This was my 10th half marathon and 3rd Rock ‘N’ Roll Virginia Beach 1/2 Marathon, I also ran in 2011 (2:08:19) and 2013 (2:16:12). My in-laws have a time share in Virginia Beach and this is their week, so when I go I have been ending my vacation with this race. This year I even managed to recruit my husband to run the 5K. This race is notorious for it’s hot and humid weather, but this particular week was so beautiful I thought I might escape the humidity and have a great race, no such luck.
The week started out cool and windy, no am humidity at all. I ran 5 miles twice, once on the sandy beach and once on the boardwalk, both at 6 am while the sun was rising. It was a spectacular view, I could definitely see myself running their everyday if I lived in Virginia Beach.
Running on the sand is no joke, 5 miles felt like 10. The beautiful view is the only thing that kept me going for 5 miles on the sand! The Rock ‘N’ Roll Half actually has a mile run on the sand the day before the race, I didn’t participate, but it looked pretty cool and you got an awesome towel for running it.
The rest of the week was filled with family, food, the beach, paddleboarding and a bunch of relaxation.
I have always wanted to try paddleboarding, so I recruited my husband for a 2 hour paddleboarding lesson/tour. I am so happy we did this instead of just renting paddleboards and winging it because there is a lot more skill to paddleboarding than you would think!
There is a small amusement park right on the main street that runs along the boardwalk and they have a slingshot ride, which I have always wanted to do, but have never had anyone to do it with. This time was no different, but when one of the guys running the ride saw me wavering, he offered to ride it with me! I was sold! I finally rode the slingshot and it was amazing!
Sunday morning I was up at 5 am and ready to run the half, but as soon as my husband and I walked out the door I knew it was going to be a horrible race. The entire week the are was cool and crisp in the morning, but of course on the day of the race it was hot and humid. My husband blew it off saying it wasn’t so bad, but I knew better, it was going to be rough. By the time we walked the 10 blocks to the start I was already sweating.
After a few pics I said goodbye to my husband and we each headed to our respective corrals. I literally entered the corral as the race was starting, a first for me. The only announcement I heard was that this was not going to be a PR race and we should be sure to stay hydrated. Once the corrals started it only took abut ten minutes for ours to reach the start and go. This happens to be one of the best race starts I have ever been at, they have it down pat.
I was soaked in sweat within the first ten minutes of the race and was left wondering why I decided to do this race again. The first three miles were rough and I seriously considered taking the 5K route and just calling it a day, but I didn’t. I walked through every water station and just took one mile at a time. During the first half of the race my thoughts were pretty negative:
- Why did I decide to do this race?
- Why did I sign up for a marathon?
- This is insane?
- I am not really a runner?
- I am going to die of heat exaustion?
You catch my drift. The second half of the race was much better, although not much cooler. I was disappointed that at mile 8.5 I did not get a salted watermelon GU at their station, especially since it was the flavor of the race, but that’s life. I was excited to get an ice pop at mile 11, it really hit the spot and propelled me through the last two miles.
Hitting the boardwalk is the best part of the race for two reasons: (1) I know my family will be there and (2) it is the end of the race.
I was more than happy to finish this race and I think it will be my last time running it. While this is thus far my favorite half-marathon it is just too hot for me to do it again, three’s a charm, right?? Plus, right after I shower we jump into the car for an eight hour ride back to New York which is not fun after running 13.1 miles.
I ended up finishing in 2:15:38. Not my best time and not my worst. I am thrilled I finished at all.
Marathon Foto got some great shots, but I cannot bear to spend the ludicrous amount of money to purchase them. I mean $24 just to download one or over $70 to download the lot of pictures seems really unreasonable to me. I bet if they charged about $4 a picture or $25 for the lot they would get a lot more purchases.
What was the hottest race you have ever run?