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The Long & Short of Rock 'N Roll VA Beach

Welcome to another feature! This one will not be nearly as regular as the other's, but I figure I run races, so I may as well add my $.02 about my experiences.

I was super excited for this race. My dad grew up down in Virginia Beach and we still have family that lives down there. I also love the ocean, and visiting the beach always makes me happy.

I was also excited to share this with my family. They haven't been able to go with me to a race since my first half, last October, and the fact that this one was on the boardwalk made it even better.

Now, I will say that I got into my head a little about not making my goal. I've worked hard all year. Conversely, I know that I've skipped workouts and runs, and probably wasn't as dedicated as I've been.

I also know that I've been slacking on my nutrition.
By the way, this is all a lead up to me telling you that I didn't make my goal. I would have. I should have. Anyways, I'm just going to run down the timeline of the weekend, because that's just easier.

Night before the race, was nail painting time. Pretty nails and toenails will definitely help you run faster. Ok, not really, but even if its crappy out your nails will look pretty, and when you peel your socks off your feet after the race, your toenails will look pretty.

We headed down on Friday, to try and beat some of the Labor Day traffic. It worked pretty well, and we headed straight to the expo.

The expo was different because of everyone being in tow. Anyone with kids knows that browsing is not something easily accomplished, but we managed. I will say that Nashville's expo was much more energetic and fun. This expo wasn't any less fun than DC's, but it seemed to be subdued, and there were a lot less vendors. I did get a new sparkly headband, visor, magnet for the car, and a free t-shirt though.

Also had to share my flat Momma outfit with my MRTT gals. I hate trying to decide what to wear for races. Especially when I have nothing to wear. Ok, that's an exaggeration, but you ladies know what I'm talking about. You have a bajillion options for things to wear, and all of them are terrible. I ended up kind of ruing what I wore, because I did not expect to get as soaked as I did during the race, and the chafing was worse than normal. Ouch.

Saturday, we enjoyed two free Imagination Movers concerts and the kids had a blast. We hit up the beach in between the concerts, and I managed to aggravate my right bunion. C'est la vie. The bunion pain was totally worth watching the kids rock out with the Movers. KT Tape and some RICE definitely helped with the swelling and pain. The foot gave me no problems during the race.

Sunday is race day. My day started at 4 am. We didn't wake the kids until 4:45, and all of our preplanning really helped. We had packed up breakfast and snacks the night before, and planned out our drop off and parking plan. Everything went smoothly.

I was supposed to meet up with some other MRTT'ers before the race, but I only found one other momma. It was good to connect before the race. Some rain made an appearance at the start of the race, but it felt good. It was humid out.

The race was not as massive as Nashville, but it was crowded throughout most of the course. Not so much that you couldn't maneuver through things, but enough to where it was slightly annoying at points. The crowds were nice further into the race, because you never felt alone and you could see that others were just as tired and soaked as you were.

The race started on time, and my corral crossed the starting line 22 minutes after the first wave.

Miles 1 & 2 were easy and just really trying to find my groove. I started off too fast. My first mile was done in 10:27 and the 2nd mile was 10:41. At least I was slowing down to where I needed to be. I didn't feel winded or anything and the rain felt good.

Mile 3 was fine as well. I managed to slow my pace to 11:16. Exactly where I wanted to be. The hard part would be to maintain it. I was distracted a bit this mile, because my crew was going to be somewhere near the 5k mark, and I didn't want to miss them.

When I did see them, I couldn't keep from smiling, because they each had a sign. My friend had made a sign and obviously been in cahoots with my hubs. The sign was the nicest sign ever and it going to get hung up down in my sewing room. The boys had drawn signs at the expo, but were still excited. Small Fry garnered some laughs from people around me, because he hollered if I was done yet. Nope! Still 10 miles to go! I'm glad that people got some laughs. My 5k time was 34:08.

Just before the 5k mark. There's the back of the sign my friend made!
Miles 4 - 7 were as expected. My times started fluctuating a bit but nothing too bad. 11:09, 11:23, 11:30, 11:18. Everything was going well. My 10k time was 1:09:42. Not my fastest, but not my slowest. I'm happy.

Mile 8 - The wall is looming, and my shoulder is starting to bother me. I switch my water bottle hand. It feels weird, and throws off my gait a bit. I switch back to my right hand, but the pain in my shoulder comes back. 11:45 pace.

Mile 9 - Suck it up. Suck it up. Suck it up. You're taking your walk breaks, you're eating your gels. You're almost out of water. Someone is frying bacon. Camp Pendleton sucks. They're frying bacon and I can't have any. Suck it up. Suck it up. 11:32 pace.

Mile 10 - This sucks. Just one mile till your next walk break. Suck it up. Suck it up. Try and keep your shoulder relaxed. I blame Baby Girl. This is her fault. Suck it up. Officially out of water. Ugh. 12:03 pace. Crap. Speed up. You don't have much of a cushion. My 10 mile time was 1:54:53. You still have this. Shoulder stop. Seriously.

Mile 11 - Why the frick is my shoulder hurting? It's freaking holding water, not a baby. Ugh. My hips hurt, my legs are tired. I hate this. Its all the shoulder's fault. Is there rebar in my shoulder? Ooooh. Ice. That medic station has ice. Ice will help my shoulder. Ice is the best thing ever. It feels amazing. Why yes, I will put some down the back of my bra. That feels amazing. Take that shoulder. Oh sucking on ice is nice too. 13:14 pace.

Mile 12 - Sponges dipped in ice cold water? Yes, thank you. That feels amazing. Can I wedge this sponge under my bra strap? Man, whose idea was it to have sponges? This sucks. Someone is going to trip. The sponge feels great, but the spongy road sucks. A bridge? Oh yea, the bridge. I hate this bridge. Stupid bridge. The top of the bridge is amazing. It looks beautiful, and its breezy! Yay for breeze! Yea for running down the bridge. Downhill is easy. 12:34 pace.

Mile 13 - I saw all my babies and the hubs at the very end of mile 12. Yay! They look so happy. I'm exhausted. The boardwalk is just around this bend. Oooh! A misty thing. I like misty things. Who the frick thought it'd be a good idea to run down the boardwalk? This wind sucks. Why can't it blow the other way. Who wants to run into the wind for the last mile? Why are there so many things that look like the finish line? I hate the person who thought that up. Where the hell is the finish? Oh there it is! I can pick up the pace. You got this. There's hugs and chocolate milk when you get done, and you can stop running. You could walk. A lot. 11:52 pace.

I'm not buying photos until I know they're all up, but these were taken at the end of the race. The first was after the misty thing, and I was getting pretty determined. Then pain/war face because I started my sprint a bit too soon, but I'm not stopping. I will finish in beast mode. I need to work on a prettier beast mode face. That last one, might have been during one of the emotional bouts. Stupid emotions. 
The last bit - You didn't make your goal. You're not quitting. Pick up the pace. Finish strong. You've got this. Stretch out those legs. Use your stride. Get done. Get back to your family. Are you crying? Suck it up. That's water you need. Stop being emotional. Get. It. Done. You're right there. Oh thank god. I'm done. I failed. I'm done. I'm not dead. I didn't make it. I'm done. There's my crew. I didn't do it. I know. I'll meet you down the way. Where's my chocolate milk. Stupid heads. This medal weighs a ton. Whose idea was that? This sucks. Stupid pedestrians. Can't they see exhausted runners coming through? I love this man with the bull horn. You tell those people to not block us. We just ran. A lot. I love that you're championing us. I love all the volunteers. Can you open my water. Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for volunteering. 10:50 pace.

Isn't it funny how we handle the ups and downs of a race? Guess who's getting a hydration pack? Hopefully that'll help with the shoulder pain. I'm not going to stop picking up my baby girl, so that's the next best option.

While I did not make my time goal, I did make another goal. One I didn't broadcast. I talked to the hubs about it. It was a private goal. It was also a little vain, but one of my goals was to come in the top half of one of the groups I was lumped into, and I did it. I was close to the top half in overall finishers (4712/8433), but I was in the top half for gender (2200/4758) and division (370/778). Its the first time I've done that, and that feels pretty dang good.

DIVA is in a few weeks. Who knows, maybe I'll PR that.

I'm going to end this post with some pictures from Mt. Trashmore on Monday. The kids had a blast up there. Baby Girl is, woefully, not good at sneaking up on wildlife, but she is excellent at scaring the crap out of them. Only 360 more days until the next RnR VB!

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