I can’t wait to tell you all about this race. Because I am so, so so pumped, so proud of myself, so amazed at the human body, and so sore. So.. Let’s get to it!
Friday after class, my friend Katie swung over to my school to pick me up and head down to the beach! We hit some traffic but overall it wasn’t a bad drive at all. I love this bridge and miss driving across it so much when going to school…
There were some crazy storms that passed through overnight – hence the dark clouds. After stopping at the store, we went to Katie’s friends beach house and made a pasta and chicken dinner. Then we went to pick up our packets in the rain. It’s a small race so there isn’t a huge expo or anything but they had a few vendors with coupons and such which was nice. Once we arrived back to the house I went to sleep, haha I was exhausted.
Saturday 5 AM alarm! I got up and got dressed and had a bit of caffeine and a banana. We needed to get down to the Ocean City inlet before the last bus left at 6:15… about that. So, it’s the first year that we started at Assateague Island and ran to Ocean City. Every other year was the opposite. Strategically, it makes so much more sense because there is more space in OC than there is over on the island. However, because it was the first year, the buses were a little slow. We were supposed to start at 7 but didn’t actually start until 7:30 because runners were still stranded at the inlet. It all worked out in the end and we kicked off at 7:30.
So I took zero pictures during the race, because I had my phone in my arm band and was totally not whipping it out and stuffing it back in. Sorry, not sorry.
Miles 1-3: Pace 9:33, 9:18, 9:41
I found the pace groups for 2 hours and 2 hours ten minutes and settled myself between them. I knew my goal was 2:10 so being in front of them made me feel better because if I started to lag, I could at least keep them in my sites. (I never lagged) The only hill of the race was up the bridge at the end of Mile 1. It wasn’t bad, since I’ve been training on hills for months. Not sure what happened with miles 3-4; my two slowest, but I had ran in to someone I knew so maybe I mentally was sticking with them when I knew I wanted to push it.
Miles 4-6: Pace 9:43, 9:27, 9:23
So I pushed it… I was getting pretty comfortable at this point in my pace but was starting to get a little nervous that I was going too fast. But I kept trucking along and got in to a groove.
Miles 7-9: Pace 9:30, 9:33, 9:29
I got real scared right about mile 7.5. I all of a sudden started getting a shooting pain in my hip every 20 steps or so. I tried to move around in the road a bit thinking that the slant of the road could have been causing it. It helped a bit and just mentally told myself that my hip didn’t hurt and that I need to just keep going. It stopped after awhile and I just tried to vary where I was on the road to help even out my hips. I just kept trucking along.
Miles 10-11: Pace 9:35, 9:28
At this point, I was definitely starting to struggle but I guess it didn’t show in my times which is awesome. Making a turn right after 10 miles I slowed down a bit and almost stopped, then some spectators starting yelling and screaming “ONLY 3 MILES LEFT GO GO GO!” So I couldn’t stop after that! So I kept going just as ‘Animals’ by Martin Garrix came on and it pumped me up enough to motivate me. There was a water stop right before Mile 11 so I walked through that a bit and got some Gatorade in me. Then I trucked right along as “Take Me Home’ by Cash Cash came on over the 50 bridge that seemed never ending. So I kept telling my legs to take me home, aka the finish.
Mile 12-13: Pace 9:26, 9:36
I was really struggling at this point. I wanted to walk a lot. I wanted to just walk the rest of the way. But I had trained way too much and was so amazed at my time at this point that I just tried to motivate myself to keep going. Once we hit the boardwalk, there was so many spectators cheering us on that I just had to keep going. I saw my uncle and mom as soon as I got to the boardwalk which definitely helped. Then we turned left, not right, and I was confused. There was a a little loop that seemed never ending down to 3rd street and back. I stopped and walked at one point because my legs felt awful. Then a random runner came up next to me and said “You’re almost there, keep going! Let’s go!” That’s all I needed to push myself the last .5 mile. I sucked it up and knew I was so close. Around the pier and in to the inlet then I spotted the finish line and took off….
I was in shock when I saw that number on the clock. Officially, I finished in 2:05:57 with an average pace of 9:37. Last year’s Rock and Roll Half, I finished in 2:17:23 with an average pace of 10:29. That’s a 52 second PER MILE improvement since last year. HELL YEAH.
The paces per mile on here may be a little off, because my RunKeeper app was about .16 miles off at the finish but you get the gist. I was so happy with my time and my improvement from last year. Let me tell you though, holy DOMS. My calves are out of control hurting today (Sunday). Because of how I run, my calves get overworked and even though I have super cushion-y shoes, they get destroyed. Good thing I’m in PT school and can get some free soft tissue mobilization on them tomorrow from classmates, hahaha.
Overall, I loved the course because it’s completely flat. I didn’t check any bags but didn’t hear anything bad about how that was run. My only issue would be the bus situation in the beginning – or lack of buses I should say. That is the main thing that they need to figure out better for next year. It was a great race and my second time running it. As much as I’m hurting today, I’m already thinking about my next event… I’m thinking possibly the Baltimore Half this Fall or a Sprint Tri somewhere in DC…. Hmmmmm…