Monday, April 25, 2011

Run Like A Pirate. ARRGGGH!

Well, I’m a little late on blogging about the first ½ marathon of the year, but I’m still psyched about how well we did! 

The Flying Pirate ½ Marathon was April 10th in Nags Head, NC.  When we arrived Saturday afternoon, it was windy and COLD! I’m talkin’ like 20’s with the wind factor…. We thought we were certainly in for a loonnnng, windy and probably, miserable event Sunday. After we checked in I took Ginger out on to the beach for a walk. She loved it! She had sooo much fun in the sand. It took a little while for her to get used to the sand but it eventually wore her out enough that she practically begged me to stop walking. While we ate our dinner (in the room) we let Ginger lie around on the floor and once we had finished, I put her on the bed to lounge w/me (fyi – she never gets to get on the bed). Not even 5 minutes after she was on the bed, she looked like this: 
In Doggie Heaven!

We were in the bed early and up again by 4:30AM. I put on my new running outfit (the first new pair of running shorts I’ve purchased since I started on the UNCG track team by the way!), ate my oatmeal and tried to chug down some of the nasty coffee from the hotel. Todd slowly emerged from the bed to put on his running shorts and t-shirt (yes, I tried to get him a cool new outfit too… but he was “fine” without one), carefully laced and tied his Asics, fixed himself a bowl of oatmeal and together we got pumped up for our race! In the car all the way to the shuttle stop I had the new Britney Spears blastin’ and we (yes, WE) were jammin’! 

Finally – we were at the start. I was pumped, but calm and collected. Todd’s always like that… so for me, it was actually a rare race start for me. The morning was actually gorgeous. It rained most of the night so everything was damp, but God painted the sky of the OBX with some of the most incredible colors…. Breath-taking really. The wind had stopped. The crowd was small, for a ½ anyway… around 3,000 runners, but energized and fun. The national anthem was sung by a local OBX-er. A prayer was said by the announcer and then…. It was GO TIME! The gun went off and the first heat (we were in heat 1) was off…. 10 seconds later the big pirate cannon went off.  Other than that (the late firing cannon) the race was executed very well without many technical difficulties.

At mile one, I was feeling awesome. Still calm, not breathing too hard and my nose wasn’t running! I checked my watch and I was hitting the flag right at 06:58. I instantly knew I was in for a good strong race. My body was doing what I had asked and trained it to do well already and my mind wasn’t so ahead of my body that I was pushing it too hard, too fast. “We” were all in-sync. About mile 6 of hardly any spectators, I was getting a little tired and in need of some extrinsic energy. I talked this guy who kept running past me, only for me to catch him and pass him for a mile or so, to relax, run steady and stick with me. We were like the only people “close” at this point in the race and I knew I was going to need him sooner or later to push with, and against. He turned out to be awesome! His name was Brian and he was from PA. We kept small conversation periodically… but ultimately, he asked me what time I was aiming for. My response: 1:45… but I smiled and said, we’re on pace for 1:40 now, let’s do it?! He said “HELL YEA! I’ve never ran a ½ less than 1:58 and I’m feeling great running with you!”  

Soon we were running around the Kitty Hawk Memorial (seriously, the most boring giant circle I’ll ever run) and after about a mile of relative silence, I had another energy burst and got us all pumped up again. Mile 9.5 we hit the trails. The shade was nice (my recent Goo-gel, not so much, yuck!) and a slight breeze was coming in through the trees off the inter-coastal. About the time we got to mile 11 I was really counting on Brian…. I hadn’t had the proper time in my training to get as many runs in over 10 miles as I would have liked… so I anticipated I’d get a little groggy here and I forewarned Brian too. He was a great sport though. He knew when I needed the encouragement and simply a distraction. Finally we came to the yellow house on the trail. I looked at Brian and said, “it’s time to move boy!! Go finish your race!”

At the yellow house the trails curves and runners are directed off the smooth, well beaten trail and up a sharp, steep mulch covered hill. Honestly – this hill feels like it’s never going to end and you can’t get a good grip thanks to the over-sized, lumpy mulch. UGH! I was tearin’ it up as hard as I could… but as soon as I got down the good side of one hill, I was having to climb another. I hated every second of miles 12.45 – 13!! Finally, I was curving around the last bend/hill and I could see the Mile 13 marker. I knew it was literally, allllll down-hill from there!  I smiled at the last cheer-leader on the course and came flying out of the trees and down the hill towards the finish line. Finally – some cheering!!!

I found Todd cheering in the crowd and I kept running for that finish line! The announcer said my name and I was done. YAY! I slowed down, caught my breath, stumbled around a little bit and then realized… hey, it’s over!? HA! Someone took my arm and placed a super cool metal around my neck, gave me a sun visor, a lunch bag, a bottle of water and a banana and said CONGRATULATIONS! 

Finally – Todd found me. I told Brian good job. We posed for pictures and went to the pirate party. Results came via email:
Todd Delp
Finish Time:
Overall Place:
Age Group

Amanda Delp
Finish Time:
Overall Place:
Age Group

Overall – I’m thrilled with our accomplishment! Todd ran a great race and I’m ready to find our next race. Anyone else want to join us?!

Big "thank you’s" to all of you for your well wishes and loving support! It always makes training easier, and much more rewarding.

1 comment: