am...the buffet closed at 11 am. Sad. But at least we could tell our thrifty husbands that we TRIED to get the free breakfast!
Our feet were pretty tired by this point, so we walked down to the water to soak them a little bit - it felt sooo good! The water was so clean and cool!!!
Went back up to our hotel room, got showered and dressed, packed up, checked out of our room, and then headed to go eat our victory lunch!!!
We decided to go to Abeula's - a delicious mexican restaurant...very fresh, clean mexican foods. It was GREAT! We started out with chili con queso - because training was now over!!
We both had to head back on the road after lunch. Beth was heading back to pick up Anthony and then head to VA to see her family for a few days. I had to head back for children's choir rehearsal that night (let me tell you - jumping around doing a bunch of crazy kids choreography a few hours after running a half-marathon....not a great idea...I'm just saying). We would have LOVED another day, but it was really the perfect weekend. We so enjoyed the time together - to talk uninterrupted, so able to choose our own agenda and schedule, to enjoy the race weekend events together, and to RUN the race together - and finish so well!! Looking forward to the next one already!! :)