23 March 2015

A stroll by the beach: Landfall made

This weekend was full: of running, of camaraderie, of friends and of races. Friday, I manned the WRRC booth with fellow RoadRunners and on Saturday, after a shake-out run at FleetFeet, I headed over to the expo for a bit, working that booth for a few hours before having the humbling opportunity to meet and speak with Julie Moss. (Yes, that Julie Moss, of 1982 Ironman fame, who was there with fellow Ironman icon, Kathleen McCartney, as the guest speakers for the race.)

Shake-out run w/Julie Moss & Kathleen McCartney
WRRC representing at the expo! 
I then heading out to meet up with the Pumpkin Noodle (and the Bubbaloo, of course). She was running in her first "officially timed" race and was super excited. She had so much fun - see below!
At the start with her friend Xavian (#1057)
And she's off! Yes, she went from the left to the far right and then when the tiger came upon her, she swerved even further right to avoid him. She doesn't like mascots.....
She asked me to run in with her....c'mon, Mom!
Finish line hug from the Bubbaloo...
She gave him her finisher's hat....
Which he rocked, of course! 
We had a post-race dinner and then I was off to get some rest before a 0430 reveille call for race #11, the half-marathon.

Sunday was slightly humid and overcast, with temps in the low 50s. I met up with Tracy C. and Michael B. at the finish area and we hopped the race shuttle to the start at Wrightsville Beach. Julie Moss had asked to meet us at the start, with plans to run with Tracy and I, as we had chosen a relaxed finish time goal of 1:50 - Tracy was coming of a marathon two weeks prior and me, well, I wasn't planning on getting broken two weeks before MdS.

We met up with Julie, who had that morning decided to run with the 2:00 pace group, wished each other well, and then Tracy and I moved up toward the 3:45 marathon pace group, high-fiving and shouting well-wishes to all the other WRRC runners in the crowd. Perfect, low-key start as the gun went off in the dark at 0640.

Tracy C., me and Julie Moss, pre-race.
Random tall dude with the stink eye in the back.....
Tracy and I ran completely relaxed, enjoying the weather and the familiarity of the course. Our pace was comfortable enough that we (ok, I) could critique the grammar on the various moto posters people held up along the course. (For the record: is=singular/are=plural for noun/verb agreement, folks. Zombies = plural, thus, "there are" is correct, "there is" is just wrong).  At about mile 8, we fell into step with another runner, Lillian P., from Rocky Point, and the three of us ran abreast throughout the remainder of the race, which was pretty cool.

We picked it up at about mile 10-10.5 and by the time we reached 11.5, we were holding steady at about a 7:50 pace, which started messing with my head because I got panicky about pulling something. So what did I do? As we rounded a corner with 500 hundred yards left, I told Tracy to go, as she was chomping to open up. She went. I extended my stride a bit and, as I turned the last corner, with the finish in sight and Tracy a few yards ahead, I went after her. We finished one second apart, over 2 minutes faster than our goal time.

Happy runners! During the race, we realized we've been running together for almost 10 years. 
I received the socks a week prior from the MARSOC Foundation. They are fantastic and are coming with me to the desert! 
I have to say, in reflection, I'm pretty impressed that I was able to run an 8:14 avg pace after having put in 49.5 training miles this past week, six of which were on Saturday. Someday, I'll actually add speedwork back and be properly rested!

Other awesomeness from the day: Lillian PR'd. Fellow WRRC runners Amanda J., Shannon  O.& Brittany C. BQ'd in the full, and the WRRC relay team took first place. I can't say enough about the WRRC and the running community here - you guys rock and I apologize for not having all y'alls races included here (Yes, talking about you Sam B., Jenny P., Keira, Ali, & Marcy)!

Another huge thanks to Tom Clifford, Colin Hackford and all the event staff and volunteers who made the Quintiles WB Marathon happen. Well done.
Best spectator shirt of the day. 

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