Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Crystal Coast Half Marathon 2010

on March 1, 2010

We arrived in New Bern on Friday afternoon and stayed with my BFF’s parents that live there.  New Bern is about a half hour from Morehead City, which is where the race began.  I grew up on the coast of NC and New Bern is my hometown.  I was pretty excited to run my first half in a town that is so close to where I grew up and where I spent a lot of time as a kid.

We went over to the Sheraton hotel on Atlantic Beach to pick up my race packet.  It was so windy on Friday and I was really hoping that the wind would be gone the next day for the race.  The wind gusts were so strong on Friday I thought if I had to run in that the next day I would blow off the Atlantic Beach bridge.  I got my race packet and was hopeful that the people at packet pick up would have suggestions on where to park the next day.  They didn’t.  Even though I am from the area, I didn’t know much about the area where the race started, how much they were going to block off the roads and if that would affect our ability to park in the public parking areas.  My husband and son watched me start the race, but then were going to get some breakfast and head over to Fort Macon while I was running.  I knew the half was going to take me over 2.5 hours and there was no way they were going to stand around the finish line for that long!  Anyway, we needed the car to be somewhere that they could get out and then find somewhere to park again when they came back.  It all ended up working out in the end, but it would have been nice if that information had been available to us ahead of time.  I have parking anxiety for some odd reason.

The night before the race I tried to go to bed around 10 pm and get a decent night sleep.  I wasn’t all that surprised to find that I couldn’t sleep much.  I think I got about 2 hours of sleep.  My alarm went off at 5:30 and I got outta bed and started getting ready.  I still can’t believe I have turned into a person that gets out of bed BEFORE the crack of dawn to go running.  We made it to the race start around 7:15 or so and I got my timing chip.  The race was pretty small so there were no lines to wait in except the ones for the porta potties :).  We milled around a bit, but it was pretty darn cold (about 31 degrees), so we went back to the car to warm up.  Poor Ian was freezing, but he was having fun looking at the boats in the harbor.

Checking out the boats in the harbor

The race had some handcrank bike racers. Those guys are amazing!

See you in a few hours!

I made my way to the start line a little before 8 and made sure I was at the back of the pack.  The pack was pretty small.  The starting gun went off and we started going.  It only took about a half mile for the whole pack to peel away and all that was left was me and a couple other people plugging along.  My legs felt great at the start and I was doing my best to start slow.  I had to make myself stop and walk even though I didn’t feel like I needed to.  I knew that I would burn out later on if I didn’t take breaks early.  I made a mistake though around mile 3.  The half runners were supposed to turn on one street and keep going, while the people running the 5k were supposed to go another block and turn then hit the finish mat.  I missed my turn and ended up crossing the 5k mat by accident.  Now, this was partly my fault and partly the fault of the people directing the runners.  The half runners and 5k runners should have had different colored bibs or they should have started the races further apart.  I was lapped by 5k runners around mile 2.  So, by the time I reached the split for the different runners I think the directors didn’t know who was who.  I know a few other people running the half did the same thing I did because I followed them.  The information about the split was on the info in the packet, but I didn’t remember it.  Anyway, I knew I did something wrong when I saw a woman ahead of me that I had already passed.  When I saw her in front of me again, I was like, wtf?  I just decided set my sights on her to pass her again and did eventually.

The first 5 miles went by fairly quickly and I was feeling great.  I ate my first set of Gu chomps around 45 minutes into the run.  Mile 5 is when we hit the incline on the bridge and I decided to walk up it and run down the other side.  When I started running down the other side the front of the pack started passing me on their way to the finish.  It was nice to finally be around other people again!  A lot of the people going the opposite direction were very encouraging.  I also got to see my husband and son again after I crossed the bridge.  They were on their way to Fort Macon and stopped to cheer me on.  From miles 6 to 8 I was passing the people that had already hit the turn around and it was giving me the motivation to keep running.  The turnaround was just after mile 8 and then I got to see my husband and son again because they had just finished playing at Fort Macon.  I loved having them at surprise spots along the course.  We had no idea that it would work out that way.  I also finished my Gu chomps around this time.  My legs were starting to hurt.  Mile 8 is usually my breaking point, but I managed to get to mile 9 before the pain really started to hit.  This is when I started walking more and for longer periods.  Once I got to mile 10 my legs were burning and my feet were really starting to hurt.  I just kept telling myself that the pain was temporary and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I got to the top of the bridge and that was mile 11.  I was hoping that I could run the last 2 miles.  My legs decided that I had to walk every now and then though.  There were a few people up ahead of me and I used them as my motivation.  I set my sights on one guy up ahead and made it my goal to get past him.  Then, after I made it past him I found another lady to pick off.  My legs felt like they were on fire, but I didn’t care cause I was ALMOST FINISHED!  Then I saw the finish line and for a few moments the pain went away, it was awesome!  The best part of the finish line was my son standing there yelling, “Go, Mama, Go!”  My finish time according to the clock was 2:46:xx.  I don’t have my official results yet and I am really hoping that crossing the 5k mat doesn’t screw everything up!

Hey! It's my fan club again :)!

All alone again

Go, Mama, Go!

It's not gold, but it's my first medal

Waiting for my legs to feel better before we walk to the car

My splits according to my Garmin are:

Mile 1: 12:15

Mile 2: 12:02

Mile 3: 11:45

Mile 4: 12:34

Mile 5: 12:55

Mile 6: 11:39

Mile 7: 12:01

Mile 8: 11:56

Mile 9: 13:40

Mile 10: 12:52

Mile 11: 13:00

Mile 12: 13:03

Mile 13: 12:18

.36: 4:09

I forgot to turn off my Garmin after I hit the mat.  I knew I was going to run at least .1 more than everyone else having made a wrong turn.  I am not sure where the other .1 came from because I didn’t walk far before I turned it off.

My legs hurt A LOT when I stopped running.  My knees were incredibly sore and tender after the race and it has been a while since they have hurt so much.  Today my muscles are still very sore, but my knees are better.  I really want that motorized chair for the stairs in my house again.

Overall, a great race experience except for being alone!  That really sucked.  If I do this race again, it will have to be with a friend.  The scenery is nice and the flat course makes it easy to keep a conversational pace.

Update:  The 5K finish mat mishap did screw up my results.  Right now I am posted in the 5K results and not in the Half results.  I emailed the Race Director and let him know so I can be removed from the 5K results so I don’t screw them up (I didn’t run a 5K in 26 minutes) and hopefully get my official Half results.  He responded right away, so props to him for being on top of it!!


9 responses to “Crystal Coast Half Marathon 2010

  1. Amy W says:

    Congrats on your first half!! You should run Raleigh Rocks with me :).

  2. gabrielle says:

    Yay! I’m so happy for you! YOU DID IT!

    If you need a running pal for your next one, just let me know! 🙂

  3. Lisa says:

    Oh, congratulations on a very well done job. Your ran a half marathon!!! Can you even nelieve it?

    What a sweet sweet pic of you crossing the finish and your son there cheering you on. Thats priceless!

    Love that you got to see your husband and son at different point throughout the race… you couldn’t have planned that lol.

    Again, congrats!!!

  4. Kellie says:

    Congrats on your half marathon! It’s certainly a small world that you are from NB and we are in the process of moving to Raleigh. We’ll have to sign up for a run together sometime. Also wanted to let you know that the Parker Reese Foundation is planning a 5K in the coming months, and I’ll keep you posted with updates as I get them.

    -Kellie (Carter’s mom)

  5. Jenna says:

    Congrats girl! It was nice to read all about your journey. Hope you had fun with the parents. Wish I had been there to be part of the cheering section!

  6. Janet says:

    CONGRATS!!! I loved seeing all the pics, too. Thanks for posting them.

  7. Robin says:

    Soooo exciting! I was grinning from ear to ear and with tears as I read your recap. YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats, NC friend! Sending you HUGS from Orlando! BTW -we could definitely run together, and I’d love to do this race with you next year if you don’t have any takers. 🙂 Looks like a beautiful area, and I love all the pics. Your little one is adorable and the “Go, Mama!” is priceless. Yay!!

  8. rubber7soul says:

    Thanks y’all! I would love to have company to run this again next year! Everyone is welcome :).

  9. swellmama says:

    Go Ann! You are a rock star!!!!!!!!!!

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