Monday, November 13, 2017

Outer Banks Marathon...A Birthday Surprise!

On Sunday I ran the Outer Banks Marathon. This was sort of a last minute decision. I figured I was already still in marathon condition from running Baltimore a few weeks before and it was on my birthday so I thought it was a sign that I should run it!

When I lined up I noticed that the 3:30 Pacer was right ahead of me. I thought Well I will try to stick with him as long as I can. We started out with a pretty big group. So many that I almost was knocking elbows with the person next to me. I thought Well I am doing just fine so if they don’t like it they can move. I was feeling pretty good for the first 6 miles. I kept thinking I hope I can feel this good at mile 16. I had one GU and no water so far. We were coming up at a water stop and I wanted to get one, but it was a bit crowded so I was going to try to get one at the last table, but by that time they were handing out Gatorade and I didn’t want that. So I said shoot, I wanted waterand I know the guy beside me heard me. I looked at him and I said hey can I finish your water. He says sure there isn’t much left though. But it was just enough to keep me going. (I know what you’re thinking drinking after a stranger, but we are runners and have probably done worse, so don’t judge!)

We were heading into the trail part of the course by this time (mile 10) and for the most part it was dirt packed so it wasn’t too bad. I am used to running trails on my daily run at home but I was still cautious because I didn’t want to trip over a root or tree branch while trying to maintain this pace. It kept continuing and I thought When is this part going to be over because I am over it. We finally got off the trail around mile 13 and I was very happy about that. 

I thought we may have lost a little time with that mixed terrain but I could still see the pacer ahead of me so I had to be in the range. By this time the group was definitely dwindling so I think that trail gave those other runners a hard time.

By mile 17 there was only one other guy running with the Pacer and me!  The Pacer tells the other runner, And this girl is a beast look at her go. I just smiled and kept on going.  By mile 19 I was the only one running with the Pacer. He said You are so consistent and you are doing well. I have paced so many runners and I can tell from the beginning whether they have it or they don’t, and I know you do.
I didn’t want to be too over confident with myself but it did fuel me to keep up with him. And just about that time, it happened, my shoe came untied. Darn it! I told him that and he says Well just tie it, we are about 20 seconds ahead of schedule. I quickly tied it and caught right back up to him.  He then says to me I know you just want to take off. I said Well I am still feeling good but don’t want to push myself too early because that’s when the wheels usually fall off, the last 10k. He says to me, Not today they are not. If I can get one person to Boston, I will have done my job. 

Up ahead was supposed to be the most challenging part of the course (so I heard) the bridge, between mile 21-23. He said You got this and pretty much set me free it felt like! I took off and felt great. Even those miles on the bridge didn’t feel too bad. Heck I almost felt like Shalane Flanagan just floating along to the finish line. I knew I was going to surpass the 3:30 mark but by how much was the question now.

 I knew I had it in the bag the last mile. And then this song played on my Ipod and I was getting so emotional, I think I may have even shed a tear. Then I thought Ok Lace pull it together you need to finish strong and don’t get all choked up. So I started smiling and singing along. I later saw on my Garmin connect that I ran that last mile my fasted and got a negative split (which I hear is hard to do).

 I crossed the finish line smiling ear to ear. I know I did well but wasn’t sure what my official time was. Luckily they had a timing device you could look up your number immediately afterwards. I typed in my number and the slip printed out and I could not believe it. 3:27:17 What???? Oh yea, Boston here I come for sure 2019! Not only did I surpass my 3:35 BQ time,  I noticed that I placed 1st in my age group. So of course we had to stick around for the awards. 

  I received a nice pin that had my age place on the back of it.  

We  then met up with some other people we knew for a bit to enjoy the festivities. We received some pulled pork and sweet potato fries and my friend had a celebratory beer. I was too cold to hold a beer since I tossed my gloves during the race, so I opted for a coffee and we listened to the band.

After freshening up we were on the road and wanted to get some dinner. We’ve wanted to go to Guy Fieri’s restraurant to get his famous trash can nachos. 

Look at these things. Unfortunately they were a bit of a letdown, too soggy for being nachos.  After dinner we celebrated with a glass of wine and called it a night.

 Overall it was a great weekend. This was the best birthday gift ever! I couldn’t have asked for anything more, BQ, PR, AG, and even on my birthday! How will I top this one off next year? -L

                                         We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

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