Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Flying Pirate Half Marathon 2012 or The Race Where Body Glide Was Your Best Friend

I had some trouble coming up with a title for this post.  So many options for only one race:

  • The Drowning Pirate
  • I Didn't Think I Registered For A Tough Mudder
  • WTF, How Are There Hills at the Coast
  • The One Time I Wanted To Stay IN A Porta Potty

The possibilities are endless, I promise you.

I also debated on how I would recap the race.  I've seen some that detail strategy, nutrition, aches and pains mile by mile, split by split.  But now that I've done a race where there were more than 3 miles to remember, my hat is off to those people because after mile .5, it's all a jumble.  Heck..I'm still wondering if it actually happened at all!

It was a dark and stormy night....

No, seriously!  The rains started around 11:00 pm the night before.  The weatherman kept telling me it was going to rain, but that didn't stop me from hoping for a miracle.  I had a vision of my post-race celebration and this forecast was NOT in it!  But alas, the rains did not stop until possibly 4:00 pm the following afternoon.  So, I set out the most weather friendly clothing I brought (so much for the cute outfit I bought just for the occasion..hmpf), my Pure Flows (because they're fast), my Garmin doo dads, my new thick socks I bought in a panic (because all I had were little thin ones that screamed BLISTER WAITING TO HAPPEN) and my trusty hat.  All set and ready to go.

My morning started at 5:00 am after an unfitful sleep.  Hubby was still sleeping and I didn't want to wake him, so I grabbed my Luna bar and my banana and ate in the bathroom.  Thank goodness he woke up rather quickly because me eating in the bathroom just seemed weird.  I got dressed and tried my best to wait calmly, but hell, I don't wait calmly very well.  So I gave the green light for us to leave to drop me at the start line.  In the rain.  Before dawn.  All by myself.  Scary.  

Waiting for the time to get herded like cattle, I ran into a friend from Daily Mile (big shout out to Steve R J!), chatted for a moment and then I had to politely excuse myself to visit the ladies room.  Never in my entire life did I actually want to stay in a porta potty, only to catch a break from the relentless rain that kept hammering on our heads.  And then it was corral time.  We sang the national anthem and the first wave was off an running, with me in the fourth, following shortly behind them.  

Now, remember, we're lucky I can remember what I had for breakfast that morning; but, because I ate most of it in the bathroom, it tends to make that breakfast unforgettable.  The point I'm trying to make is my memory for the rest of the race is a little spotty.

Everything was fantastic the first three miles.  And then the next three miles went as well as the first.  The course took us through some great residential neighborhoods with lots of trees and beautiful houses to look at.  And then I think mile 6 led us to a path that followed the sound and then back to the neighborhoods and then back on the sound.  Until now, the course was pretty much flat with some slight inclines here and there. There were spectators out rooting us all on (rock on folks, y'all are awesome!).  This race is ticketed with the best spectators around and I believe that to be spot on, especially if the sun was out.  My pace was consistently between 9:15 and 9:30, exactly where I wanted to be to reach a sub 2:05:00, and if all went well I could pick it up at the the last 4 miles and maybe come in under 2:00:00??
Me, striking a pose.  

The course took us around the base of the Wright Brothers monument, where I got to strike a pose.  I chatted with a woman from Cary for a bit and then went on my way.  I was feeling pretty fantastic at this point. Little did I know what was waiting for me.

If memory serves, soon after the memorial volunteers steered us to an off-road vehicle path that was made up of a mixture of sand, dirt and grit.  Well, in constant rain and 1,000ish runners later, the path turned into a muddy mess.  If you didn't know, mud will suck the energy right out of you and is a huge pace killer.  We endured around three miles of this nonsense.  The smiling girl you see to the right, quickly embraced the role of a cussing pirate.

Now, the race description mentioned a slight incline at mile 12.  Being that I live in the Piedmont of North Carolina, I am no stranger to many slight inclines.  So, I thought the "slight incline at mile 12" would be easy peasy!  No one told me it was going to be like a trail run in Lake Norman State Park.  It was at this point I think my head beat me.  I believed my legs didn't have it.  They might have, but I didn't think they did.  I ended up walking up the hills and running down the hills.  We did this for a bit until I came to what I believed to be the last one.  I decided I better pick it up, so I ran up, crested the hill and there it was.  THE FINISH LINE.  About 600 yards off in the distance.  I no longer had control over my limbs.  My legs flew me down the hill passing about five other runners (okay, well, I don't know if it was five but i know it was at least two!) and crossed the line at 2:04:45.
  
Booyah!
just about to the finish line...


Also, these two photos prove I did pass at least the one guy to my left....


And then I said...
NOW GIVE ME A SHINY BLANKET!!!


Rock Star

I didn't make my sub 2 hr hopes, but I did reach the original sub 2:05:00 goal.  All in all, a GREAT race, a FANTASTIC course.  If anyone has their sites on Boston, I recommend the Outer Banks Marathon in November.  

The Best Of's:
  • best sign: Puke and Rally
  • best noise maker:  cow bells, hands down.
  • best shouts of encouragement by a spectator:  "Don't pull a muscle!"  "Be careful, don't hurt yourself!"  (She literally made me laugh out loud)
  • best part of the course:  Running along the sound.  Gorgeous. 
  • best t-shirt at the Expo:  "If marathon training was easy, they'd call it football."
  • best booth at the Expo:  I don't know who they were (might be the point), but they had scary masks with breathing apparatuses and a German Shepherd on guard.  I think they may have been recruiting for the CIA. 
  • best after race conversation:  at dinner, I was talking with a gentleman that also ran.  I showed the above rock star picture (yes, I know I'm a dork).  He said "Hey, you passed me, I remember your shoes."
  • best outfit:  Hands down, the two dudes running in kilts.  Like I said.....

The race where Body Glide was your best friend....





5 comments:

Maria Quezada said...

Great recap - the guys with the masks - they usually run in the races with the masks on, someitmes carrying a heavy log. They're a military group I believe - see that a lot down here. I saw them at the VABeach half, the Shamrock half, the santa 10 miler, etc.

I remember that rain - was so happy the Storm the Beach was the day before. I only did the kids race (.75 miles with obstacles) -it was so fun!!! I want to do the 5K obstacle next year. The pics looked great.

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you, Hope! You are an amazing woman and a true inspiration. You rock! Amy

Kenley said...

I was googling the Flying PIrate half and your site came up. Thanks for sharing the recap. I plan on doing it this year. Great Job on accomplishing your goal of sub 2:05. I hope to break 2:00. We shall see. Hopefully it doesn't rain again this year? I was actually looking up how the spectator thing works? Does your party just drop you off at the start wait for you to start and then drive to finish or are there shuttles? Thanks again for sharing and have the best day ever.

Kenley said...

I was googling the Flying PIrate half and your site came up. Thanks for sharing the recap. I plan on doing it this year. Great Job on accomplishing your goal of sub 2:05. I hope to break 2:00. We shall see. Hopefully it doesn't rain again this year? I was actually looking up how the spectator thing works? Does your party just drop you off at the start wait for you to start and then drive to finish or are there shuttles? Thanks again for sharing and have the best day ever.

Hope Childress said...

Hi Kenley! I'm glad you found the recap. It really was a great time, and if it doesn't rain? Sub 2 for you my friend! As far as logistics go, I stayed in a hotel very close to the start (Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk I think) so I got dropped off and picked up at the finish. There were shuttles if I remember correctly. The OBXE website is helpful. Here is a ink to spectator info, but try poking around their site, there is lots of info there. http://www.obxmarathon.org/Left_Nav/Spectators.htm
And you can always message me too :) GOOD LUCK and most of all have fun!!