Monday, October 21, 2013

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Recap

Whew!  It's been a while since I've updated!  I've been super busy with school and spending time with some of my favorite people.  :)  This fall has been pretty busy so far!  Between wine festivals, Oktoberfests, pumpkin carving, and more, I haven't had a lot of time to even run!  But I did just complete my THIRD half marathon!  Holy cow!  A year ago I couldn't have imagined myself running one, never mind three!  And I'm signed up for another next June!
But back to the Myrtle Beach Mini....  I signed up shortly after finishing the Diva Half back in September with Stephanie (who I ran the Diva with) and Lindsay (who I ran the VA Wine Country with).  It was my third and Stephanie and Lindsay's second.  What is it with finishing a race that makes you immediately want to sign up for another one?  Anyways, we got there around 4am Saturday morning after driving through the night.  We split up into two cars since the guys came along.  They really are the best race supporters out there!  We ran into a little snag with the condo we were supposed to stay in and ended up at a less than lovely Holiday Inn.  I was tired.  And cranky.  And hangry (anyone else use that term?).  We went to bed and I slept very little thanks to an obnoxious air conditioning unit.

We woke up the next day and the crankiness carried over.  We headed to the race expo, which was definitely lacking.  I was pretty disappointed with the selection and ended up leaving without buying anything.  If you know me, you know that this is surprising!  But I totally loved my bib number:  1818!  And the tech shirts and backpacks we got were pretty cute too!  Still in an absolutely horrid mood, we headed down to the beach.  I wasn't overly impressed with the boardwalk area and of course it started to rain.  We did however find where the finish line was and we found an amazing daiquiri bar that (shhhh) let us take our delicious slushies out onto the boardwalk with us!  We also made a stop at the Landshark Bar.

Finish line on the board walk!

13.1 miles of paradise!  Stephanie, me, Lindsay

Ready for race day!

Our biggest fans!  Mine's wearing the Coors Light shirt! :)

Wall of adult slushies!

We then headed to a really fun area off the beach called Broadway at the Beach.  They had so many fun shops and restaurants!  We ended up at Señor Frogs for a few drinks and some food.  We called it a pretty early night though since we were all completely exhausted from the drive the night before.

The crazy carp that you could feed!  So creepy!

Delicious, but strong, drink from Señor Frogs.

Upside down house.

The alarm went off at 5:00 the next morning and thankfully I  had gotten a great night's sleep.  It was nice to only have a 15 minute drive to the start since the other two half marathons I've done have been at least an hour drive.  I ate my mini bagel with almond butter on the drive there, popped a few sports beans, and was ready to go!  And then we pulled into the mall parking lot where the start was and it started to rain.  It started out as drizzle, then a fairly good shower, and then a downpour.  Enter disappointment.  We got out the umbrellas and headed to the start.  Thankfully it stopped raining right before the start of the race!  And the race started on time!  Again, a first for the races I've done!  It was fantastic!  No waiting around for almost two hours to get started!  Both girls I ran with are both faster than me.  So I started out a bit faster than I had really wanted since I did NO training leading up to the race (one 2 mile run and one almost 5 mile run...that's it!)  But because the course was flat, I felt really good through about mile 8 or so.  Then my legs started feeling pretty heavy.  But Gatorade at the water stops and my sports beans helped tremendously.  Mile 10?   The other girls seriously picked up their pace.  I picked mine up, but not as much as they did.  So we all finished at different times, me being the last of the three.  The supporters at the end of the course were fantastic.  I saw the guys and they told me to keep pushing so I seriously picked it up at the end.  My goal?  Just pass the person in front of me.  And the person in front of that.  And then I could see the clock.  And the cool thing about having your name on your bib?  People using your name when they tell you to keep pushing it and that you're almost there.  Official time?  2:26:57.  This included a bathroom stop for one of the other girls.  My Garmin time?  2:22.  Both times just 30 seconds short of a PR.  Still pretty bummed about that and if I had known, I would have really pushed it at the end.  Or not stopped for the bathroom break with the other two.  Oh well....   The race really pushed the 5 miles of beach front running.  Truth?  You could see the beach in between building for 4.5 of those miles.  Then the rest was on the boardwalk.  So a little disappointed about the lack of beach views, but it was pretty!

1818!  Loved this number!

Post race, right by the beach!

Awesome medal that has a magnet on the back and a beer opener.  Love that I get to add this to my collection! :)

Me, Lindsay, and Stephanie enjoying post-race refreshments.

Ben has the rest of the pictures on his phone.  Working on getting those from him.  :)

After showering and packing up, we got back on the road.  We made a pit stop in Wilmington, NC.  Totally gorgeous!  And amazing food!  I want to find a race to run there!  :)

I'm not registered for any more races until June, but I know I'll sign up for more!  The one in June is the Runner's World Magazine Heartbreak Half in Boston! :)  Super excited for this one!!!!!