Race Recap: Rock ‘n Roll VA Beach

Looks like race season, feels like race season, it must be race season!

Hope you all enjoyed a nice, long weekend if you were fortunate enough to have the day off work! Labor Day always sort of depresses me because it marks the near-end of summer. No more pool? No more tan? Boo. BUT, it marks the beginning of football, pumpkin beer, and cooler temps which I certainly agree with. It also means the beginning of race season, which typically runs from September to January. I kicked off this season with the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n Roll half marathon on Sunday.

I headed down to the beach on Saturday afternoon. I was trying to avoid the insane crowds that this expo is known for, so I showed up about an hour before it closed. GENIUS. Worked like a charm. I didn’t have to wait in any lines and even capitalized on some sweet freebees that vendors were basically throwing at me. All was fine and dandy until my race buddy Brook (who was supposed to meet me at the expo) called  to tell me that they closed down one of the tunnels into VA beach and she was stuck. I ended up walking around the expo by myself (a new experience), and exploring nearly every booth to pass the time.

Why is everyone so obsessed with zombies these days? I blame the Walking Dead.

After a stressful hour in traffic, Brook made it to the expo with four whole minutes to spare. Phew! Most of the  vendors were already packing up their booths, when they say the expo closes at 5pm, they mean it.

The rest of the weekend went much, much smoother. We spent the night at my brother’s place who (conveniently) lives in Norfolk. He took us in for the night and fed us a full feast of chicken and pasta. Meanwhile, Brook and I chugged about 8 gallons of Gatorade and enjoyed some fitness wisdom via P.F. Changs fortune cookie:

Thanks P.F. Changs, so reassuring…

The next morning, we woke up bright and EARLY and headed back to the beach for the race. In previous years, I’ve had issues getting to the starting line on time. This year, by some miracle, we were at the starting line with 30 minutes to spare. It was perfect, we were able to grab some water and make a last minute porta-potty break. So clutch!

I started in Corral 3 and Brook was in 15, so we said goodbye at the start line. Corral 3 was crowded, but I knew I was in good company since these people were pacing at 1:45. I knew that was out of my wheelhouse, but I’d much prefer to be with runners going faster than to be weaving in and out of people. Check out how crowded this race gets:

Brook snapped this photo at the starting line.

I think I’ve figured out the reason I only run this race every other year. It’s HUMID AS HELL. Apparently I run the race, sweat all the water out of my body, vow to never EVER run it ever again, then promptly forget that pledge every two years. What a vicious cycle.

This year was the worst in terms of heat. It was 80 degrees by 7am and already about 1000% humidity. I started sweating before the race even started and didn’t stop until 2 hours post-race. I sweat through 2 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. Impressive, no? Who knew the human body could even hold so much water!

Not a dry spot on my body

Typically, I can make it to at least mile 4 without stopping for water. Not this time. I grabbed something at every. single. station. Sometimes I would chug a Gatorade, chase it with water, and then grab another one to pour over my head. It was that hot. People were so drenched with sweat that I could feel them dripping on me as I tried to pass by. One lady’s clothes were a little too baggy and so weighed down with sweat that she kept losing her pants every time she’d pick up speed. Hilarious, but unfortunate.

That being said, I think I would have absolutely crushed this race had it not been so freaking hot.

Marathon training is really starting to show improvements in my running. I was well under two hours and my body felt great. Besides sweating a ton, I didn’t feel fatigued at all and probably could have run all day! That’s weird, I know. I wasn’t even sore after, wtf (in a good way). I was pretty stoked with my time and how well my body performed considering the conditions. It makes me very hopeful for a good result come October!

Post-race, I had time to spare while I waited for Brook to finish up, so I soaked my feet in the ocean and hung around the finisher’s party.

Bling blingin’

Once Brook finished up, we hung out for a bit and indulged in one of these:

The plan was to come back for the post-race concert with Train. But the show didn’t start until 9pm and a shower, nap, and food sounded far more appealing so we bailed.

Overall, I’d give the race this rating:

Meh.

Too hot, but nothing you can do about that. The local bands are fun, and the atmosphere is super laid back and cool. It’s well organized, but too big. My one qualm about the race course? The finish. You enter the boardwalk able to SEE the finish line, but you don’t actually reach it for another mile or so. It’s like you’re running, running, running but it’s not getting any closer. Agonizing!

Will I run it again? Probably in two years.

Did you run any races this weekend? How did it go?

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Becoming a Morning Person

I am NOT a morning person. In fact, when you take a mental image of what a morning person consists of, I am pretty much the exact opposite. I always joke that my internal alarm is set for 10am, but it’s true. When waking up, unprompted, by my own free-will, I will get up at almost exactly 10am every single time. Sometimes getting up at 7:30am for work is a serious struggle…I’m a big-time snoozer-till-8 kind of girl. I’ve been like this my whole life, and I just can’t kick the habit.

Typically, it’s not a huge problem. But lately…it has been. Why do you ask? Because of THIS:

It’s SO effing hot.

This weather has been seriously hindering my running schedule. The only time it’s even remotely bearable to step outside is at 6am, and even then it’s already 80 degrees! Personally, I think it would be unsafe and irresponsible for me to try to run after work in 97 degree heat. It’s just too hot and I’d risk exhaustion! Seriously, who decided to sign me up for a fall marathon? Why didn’t I think about the fact that I’d have to train for it in the dead heat of summer? Marine Corps Marathon, you will be the death of me!

So anyway, here’s my question to all of you morning people:

HOW do you turn yourself into a morning person?

(Source)

I get the whole go to bed early, wake up early concept. But in reality, that just doesn’t work for me. I go to bed at 9pm and STILL have trouble waking up at 8am. There was a stint in college where I actually did wake up every morning at 6am and go to the gym. I loved it, but I also hated it at the same time. When I graduated, that plan went totally out the window because I had to leave my house at 7am, which meant I had to get up at 4:45am to exercise, and that just wasn’t happening. I honestly feel like I could (and SHOULD) start getting up early now to exercise before work. But how?

Here’s exactly what happens when I try to wake up early:

  • At 10pm I set my alarm for 6am and get SUPER pumped about waking up early to run.
  • At 6am my alarm goes off and I feel groggy and far too comfortable in my bed.
  • Most of the time my stomach hurts (I’m probably just hungry) and I mentally decide that I’m just not ready to get up and move.
  • Reset my alarm for 7:30am.
  • Alarm goes off at 7:30am, but I could probably get another 30 minutes of sleep if I don’t dry my hair.
  • Decide that’s a great plan and reset my alarm for 8am.
  • Alarm goes off at 8am, snooze until 8:09. Sometimes even 8:18.
  • Reluctantly get out of bed.

I just don’t understand you morning people. Teach me your ways!