Rock ‘N’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon
Oh man I know I am so behind on this post. I was quite frustrated with this race because I could barley walk when I finished and I ended up being on crutches (ugh a runner’s worst nightmare!). I was too upset to blog about it (I do apologize!). Better late than never, right? My knee had been bothering me for some time now. My trainer told me it was runner’s knee and that I needed to reduce my mileage. Its hard to hear that when you love running oh so much. It kind of just went in one ear and out the other. Stubborn ol’ me, I know. Hopefully I’ll learn one of these days.
Now to talk about the EXPO. OMG talk about a runner’s HEAVEN!! I spent ALL day here! I felt like a fat kid in a candy store!! There were countless tents sent up in the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Brook’s experts were there and I tried on a few pair of shoes. I told myself I wanted to get a good pair of Brooks (I ended up getting a pair of the Launch 2’s at a local running store in Richmond). There were tons of good race deals, clothing, watches, decals, samples of protein bars and more! I did not want to leave! I left to catch up with an old college friend for lunch and then came straight back! I could not get enough! I got to do one of those cool machines where it told me my body fat and muscle percentage which was pretty neat to see. I was getting sucked in and I ended up signing up for 3 more Half Marathons because of all the good deals. It was so hard to not sign up for any more! I was even able to be a part of the Humana Project which was pretty neat. I’ll put the link here for those who want to see my awkward video. You can tell I’m quite camera shy, so please don’t judge me!
Now on to the race. I did the remix challenge, so just the day before I ran the Mile on the Sand. The race started at 7am and we had to meet at Farm Bureau Live and take a shuttle to the starting line so I got there pretty early to avoid being late.
I sat next to someone who was also running this race alone and we got to talking about running which was pretty cool! I was glad to see I was not the only crazy one doing these races alone! Having done many of these races by myself I have noticed that runners are oh so friendly! No one should ever get discouraged by doing a race by themselves (or anything else in general really). I use to be that person who would not participate in anything unless I knew someone who was going. I missed out on many good experiences having that mentality and I am glad to say I am not like that anymore and I encourage you all to do the same! It is an excellent way to meet new people and the amount of support is tremendous!
As soon as we arrived I dashed to check my bag and had to look for a ziptie for the tracker on my shoe (which was different from most races I’ve run).
I then hopped in the long lines for the porta potties and hightailed it to the start. The starting area was completely packed and was divided into different corals. I was not able to start in my assigned coral because of how crowded it was so I just slipped into a spot and made my way up as I could. I had barley just made it in time. Everyone had just started singing the national anthem as I arrived and then we were off at 7am.
The streets were swarming with people and all that excitement caused me to start out way too fast. My legs were already starting to hurt just within the first to second mile and my legs were screaming at me (way to go Ash). I started to slow down and run over to the side so people could pass me (man was that hard). My GPS was also messing up. I had no idea how far I had run or what my pace was and that was quite infuriating. I did everything I could to keep from cursing at my phone. I could not afford to get worked up over it. At the end of the race my GPS said I had run over 18 miles at a 6 minute pace (God I wish!! #goals).
Thankfully the course was pretty flat. My left knee had been giving me some trouble lately and the pain started to aggravate while I was running. Once the pain in my legs started to subdue, I decided to pick up the pace to make up for lost time despite the pain I was feeling in my left knee and foot. I had a goal and I was determined to meet it. My goal for this race was to try and finish it within 1:45:00. I ended up finishing it in 1:54:55. Almost 10 minutes off. I tried not to be too hard on myself having just run the entire race in pain, but I was still quite disappointed in myself. My mental game was strong and I had to keep telling myself, “You still did it”, “You finished”, “It could have been much worse”. It was my first race where I did not meet my goal, but that was okay. “You’re not perfect”, I said, “there is always next time”. After the race I started to limp. I limped over to get a free massage. I am a worry wort after all so I of course asked the lady a million questions regarding knee pain. She gave me some good advice and even wrapped my knee up for me.
Rankings wise, I’d say I still did okay in spite of the amount of exasperating problems I had. Definitely not my best race, but I powered through it and finished. It did put me in crutches. It was a lesson learned, but I’d say it was well worth it =]