Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon 2014:
We Ran That Beach!

This past weekend was a fun, fast mini vacation with a mini marathon included.  Our running friends have been going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for the past few  years to participate in the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon.  This year, we were able to go, and we are glad we did!  We headed out as soon as we could on Friday afternoon to get to the beach speedy-quick!  Upon our arrival, we enjoyed birthday shenanigans for one of the friends we went with.  Saturday was a super relaxing beach-bum kind of day.  After birthday shenanigans and beach-bumming on Friday and Saturday, it was time to get down to business.  Well, running business.  But business nonetheless!
The view behind our house... ahhhhh....
I had a little bit of pressure riding on this half marathon.  Last weekend, at the Danville Half Marathon, I was mere seconds from a personal record.  I pushed as hard as I could, and I just didn't quite make it.  I knew that I could do it at Myrtle Beach.  I knew that I had to do it.  So needless to say, I was nervous all weekend (and all of last week while preparing!).  I always get nervous when I'm doing a run away from home, like having to stay the night somewhere else, because I panic about forgetting things or messing up pre-race ritual and stuff.  I tried to stick to the plan as perfectly as possible to ensure I perform as I wanted to.  What's the plan, you're wondering???  Well, I'm glad you asked, because here it is.

STEP 1: Carbo-loading is a must.  We like pasta before a race, like many runners.  Because we were out of town, we found a nice little pizza and pasta restaurant and ordered spaghetti.  Safe and carby!

STEP 2: Prepare.  Preparation is very important to me because I am a worrier.  I had to make sure that I had all my running gear laid out on Thursday before leaving on Friday, and then again Saturday night before the race to make sure I had all my clothes and other necessities.

Getting our bibs ready!

STEP 3: SLEEP.  Sleeping is very important pre-race.  We made sure to hit the hay at a decent hour despite being somewhere else and being SUPER EXCITED.

STEP 4: HYDRATE.  We made sure that even though we spent the whole day before at the beach that we were hydrating.  We were  drinking water and Gatorade the whole weekend, and then  in the morning, we made sure to fuel up with water, even though some people were drinking some delicious coffee.... I wanted some so bad!  But that's their rituals, not ours.

STEP 5: FOOD!  We made sure that we had our pre-run breakfast of oatmeal on Sunday morning.  We actually bought a new box to bring to the beach with us.  However, it stayed in Virginia.  So we made sure to buy some new oatmeal to not throw off our routine.  Regardless, we got some, and it all worked out.

STEP 6:  POTTY!  As soon as we arrived at the race starting location, we made sure to hop in the potty line.  Even though it was ridiculously long, we made it to the starting corrals just as they were starting, which means we allotted just enough time.  Thank goodness.

STEP 7: Rock it out!  Self explanatory.

Ok maybe I should explain Step 7 in more detail.  Because we both made sure that we were prepared in every way, we were ready to run.  We started in our respective pace groups (Mr. Marathon at the very very front, and me somewhere between the 10 and 12 minute mile pacers.... I don't know exactly where I was.... I got lost in the 3,500ish people!).  We started off at good paces and managed to maintain our good paces according to our goals, and not the people around us.  We enjoyed the run, the scenery, and the spectators (near the end anyway).  All of these things caused us to both do something amazing: PR!  Mr. Marathon managed to update his PR from last week to 1:27:19.  I cut mine from 2:24:43 in 2013 to 2:19:55!!!!!!  That's practically 5 minutes faster!  All I wanted was a PR but as I was closing in, I kept thinking to myself IS THIS ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN?!?! IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN!  IT'S HAPPENING!  Then it did.  And I'm THRILLED!!!!  And sore.  But mostly thrilled, so let's stick with that.

The gang!

Aren't we cute?????

All in all, we had a fantastic weekend full of successes.  PRs and SOMEONE ended up placing 3rd in his age group.... can you guess who???  I'll give you a hint: this is the same person who came back for his wife at the half marathon and ended up with a total of 18.5 miles, not just 13.1.  Show off.
His finisher medal, bib and 3rd place age group award

Accepting his award

We have some fun stuff coming up.  Mr. Marathon is going to do the Patriot Trail Run this Saturday, October 25, as well as a Tough Mudder on Sunday!   Oh, and our marathon is coming up in a little over TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!


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