October 23, 2016 - Myrtle Beach, SC Time: 2:08:00
A last minute fall race added to my schedule. I wasn't sure how it was going to go as I'd been struggling with tendonitis off and on in my right ankle. But I was looking forward to hanging at Myrtle Beach and to seeing some of the bird gang!
Brooklyn (who I'd met at bird camp) convinced me to join when I asked about a fall race for my schedule. I originally had thought if Seawheeze didn't go as planned I might add something else to my fall to try and get closer to my 2016 goals. Of course then the nagging injury hit so my goal for this race was to just enjoy it. I find I'm too hard on myself when it comes to running. I always want to beat myself and sometimes I just need to enjoy the ride. Thankfully Brooklyn is queen of fun so our plan was to run together and have a blast!
Backing up a little- I left early Friday morning to head down to Myrtle. It's about 5ish hours from Blacksburg on some highway, but mostly back roads. I being dumb went to regular myrtle beach instead of North myrtle beach but I eventually got there and go to enjoy some time on the beach. It was unseasonably warm on Friday with highs in the 80s. Conveniently though the temps were going to drop just in time for the race. Anyway we spent a nice afternoon on the beach before heading in to then grab some dinner. Our stop was Mod Pizza- which I'd never been to but was so tasty! We also got some sweet frog because who doesn't love ice cream!? And then ended our evening on the porch in sweats catching up like old friends over some Pumking beer. A great evening.
On Saturday I had planned to run a quick 3 miles to shakeout my legs for Sunday and also because I had been trapped in a car for half the day prior. Brooklyn was nursing a sore hamstring so decided to save it for Sunday and hopped on a beach cruiser to ride while I ran. I've never had a 'bike coach' but this was pretty fun as we headed down the strip and back. It was a little windy (B's hat blew off a couple of times :)) but still pretty fun and I felt good. We went to a local spot for some yummy breakfast, and then back to the condo for quick showers before Nicole arrived. She was coming down to cheer with a few others from the SC team. I knew Nicole from IG but we'd only met briefly at the Salem Lake meetup. But that's the best part of the team- a group of friends you never knew but are always there! Nicole joined in and we headed over to the outlets for some light shopping (like all purchasing the same dress- we still need to take a group photo of this!) and then we were planning on the expo. We thought it was open until 7 so showing up just before 5 seemed fine especially since our team dinner was at 6. I was looking up the directions when I discovered it closed at 5!?! We ended up running in at the last minute and grabbed our bibs. It was a little chaotic but we got it done. Phew!
We had hoped to pick up a handheld for Brooklyn at the expo but everything was closing down by the time we scrambled inside. Luckily we saw a running store just down the street- unfortunately they were just closing. But the lady was so nice and let Brooklyn run in and grab the bottle. Again- so many close calls!! Of course then we were really close to the dinner spot but had lots of time to kill then. HA. It was in a little outdoor shopping area so we wandered around until it got close to time. We were all starving at this point! That breakfast was LONG GONE. Finally time to eat! We met up with 3 of the SC team ladies- Erin, Jacqueline and Erin- none of whom I'd met yet- and had a delicious italian dinner. Even got a beer to enjoy because hey we had already decided no pressure the next day- just enjoy the run. Only one of the Erins was running but the others would join Nicole as part of our cheer squad. A fun night!
Sunday dawned bright, early and cold. We geared up, took care of business and headed out to the race start. We were able to sit in the car until almost race start which was nice to stay warm. A couple visits to the porta-potties and ingesting my pre-race food and I was ready to roll! The weather ended up being absolutely perfect. I run so much better when I'm not dying from humidity. Anyway Brooklyn and I started out a little quick but then settled into a nice comfortable pace. We were able to chat the entire time, talk to others on the race, hi-five the crowd, and thank the race support. We got to see our cheer team twice! More hi-fives and hugs to go around and then it was off on our way. We made one big turn and then ran along the beach with beautiful views. Again perfect temps and we were cruising. We both experience a little tightness from our injuries around mile 11 but with only a little bit more to go kept on pushing. I looked down at my watch around this point and realized we were really close to my PR. So we took off a little, especially on the last bit on the windy boardwalk. Finally we finished- 31 seconds off my PR. Amazing. For a race I didn't stress about, just enjoyed and hung with a friend and I did better than I had all year. Definitely something to this running for fun!
After we got to enjoy a few tasty beers and bask in our accomplishment. Truly a great race. We hung out for a bit with our cheer squad and then it was time to head back to the condo, take a quick shower and I had to get on the road back to Blacksburg.
SUCH A FUN RACE WEEKEND!!