Outer Banks Half Marathon! I signed up for this race back in the spring, before I was diagnosed with the foot issues. As my training progressed (or didn't, rather) I was doubtful that I could do this race. We were invited to stay with some friends in a oceanfront house in Nags Head, since George and I were both registered to run the half marathon. I decided several weeks ago that I would start the race and go as far as my right foot would allow me to walk My crosstraining since then has been less than spectacular, so yesterday morning, I was even less sure that I would finish. The weather forecast was beautiful, though, which helped me get into the right mindset. I decided to try to relax and see what happened. Before the half marathon started, I got to chat with several runners from the Raleigh area, including Pauline, Jeanette, Susan, Linda, Marjorie, Barbara, and of course George and Ashby. (Many thanks to Meri for the drop-off near the start in Nags Head!)Yesterday morning, I really surprised myself by finishing the
Once the race started, George walked with me for the first two miles, and I really enjoyed his company. He headed off to run at the beginning of Mile 3, and I started listening to music and taking in the surroundings. It wasn't long before I caught up with a combination of walkers who I enjoyed meeting and talking with, including Danny (from the Los Angeles area) and Susan (from Huntersville, NC), who I walked and talked with the most. Danny and Susan were planning to keep around a 20:00 min/mile walking pace, so I decided to see how long I could keep up with them. They were fun to talk to--and to listen to when I felt like being quiet.
Before I knew it, I had passed my first goal at the 3 mile mark, and was quite surprised to hit 6 miles and the half way point without enough discomfort to stop to rest and massage my foot. My next goal was the bridge, which I never made it to in last year's DNF of the Outer Banks Marathon. I wanted to see the bridge so badly this year that I could taste it, so it was good motivation to keep moving at a good (for me) walking pace with Danny and Susan! During this stretch, the front marathoners passed us, and it was a lot of fun to see and cheer them on!
Getting to the bridge was my favorite part of the course, I think! Before the ascent, Danny and I (Susan had dropped back a bit) decided on a game plan for tackling the bridge, which helped. We hit the 10th Mile Marker while on the bridge, and the view all the way across it exhilarating! Yes, I was still walking it, but the bridge wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be. My foot was bothering me, of course, but I still had energy left in the tank. (I had stopped and had my water bottle refilled at every water stop but the first one, and took a couple of Hammer Gels along the way, and that all helped, I think. )
After we hit the bottom of the bridge, we could see the stoplight where the runners and walkers were making the right turn to head into Manteo. It was a great feeling to know the end was near! I had been worried at the start about being able to finish, so hitting Mile 12, my last goal before the finish, brought a huge sense of relief, and I really enjoyed taking in the sights around me! By now, we were seeing people with finishers medals hanging from their necks, and that was great motivation too. :)
I called George and let him know that I had about a mile to go, and that I was still walking toward the finish line, and he was almost as excited as I was! When we passed Mile Marker 13 and could see the finish line, Danny and I took off and ran across the finish line, a great feeling to finish strong! My foot hurt, but I was done! That finisher's medal never looked so good!
I ended up finishing with a chip time of 4:24:15, and gun time of 4:35:18, 3747th out of 3757 overall, and 258/258 in my age group. Before the race, I told George that finishing before 4:30:00 was my over-the-top goal at a walking pace, no way would I finish by then. There ya go. :-) Kisses and hugs to George for walking with me at the beginning, and my gratitude to Danny and Susan for seeing me to the end! Official results are here.
George met me at the finish line, and it was great to share war stories with him. We ate at the Full Moon Cafe in Manteo, before heading back to the beach house. The big group enjoyed a great meal together last night, and George and I returned home this afternoon.
I took a few pictures over the weekend, but as usual, I wish I'd taken more. They're stored online here.
Now I'll work on recovery and am looking forward to trying custom orthotics early next year. I'll be back in the gym soon, though! Maybe there will be more half marathon walks in my future!