Monday, November 13, 2006

OBX Race: We Did It!

Yesterday David ran the Inaugural OBX Marathon, and I ran the Half. We went with our friends Chris and Leisa, who both also completed the Half-Marathon. We're all appropriately tired, sore, and proud of ourselves.

Chris drove the four of us from the Raleigh area to Kill Devil Hills while our kids stayed home with aunts, uncles and grandmothers. We four told stories, and laughed, talked about politics and our kids, and enjoyed a leisurely drive to the coast. The weather was gorgeous on Saturday, sunny and in the upper 70's. After going to the Race Expo to get our numbers, chips, and look around at all the vendors, we checked in to our hotel and had just enough time to take a quick walk on the beach before attempting to find that pasta dinner we'd heard runners need the night before a race.

Before dinner, we drove out to Kitty Hawk then over the three-mile bridge into Harbinger to visit my friend Trish and her family who moved into their new house from Raleigh just a month ago. The Eldridges were great: beautiful new home, beautiful family, settling in to a slower-paced life in the Outer Banks, all was good. They suggested this great restaurant called Tortuga's.

Very hungry by that point, we set off for Tortuga's or whatever else that came our way that looked good. The first place was too expensive and everywhere else was just too crowded. We never did find Tortuga's, but we pulled in to an Italian restaurant and walked up to see how long the wait was. We stood and stood and stood and couldn't get a single employee to look us in the eye. Yes, we saw that they were busy, but how long until a table might be free? More people came in behind us and then even more. Pretty soon there were at least twenty potential patrons standing in line just to get the word on how long the waiting list was. No. one . would. look. us. in. the. eye. or. give. us. the. time. of. day. After no less than twenty minutes of standing there (I know, we could have walked out earlier), a frazzled waitress said, "Do you have reservations?" "No," we replied. "Well, we're not seating anyone unless they have reservations."

Fine, but couldn't she have told us that twenty minutes earlier?? We drove around some more getting hungrier by the minute and almost settled on crabs from Dirty Dick's, but when all was said and done, we made a "run" for the border and ended up at Taco Bell.

We were in our rooms by 8:00 PM and asleep not long after.

The 5:00 AM alarm came too soon, and looking back, how foolish the four of us were to waste the opportunity of a child-free Sunday morning of sleeping in in favor of getting up pracically in the middle of the night! Especially when we knew the forecast was calling for thunderstorms! Are we totally nuts? We made it to our shuttles, though, everyone dressed for success, including Barbie nipple bandaids for David. We wished David good luck, and were off to the starting line.

Leisa's knees were bothering her, so she didn't pretend to try to run with Chris and me. Chris was committed to a walk/run combintation, and I was committed to running with him. I'm so glad I did, I couldn't have done it without him. This is the guy I met my sophomore year in college, the guy who was a JV cheerleader for awhile. The guy who always had energy and tried to cheer people up during late-night fire drills. The guy who wore his (clean) underwear on his head into the dining hall one morning as a joke and the same guy who talked me into jumping into the Mill Creek Apartment swimming pool in February one year a long time ago. If you needed a coach, someone to keep you on pace and to encourage you the entire way, there's no one better to do that than Christopher Tyler Jones. So, Chris and I stuck together the whole time, thanking people who cheered us on, pumping other runners up, and just basically keeping the mood fun and light the whole way. About mid-way, he said that at our pace, we would finish the half-marathon in about two and a half hours. That wasn't good enough for me. I wanted to average a 10-minute mile even with taking minute-long walking breaks. So, we picked up our running pace at around mile 7. After gagging down a gel pack (hate those things!) I felt strong and great, and like I could "break away" at the end for an even better time. That was our plan. Chris said, "Just stick with me." My heart felt good, my legs felt pretty good, just a few aches and pains on the righ side of my body. Even going up the dreaded hill went fine. Then at about mile 12, he really kicked it, and I kept up with him until the last half mile or so and that's when I told him to go ahead. My breathing felt a little labored and I felt like I might throw up, so I slowed it back down and ran on in over the finish line by myself.

Here are everyone's stats:

David: 4:14:58.25
Chris: 2:19:57.65
Sarah: 2:20:48.15
Leisa: 3:02:29.55

It did start to rain very hard soon after Chris and I finished our race. So, Leisa and David got caught in it. I have to say that the most difficult part of the day was not the running, it was the waiting, cold and wet, for almost two hours, for David to run around the bend and finish. I was so anxious for him to finish (for his sake and ours) that I misidentified him three times! When I did spot him, however, I can't tell you how proud of him I was, and how excited we all were to cheer for him on the last stretch.

I think we all accomplished what we set out to do, and I think our times will be better next time. Yes, I think there's going to be a next time.

A quick report on the homefront: We didn't call Kate too many times, but each time we did, there was an air of all-Hell's-breaking-loose. I think she forgot how demanding and exhausting it is to take care of two very active children, and how there's just no such thing as "running into Weaver Street to get a quick cup of coffee." Nothing's that simple with Grace and Johnny in tow. Apparently, Grace ran off from Kate in the Chik-fil-A line at Southpoint Mall and in the time it took for Kate to blow dry her (very short) hair, Grace had methodically ripped out every single page to Johnny's beloved book "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go," and then laughed about it when Kate reprimanded her. Welcome to our world.

David and I promised to bring the kids back a surprise, so in addition to giving them our race finisher medals, we gave them each a new Whoopie Cushion that we picked up at Walgreen's. Take one guess at which surprise they liked better.

The best thing about returning home (second of course to the hugs we got from the kids) is that Kate washed and neatly folded every piece of our laundry--a task that hasn't been properly done in over five years. The kids and Kate had a good time, I think, and I think she'll agree to come a year.


Nana said...

Congrats to all of you!! Sounds like it should definitely be an annual event!

0-o said...

Congratulations, I'm proud of you! Barbie nipple band-aids?

Bird Spot said...

Well, nipple bandaids to prevent nipple bleeding, and Barbie, because that's what was around our house.

Dan Smith said...

Wow! I was out of breath just reading about it. I hope I'm not sore in the morning.