Virginia Beach it’s good to be back! It has been a yearly tradition to have this race during Labor day weekend. I ran the Rock ‘N’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon last year and was so frustrated that this race put me in crutches, so I made it a goal to come back this year injury free! (and thankfully I did just that!)
I had just run the DC Spartan Sprint the weekend prior which was one of my best Spartan races ever. I was a little nervous for this race. I had not run a half marathon since the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon back in June which was my hardest half marathon to date. That Virginia summer heat is killer, I tell ya! My summer was still kept pretty busy with plenty of other races and adventures!
Now the weekend forecast for this race was extremely iffy. The weather called for tropical storms and severe high mile per hour winds. The mile on the sand race, which was supposed to take place the day before the half marathon, ended up being cancelled. This was a little bit of a let down for me because I enjoyed running this race last year and couldn’t believe I placed as 5th overall female out of over a 1168 others! I was very much looking forward to beating my time! Hopefully next year!
The race directors were kind enough to let us defer to next year’s race due to limited travel during the severe weather forecast, but I decided since I was already in the area to run the race.
I attended the race expo at the Virginia Beach Convention Center to pick up my packet. There was a new Run Happy Island at the expo this year and I was able to get a free pair of Brooks socks.
There were many different booths set up with gear and various running essentials to check out. I remember being in such awe at this event last year with the overwhelming amount of things to see, but after almost 2 years of racing I pretty much have seen it all. I did sign up for another race at the Massive Medal Half Marathon and 5k in Newport News in November.
We ran the same course as the year prior.
This year’s race did not provide shuttle service to the start. I woke up really early for this race at 4:30am to avoid any road closures and delays for the 7am start. I was worried it is going to be raining, but we lucked out with overcast skies that morning.
There was a bit of breeze on the course and it was mostly flat which is just what I needed.
I remember all the problems I had during this race last year. I started out way too fast and was in terrible pain just within the first few miles! My GPS was also messed up. So for this year’s race I told myself to take it easy (and actually mean it!). It was not worth being in crutches again despite my inner turmoil saying otherwise.
I have grown to learn over the year how important it really is to truly listen to my body when it comes to these races. I was in crutches twice last year and have gratefully been crutch free this year! It is all about learning to pace yourself and being in control. Something I still struggle with to this day, but I am getting better at it 🙂
Ranking wise, I did okay for pacing myself. My 2nd slowest Half Marathon, but that’s okay! My goal for this race was to be injury free and I did just that. There will be plenty more races to improve upon. I’m not always going to be at my best. I’m glad I still did it and walked away crutch free!